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Watching security patrol shopping centres isn’t an uncommon sight, and bouncers are another form of security you’ll easily spot outside nightclubs on an evening. Manned guarding to monitor suspicious behaviour can prevent shoplifting and aggression. Security guards can be a critical element in the safety of customers and staff in public. Still, they don’t have the power of police officers! It may come as a surprise when you learn the parameters that guards need to stay inside within their security role.

Here is a list detailing what security guards can and can’t do in the UK.

Can: Make A Citizen’s Arrest

Security guards are more likely to find themselves in the circumstances facing criminals. They do have some power to detain them. However, a citizen’s arrest can be made by any member of the public on reasonable grounds. 

A citizen’s arrest is reasonable if:

  • Someone is in the act of committing an offence, or you have reason to believe they are.
  • A crime has been committed, and you have reason to believe they’re guilty. 
  • A police officer is not near and available to make the arrest instead. 
  • The arrest is necessary to detain the individual and prevent harm to people and surroundings.
  • You avoid using force as much as possible. Only apply enough to detain. 

Can’t: Force A Search

No matter the circumstances, the public are within their rights to refuse a search of their property and person. Even with suspected shoplifting, security guards have no legal right to demand an investigation with no verbal consent.

However, security guards can:

  • Ask to complete a search of property, person and vehicle, which patrons can refuse.
  • Search unattended luggage without consent to guarantee it isn’t a threat to the public.
  • Check the pockets and bags of unconscious individuals to try and identify them. 

Can: Refuse Entry To A Venue

While any security team cannot force a search, they can refuse entry to a venue if the patron doesn’t comply with their terms. Reasonable force can be applied against any members of the public who try to bypass retail security and therefore pose a threat to the safety of other guests.

Still, security guards must:

  • Employ both male and female staff members for searches, wherever possible.
  • Limit their searches to bags, pockets and outer layers of clothing. 
  • Confiscate and report any illegal items, such as drugs or weapons, that they discover.
  • Call the police to escalate any serious concerns.

Can’t: Carry Weapons

A security guard is exactly like a regular member of the public when it comes to carrying weaponry. No physical item designed to cause harm can be on display. Even if the weapon is never put to use and it’s been donned for intimidation, it isn’t allowed. Security dogs are much more sensible than weaponry.

Prohibited weapons include:

  • Pepper spray.
  • Batons of any size.
  • Tasers.
  • Knuckle dusters.
  • Guns.
  • Knives. 
  • Hammers.

Can: Use Handcuffs

Security guards are well within their rights to carry and apply handcuffs when making a citizen’s arrest. Employers should provide adequate training to any worker who is likely to fit handcuffs to prevent them from hurting themselves or the individual in detention.

Handcuff training covers:

  • How to apply the device to passive and aggressive subjects.
  • The medical implications that handcuffs can have, like asphyxia, and how to prevent issues.
  • How to remove handcuffs properly, which is as important as their initial application.
  • Why handcuffs are a sensible idea, and where to utilise them.

To learn more about a security officer’s responsibilities and how they can protect your property or your business, contact us at STOK K9 Security Services. 

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Festivals are an incredible opportunity to unwind, party and enjoy extraordinary entertainment. Hosting a big event isn’t the most straightforward feat. Still, with plenty of planning and sensible security measures, you’re likely to see a lot of success! Perhaps you’re inviting hundreds to a field venue full of tents with a stage. You may be organising a village festival for a smaller audience. No matter the circumstances, the health and safety of your guests, is your responsibility. 

If you’re unsure about beginning organising event security, you needn’t worry! Here are the steps you ought to take in making your festival safe and secure. 

1. Complete An Initial Risk Assessment

Before you can select sensible safety and security measures for your festival, you need to know what risks you’re targeting. A risk assessment will analyse the proposed size of your event, the location you’re interested in, and the essential equipment you’ll install for performances. From here, you’ll know the biggest threats to the health and safety of your attendees, and you’ll be able to choose security measures that directly combat those.

2. Start To Form A Plan

Take your knowledge of the dangers of your venue and your equipment, and create a brief floor plan accordingly. There may be a river through the field you’re planning to use for your festival, so you’ll want to arrange all children’s activities as far away from that area as possible. If you fit chunky speakers that could fall in extreme weather, make sure tents are pitched far away from that danger zone. Your plan will inform the structure of your festival.

