We’ve all run into a security guard at some point in our lives – whether at shopping malls, office buildings, or banks. But while their primary responsibility is to maintain safety and order, there is often a lot of confusion surrounding their authority. Or rather, what power they can exercise over the public.
For instance, one of the most common questions that people ask is, “Can a security guard arrest you?” And the answer to that is yes, but also no. Keep reading this blog to find out the details and understand the requirements of a security officer’s daily responsibilities.
Can Security Guards Arrest You?
Typically, no. It is not possible for a security guard to legally arrest you. They can, however, detain you, which includes taking you in for questioning. This is not the same as arresting someone, as detaining is a temporary investigation that aims to inquire about a suspect. A legal arrest, on the other hand, involves taking the suspect into custody and investigating them via legal measures.
Times a Security Officer Can Detain You
Even if a security guard can detain you, they can’t do it all the time. It is only applicable under certain circumstances, such as:
- The security guard suspects someone or witnesses someone shoplifting.
- A person trespassed an area they were not allowed to enter, for instance, a
rogue person entering a gated community without permission.
- Someone can also get detained if they are carrying a suspicious or dangerous item with them, such as sharp or banned items at a school, etc.
Moreover, once a person is detained or held back, they will be set free in due time, either when the police arrive or if the charges are proven false. Not to mention, a security guard can only detain someone if they are a hundred percent sure someone committed a crime. There must be solid grounds for detainment, and the reason for it should be communicated to the suspect in question.
What Authority Do Security Guards Have?
Technically, security officers have limited powers, especially when compared to law enforcement officers. Sure, they may have a visible presence and seem like a reliable authority – which they are, but ultimately they are restricted. Security guards are just private employees that businesses and establishments can hire. Plus, they are required to strictly follow the law and the guidelines set by their employers.
Security guards play a critical role in maintaining the safety and security of the premises they are in charge of. Their main job is to prevent shoplifting, theft, vandalism, aggression, and other unlawful chaotic activities. The goal is to provide employers and customers with peace and safety.
Long Story Short
To put it shortly, no. A security guard can not arrest someone. They can, however, detain someone if they have solid proof against the suspect. For more information on security officers and their duties, contact Main Security & Investigations at 281-574-1871 or drop by our headquarters at 11221 Richmond Avenue, Suite C103, Houston, Texas 77082, United States, located opposite Vino Graphix.