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Private Security: Bridging the gap between businesses and police in the WA Goldfields

Picture this: an incident occurs at your workplace. Property is stolen, a physical

altercation breaks out, or perhaps there’s some anti-social behaviour from patrons...


If you were to dial 000 and call the police for assistance, by the time an officer

arrives (that is if a patrol car is available), it’s probably going to be too late to

deescalate the situation. The offenders may have fled the scene. The damage is

done, and you’re left to pick up the pieces.


As we know, any criminal event needs to be attended to immediately to provide the

best outcome for your staff, customers and business.


This is where professional security services come in to bridge the gap between

businesses and police, as a first line of defence to deter, detect and protect your

property, personnel, customers and assets.


The Goldfields region, as we know, is an area that isn’t exempt from crime, and all

businesses have a level of responsibility and duty of care to their staff and patrons to ensure they have the appropriate risk mitigation measures in place to ensure their

safety.


If we put all options on the table, professional security guards are the gold standard

for risk mitigation, providing your business with the most effective layer of protection,

and, of course, that peace of mind if something was to happen, there is someone

qualified on site to step in immediately and take action.


In this blog, we delve into the roles of security guards, importance of compliance and

ultimately why private security could be a valuable asset to your business.


Bridging the Gap and Filling the Void


As many may already know, police availability has long been an issue in regional

WA towns when reported incidents exceed available resources.


When this happens, businesses and individuals, who require immediate response

and protection, are put in a challenging situation if police officers are already

attending to other call outs and not able to get there in time.


We ourselves have had to call the police on occasion and there have been a few

times where there was no police available to arrive on scene.


This is why for many businesses, private security guards can play a vital role in filling

this gap, providing an on-site presence to deescalate potential situations, and in the

event of a crime, provide quicker response capabilities since they are already

stationed on site.


Security guards also have the expertise to manage and coordinate the incident until

police arrive and provide a hand over on your behalf.


We know first-hand, how appreciative and relieved our clients have been when we

have been there to step in and break up fights, detect and put a stop to theft, and

more.


You might be wondering what businesses should be considering private security?


This of course varies, however as a general rule it is recommended for those in high-

traffic areas, or high-risk industries such as hospitality and entertainment venues,

shopping centres, bottle shops, grocery stores and bricks and mortar shops

vulnerable to crime. It is also a must for mining companies, particularly those that are

in the outskirts of town.


Managing Psychosocial Hazards


Private security can also be a game-changer in helping your staff feel more

comfortable, safe and protected in their place of work – all important factors that

manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace.


As of April 1 2023, businesses nation-wide now have the responsibility to manage

hazards and risk to their worker’s psychological health and safety under the Work

Health and Safety Act.


Over the coming months, organisations need to dedicate time to considering and

reviewing approaches to managing psychosocial risk and fostering mentally healthy

workplaces.


Having security there on site is one measure that might be worthwhile for your

business to help mitigate any hazards causing your employees stress, and

subsequent mental health issues that may arise in the event of criminal behaviour.


To paint the picture for you, we recently have been working with a client who has

engaged us to deter anti-social behaviour at their business, where staff have had

rocks thrown at them, have been threatened, and sadly one staff member was

physically attacked and hit by a shovel while doing maintenance.


It is an awful situation and as a result the business has understandably had a high

staff turnover as workers do not feel safe coming to work.


As a security business trained to deter and mitigate risk, we’ve come in, and are

carrying out a complete audit of their business, updating their risk mitigation

measures and providing on-the-ground support to ensure a safer place of work for

their team - not only from a physical perspective but also managing mental health

hazards too.


The Roles and Rights of Security Officers


So now we have covered some of the benefits of bringing in private security guards

into your business, what rights and responsibilities do they have if something were to

happen on site?


What exactly can they / can’t they do when acting on behalf of your business? Can

security arrest someone? Use force if needed? Let’s discuss.


Security guards are licensed by WA police and only have authorisation to act on

behalf of their client who lease or owns the premises.


This means security officers have:

  •  Power (from the owner or someone who is authorised by the owner i.e manager) to prevent people from entering a premise even if it’s open to the public.

  •  The power to require patrons to produce identification in venues that sell alcohol.

  • The power to remove someone from a premise. For example, a crowd controller can ask someone to leave if they’re showing signs of intoxication or are trespassing (entering a property without consent or reasonable excuse).

  • In the event of trespassing ( which is an offence that incurs a punishment reaching up to 12 month's imprisonment or $12,000 in fines), a security officer can ask someone to leave, and if they refuse under section 254 of the criminal code compilation Act 1913, they are legally allowed to move to the use reasonable force to prevent entry to and remove people from site.

  • Under the the Criminal Investigation Act 2006 Section 25 Citizen Arrest, security officers are also able to conduct a citizen arrest only if the offence includes imprisonment/ jail term sentences. A security officer is not able to citizen arrest someone when the penalty is just a fine. It’s important to remember, Section 333 of Deprivation of Liberty (wrongful arrest and false imprisonment) outlines any person who unlawfully detains another person, is guilty of a crime and will liable up to 10 years imprisonment!


In addition, there are also some other rules your security team must follow.


For example, we have all seen those ‘Conditions of Entry’ signs at the entrance of

venues (a set of contract terms a person accepts by entering your premises) i.e

making the customer consent to their bag being searched when they leave the

premises.


But are these enforceable? Conditions of entry essentially operate like contracts.

You need to make these terms obvious to anyone who enters your premises and

give people an opportunity to read them and consider them. Conditions of entry are

only binding if you can prove people have had a chance to read and accept the

terms before entry. However, if this is breached, this isn't a criminal matter, it's a civil

matter.


To provide another example for you. If you go into a store and have a look and walk

out and the security officer asks to conduct a bag search and they remind you of the

condition of entry. You can say no, or can even say yes and withdrawal consent but


they can ask you to then leave. Or you can say no and try and walk out and if they

try to stop you that is deprivation of liberty as they are preventing you from leaving.


A security officer can only search with consent of the person under Section 23 of the

Criminal Investigation Act 2006.


Kalgoorlie Security Guards: We have you covered


At Goldfields Security Services, we provide all our staff with the suitable training to

be ready and equipped to handle any possible situation that arises.


We take great pride in ensuring every member of our team we send out to our

client’s business is professional and experienced, with a vigilant eye to detect and

protect.


As local Kalgoorlie residents ourselves, we understand the challenges faced by

businesses in the region.


By providing immediate response, professional intervention, and a strong physical

presence, our private security guards can deter crime, manage incidents and the

well-being of your employees and customers.


Our understanding of relevant regulations helps maintain a safe environment,

minimising risks and potential legal issues for businesses to ensure your business is

compliant at all times.


As always, if you have any questions or would like to enquire about our private

security guard services, we’d love to hear from you. Call us on 0404 449 326 or

email info@goldfieldssecurityservices.com.au.


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