3. Involve A Security Company

Suppose you’re responsible for the safety of an audience for the very first time. In that case, some oversight from a professional will guarantee you don’t make silly mistakes. Present your plan to any security provider you choose, and they’ll identify gaps in your strategy. A security company can also advise on the placement of security guards around your venue. Manned guarding is one of the best ways to keep an eye on guests during your event and demonstrate that you value attendees’ safety.

4. Implement A Ticket System

Planning a ticketed event is much more sensible. You can determine who is allowed on your premises and whether they need to be over 18. If drinks are readily available, a ticket system guarantees you won’t illegally serve children alcohol. Tickets also let you set a limit on the number of attendees. You can be confident you’ll have enough space to accommodate your guests, and you’ll have a reasonable ratio of security guards to attendees. Events without tickets are much less predictable, so you can end up poorly organising your security. 

5. Consider Your Crowd Management

Which area of your festival is going to be the busiest? Where is there a likelihood of high footfall and the potential for fights or claustrophobia to occur? Try and regulate these areas with metal gates and plenty of staff, and ensure that toilets are readily accessible. Arrange your venue in a manner that makes sense so your crowd spreads evenly. Offer more than one bar or bathroom for significant events, so you won’t have to confront crammed groups, and your customers will be in smaller clusters. 

6. Complete Bag Searches

As attendees enter your venue, have guards complete bag searches. This cautionary step can prevent dangerous drugs and weapons from entering your premises! Consider any entrances into your event to ensure guests can’t slip by unsearched and without a ticket. Bag searches may seem extreme for a small event, but they’re almost always worthwhile!

Contact us at STOK K9 Security Services with any questions you have regarding festival security.

By Anthony Velly On

Every child should feel safe at school – and every parent should feel comfortable sending their child. Security officers are a great way to keep schools safe, but there are other things schools should be doing alongside this option to ensure the safety of children and staff. 

For example, CCTV systems can help keep schools safe, monitor who enters the premises and deter crime and bullying. Alongside these physical security systems, there are small changes schools and teachers can make to ensure students feel safe and protected at school.


What Security Risks Do Schools Face?

Unwanted Visitors

The only people entering a school must be people who should be there. Strangers should never be allowed onto school premises, as this could be a considerable risk to children. The only people able to enter a school are staff, students, and visitors with permission. Students from other schools can pose a considerable risk; there is often friction between different schools, resulting in lots of bullying and fighting. 


Knife Crime

A recent BBC documentary called Knives In The Classroom revealed some shocking events and statistics around crime in schools. In one year, 17,000 10-15-year-olds were carrying knives. This statistic alone shows how crucial the role of security officers in school can be. Bullying can soon get a lot more serious when students are carrying knives, among other weapons.


Data Breaches

Schools hold a lot of confidential information relating to students, finances, staff, and more. Because of this, documents must be kept safe. Computer systems should use a password system amongst other safety measures, and any physical documents need to be locked away so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands.



Schools are at risk of theft at all times, especially when they are empty. This is why security systems are essential 24/7 for school premises. Confidential information is at stake. Schools have lots of expensive computers amongst other electronics, which makes them attractive to thieves.


Benefits of Hiring a Security Officer In A School

Reduced Bullying and Fighting

Bullying has always been a problem in schools, but with an increase in weapons entering schools, this problem is becoming more serious. The presence of security guards acts as a deterrent; students are less likely to bring weapons and use them if guards are patrolling the school. 

Also, if an incident does occur, guards are on duty to step in. Trained security guards are likely to pick up on things that staff in the school could miss, potentially stopping a serious crime from happening.


Teachers Feel Safer

Going to work can be scary for teachers if there is a high risk of crime at their school. The presence of security guards creates a feeling of safety. Teachers are often victims of threats from students; knowing a security guard is around to look out for risks can make teachers feel a lot more comfortable going to work.


Parents Are Happy Sending Children to School

Keeping their children safe is a parents priority. Sending children to a school that has a high crime/bullying rate can be tough for parents. Knowing there are security measures in place to keep their children safe can make a big difference. 

Parents know that security guards will be patrolling the school and looking out for any suspicious behaviour, keeping their kids safe when the parents can’t be there to do so themselves.


Prevention of Unauthorised Access

Security guards can patrol the whole school premises, guard an entrance, or walk around the entire grounds. This makes a huge difference in preventing unauthorised access. Unwanted visitors are a massive risk in schools, from strangers to students from different schools. 

Again, a massive benefit of this is acting as a deterrent. A student from another school is far less likely to try a break-in when a security guard walks around the premises.


Other Security Measures to Put In Place

Close Protection Officers

A close protection officer, or bodyguard as they are more commonly known, differs from a security guard because they are hired to protect one particular person. For schools, bodyguards can be used if one person is at high risk of bullying or threat. Close protection officers can be hired to travel to and from school with an individual to keep them out of harm’s way.


Dog Handlers

Security dogs can pick up on things a security guard could miss, mainly thanks to their impressive senses. Dogs can be trained to sniff out weapons and drugs. Therefore, they could identify potential risks entering schools before the human eye would spot them. Security dogs also act as a deterrent; humans are not likely to outrun a dog. They can be intimidating to criminals.


CCTV Cameras

Although security guards are a significant deterrent, having 24/7 security guards can be pricey. CCTV cameras can constantly be working. For example, this would be beneficial if somebody tried to break into a school on the weekend. A guard might not be there to intervene, but a CCTV camera would catch the criminal in the act and potentially help police identify them.


Controlled Access

Access control is a system that only allows authorised people into a specific area. Permission to enter this area is requested by personal identification, usually an ID card or even a fingerprint scanner. This can be highly beneficial in school, for students or staff. If rooms contain confidential information, you can set the system to only allow specific staff in and no students. This can stop data breaches from occurring.


Here at Stok K9 Security Services, we provide a wide range of security measures that can keep your school safe. If you are concerned about the safety of your staff or pupils, please get in touch with us, and we will be there to help every step of the way.

By Anthony Velly On

Most businesses would benefit from having manned guarding, most commonly known as security guards. Some businesses are more targeted by crimes such as theft, vandalism, and trespassing, so these places should always hire security guards to ensure the safety of staff and the public. Other security measures, such as CCTV cameras, should also be installed, but the presence of a security guard brings skills that electronic safety measures aren’t capable of providing.


What Is Manned Guarding?

Security guards are employed by the government or a private party to protect assets (property, equipment, people, documents, etc.) from various hazards and threats. A common misconception is that security guards don’t have any more legal rights than members of the public; they are just hired to provide safety.


7 Places That Should Have Manned Guarding


Many people enter hospitals every day for multiple reasons; it’s impossible to keep track of everybody entering. Hospitals and other medical centres should hire security guards and place them in strategic places, such as entrances, exits, and every hospital floor.


Residential Buildings

Monitoring who enters residential buildings, like flats, is crucial. People want to feel safe in their own homes; residential security provides this safety. Security guards on-site ensure access is only granted to the right people.


Large Events

Large scale events such as concerts and festivals are often places with a high amount of criminal activity. Security guards ensure nobody suspicious enters. They also look out for anything dangerous, such as drug dealing, and call the police when necessary. Alongside this, they are also on the lookout to help with medical emergencies.



Office spaces are always at risk of unwanted visitors. Some offices contain highly confidential and sensitive information. The presence of a security guard helps to keep private information safe and keep the occupants of the office safe from crime.



Museums often contain rare and expensive items, attracting criminals, thieves in particular. Security guards keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously. Guards are trained to pick up on behaviour that the average person might miss.



Possibly the place where security guards are most vital, banks are at a massive risk of theft and even armed robbers. Banks require the highest trained security guards as they are such high risk.



Shoplifting is a crime that happens every day; a 2019 study found that 359,156 shoplifting incidents were recorded in the UK- almost 1,000 a day. For this reason, security guards in shops are crucial in keeping stock safe and revenue up.


Benefits of Manned Guarding

Deter Criminals

Just the presence of a security guard can help prevent criminal activity. A vandal is much less likely to damage property if a security guard stood watching over them, right? 


Stop Criminals

Not only do guards deter criminals, but they can also stop them in the act. They are legally allowed to arrest somebody if they have reason to believe they are committing a crime. (The same rights as the public, but guards are more likely to step in and make an arrest)


Provide a Sense of Security

It is essential to ensure your staff and the public feel safe; having security guards provides a feeling of security. Of course, this is not a false sense of security; they provide more safety alongside peace of mind.


Monitor behaviour

Security guards are highly observant. They keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour and will report anything that doesn’t sit right. Trained guards are likely to pick up on things the average person might miss.


Provide Customer Service

Security guards are there to welcome guests and provide helpful information when needed, for example, directions to a particular area of the building. 


If you have any questions regarding manned guarding or any other form of security, please get in touch with us. Here at Stok K9 Security Services, we offer a huge range of services to keep your premises safe.

By Anthony Velly On

Hotels have many people coming and going from the building every day; this makes it difficult to track who is in the building and difficult to patrol and monitor behaviour. This is why hotel security is essential. Strong security measures keep staff, visitors, and the hotel’s reputation protected.

Thanks to technological advances, hotel security is becoming more effective and easier to put into place. Even though electronic security is highly effective, the presence of security guards is still a massive factor in deterring problems from occurring. So, let’s get on with it. Here’s your guide to hotel security.


Security Risks Hotels Face

Unauthorised Visitors

Due to countless guests, it’s hard for staff in a hotel to know every guest and keep track of who should be in the building. Guests are also legally allowed to bring visitors into a building, making it even harder for staff to monitor everybody coming in and out. This, unfortunately, means that if no security measures are in place, a potentially dangerous person can easily slip into a hotel unnoticed.



Theft is a risk many commercial properties face, hotels included. It has been known for guests to break into other rooms and steal belongings. Not only this, but guests often steal from hotel rooms. Whilst you can probably spare the cost of some shampoo or a towel if more significant items are stolen, this could set the hotel back a big chunk of money.


Damage to Parked Cars

Guests often leave their cars parked in hotel car parks for an extended period. Cars unattended for days on end can attract criminals, resulting in theft and vandalism. Suppose no CCTV cameras or other safety measures are in place. In that case, guests may not feel comfortable leaving their vehicles at a hotel, therefore stopping someone from choosing that hotel over others.


Security Measures to Put Into Place

Security Guards

Just the presence of a security guard acts as a deterrent to dangerous and criminal behaviour. Guards in a hotel can effectively stop unwanted guests from entering the building. Alongside working as a deterrent, security guards can step in and act accordingly if any criminal or suspicious behaviour occurs. 


Access Control Systems

Installing access control systems enable you to decide and track who enters certain parts of a building. Guests obviously expect only themselves and housekeeping to have access to their allocated room. Also, spaces like bars, gyms, and function rooms are usually only available for specific visitors; access control systems allow this type of management. 


CCTV Camera Systems

Security cameras can be placed in various locations to ensure hotel safety. Placing a CCTV camera in reception can deter criminal behaviour, keeping reception staff safe. CCTV cameras are a great option to install in your hotel car park. They can stop criminals from committing vandalism, and also if an incident does occur, they could help identify the suspect.


Other Ways You Can Increase Hotel Security


You might have many physical security solutions in place, but have you thought about cybersecurity? You should ensure your Wi-Fi runs on a secure network and is protected with a strong username and password. Up to 88% of UK companies have suffered breaches in the last 12 months, a study by Carbon Black found.

You also should make sure all computer systems in your hotel use passwords and are protected against viruses.


Inform and Educate your Staff

Consider setting time aside in your usual staff meetings to talk about security and safety in the hotel. Training videos are a great option; videos about what suspicious behaviour to look out for and how to deal with an emergency.


Improve Lighting

Ensure that isolated areas are well lit. Studies have shown that good lighting reduces crime by up to 36% in cities; the same likely applies to hotels. Concentrate on secluded areas such as corridors and car parks, and ensure adequate lighting outside rooms to avoid theft.


Excellent Customer Service

The saying ‘kill them with kindness’ comes to mind here; excellent customer service can prevent unwanted guests from entering your building. Encourage your staff to talk to guests, ask if they need any help. This way, staff can determine whether someone should be in the building. 


If you have any questions about installing hotel security or would just like some further information, contact us at Stok K9 Security Services. We are more than happy to help.

By Anthony Velly On

Security guards are a popular form of security in many different properties and environments. Other security measures such as CCTV systems are effective, but having a security guard means somebody can step in when a situation occurs. Working as a security guard is challenging and sometimes dangerous, but they can prevent many bad situations from happening with the proper training and mindset. 

Being a security guard comes with many responsibilities of different levels of threat. Sometimes, there is confusion over what a security guard is legally allowed to do. What is their duty, and what needs to be left to higher authorities?


Some Main Responsibilities of a Security Guard

Be a Visible Deterrent of Crime

One of the most critical parts of being a security guard is always being visible whilst remaining as discrete as possible. Staying visible is one of the biggest deterrents to crime. For example, a shoplifter is far less likely to steal something from a shop if a security guard stands at the door. 

Always Stay Alert

Security guards always need to be on the lookout for potential risks; therefore, they must stay alert. Somebody with a short attention span, bad eyesight, or weak sense of smell won’t make for the best security guard. For example, they should detect the smell of a chemical leak and immediately let the right person know.

Remain Calm and Take Action In A Crisis

A security guard needs to know how to respond correctly to different situations, depending on the threat level. They need the mindset to remain calm whilst still acting fast. A lot of courage is required to be a security guard.

Remain Observant

A security guards job is not over once an emergency is stopped. The guard must continue to stay observant, looking out for any suspicious behaviour at all times. After an incident does occur, they also must report back everything that happened to authorities. Therefore, they must have good memory alongside observing skills. 

Make Sure Procedures Are Followed

Following policies and rules is an essential part of the job. For example, they might have to check the ID of everyone entering the building or preventing photography in a particular area. Security guards need to make sure these rules are always followed by staff and the public.

Be There to Help Guests

Acting as a concierge is often part of a security guards job. This means they need to be friendly, approachable and helpful, whilst remaining professional and alert. Being there to help guests whilst staying observant of surroundings requires excellent attention to detail.

Communicate With Authorities

In certain situations, the police should be contacted, as security guards only have a certain level of authority. Security guards need to acknowledge that they can’t act in the same way a police officer would.

Also, guards need to collect all information that higher authorities may need at a later date. For example, details that could identify a criminal. Even if a property has CCTV cameras, the identity of a criminal is not always clear, so a security guard’s skills can be a massive help.

Things a Security Guard Legally Has The Right to Do

Make an Arrest

Security guards don’t actually have any more legal rights than a member of the public! A company just hires them to provide safety. Just like the public, guards can arrest if they have a good reason.

Under section 24s of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, everybody can arrest if:

  • Someone is committing an offence, or you have reasonable grounds for suspecting them to be committing an offence
  • Somebody is guilty of committing a crime, and you have reasonable grounds for suspecting they are guilty

Search Suspicious Unattended Possessions

If a bag, or any other item, has been left unattended and the circumstances seem suspicious, then a security guard has the right to search these possessions. This is in the best interest of public safety.

Search an Unconcious Person to Identify Them

If somebody is unconscious and a security guard is trying to identify them, they can search the person for identification. This is in the best interest of the individual’s safety.

Refuse You Entry

A security guard is legally allowed to refuse you entry to a premise if they have a good reason. For example, if they ask to search your bag and you refuse. This is a rule that the premise owners often set.

Things a Security Guard Doesn’tDoesn’t Legally Have the Right to Do

Carry a Weapon

No, remember that security guards have the same legal rights as a member of the public. Therefore, in the UK, they are not allowed to carry weapons such as guns or tasers. They are permitted to carry handcuffs but should always receive proper training to use them correctly.

Use Excessive Force

Just like members of the public, security guards are only legally allowed to use reasonable force. As per the Criminal Law Act 1967, guards can ”use as much force as is valid in the circumstances in preventing crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large. ”

Perform a Search Without Your Permission

Security guards cannot search you, your possessions, or your property, without your consent. If a security guard has arrested someone on suspicion of shoplifting, they must wait for the police to arrive to search the person.

If you have any questions regarding a security guards responsibilities or would like information about any other security systems, please get in touch with us, and we will be happy to help.