Whatever its size, layout or location, no doubt you know that as soon as your commercial property becomes vacant, it will flag up its empty status to would-be intruders, vandals, thieves and others with harmful intent.
Most likely, you have considered several security options.
Equally, you may already have them in place.
However, security guards and K9 (security dogs) could be a useful or even essential part of your safeguarding strategy. From Clearway, you can engage these services on a short or long-term contractual basis throughout the UK.
They offer a complementary approach. That is, instincts, intuition, critical thinking, communication, etc. In our experience, there is so much more to manned and canine guarding than meets the eye.
In this article, we’ll explore manned guarding services and security dogs, what each measure can offer you, what scenarios they may suit, and why, upon consideration, they may be the right choice for you.
A Quick Summary – Security Guards and K9
Security guards are highly trained.
They offer top-level, fully SIA-accredited* expertise in looking after offices, shops, public buildings and construction sites. For crowd control, mobile security, stewarding and patrols, they play a crucial role in keeping businesses and people safe.
With their strong loyalty, super-sharp senses and keen instincts, NASDU-trained* K9 protection dogs are a superb added layer of security.
Highly trained and faithful to a fault, they are the ultimate deterrent in safeguarding premises and individuals. In brief, we can’t think of many who, with criminal intent, would be all that keen on coming across an experienced dog handler in charge of a super-strong, ultra-protective Alsatian.
Let’s look at both in more detail.
Clearway guards are fully trained and licensed by the SIA or the Security Industry Authority.
What does the SIA do, exactly? Sponsored by the Home Office, the SIA regulates the UK’s private security industry. Its role is to set and improve standards in the sector, including security guarding. In other words, the guards we engage work continuously to the highest standards.
The Role of a Security Guard
Security guards are primarily responsible for the safety of a property or company they have been hired to protect. The aim is that your vacant property, or its people working around or near it, will never be exposed to any safety threats.
However, they may have a wide range of guarding roles, including:
Static manned guarding
This is a security service mainly focused on one set place. For example, a guard positioned in a significant, specific area of the building – a warehouse or a control room, perhaps. This doesn’t mean they’re rooted to the spot, as they often protect businesses through regular patrols around the property or the site.
Stewarding and crowd control
With large events, organisers are legally obliged to keep everyone safe. Guards can not only marshal and control movement, but they also make people feel more secure simply by being there. Plus, they’re fully trained to identify “difficult” behaviour before it begins.
Security patrols are a core service that involves monitoring or watching over an area by regularly walking or travelling around it. The guards are highly observant with vital skills in spotting and monitoring anything remotely suspicious.
A trained handler with a security dog is a strong deterrent against trespassing, theft and criminal damage. Working together as a bit of a power team, this duo is an additional pair of eyes and ears as they move around the inside or outside of your property.
These security patrols can be scheduled according to the requirements of your site, including checking perimeters and boundaries to look for signs of intrusion. Mobile security offers an effective way to protect assets, vehicles and machinery.
As the phrase implies, a qualified, trained security professional can retain a set of your keys and/or details or alarm or entry codes. Your keyholder will respond to alerts, intruder alarms or any other possible security problems.
Security guards also keep up-to-date documentation on incidents, observations and any irregularities they find. Accurate and timely reporting is essential, too.
Read more about the role of a security guard here.
What Can Security Guards Do – And Not Do?
In case you were wondering, they can:
- Control access by checking ID, credentials, issuing visitor passes, etc.
- Get involved if or when they respond to incidents and security threats. Their role is to de-escalate conflicts and call the emergency services if necessary.
- Help people to evacuate in emergencies.
- Physically intervene where there is an immediate threat to the safety of individuals or property – but the techniques they use must be within ethical and legal boundaries.
But. They can’t:
- Use excessive force; this is strictly against the law.
- Make unlawful arrests (although they do have the right to detain an individual suspected of committing a crime).
- Carry or use weapons.
- Discriminate or harass people.
Dogs and Security – K9
Dogs have been with us for centuries – as loyal companions. Unlike cats – mysterious and elegant – dogs do genuinely seem to love us, and they work incredibly well for our safety and protection.
The Dog Disposition
They have evolved to become our best friends.
But, security dogs aren’t domestic pets by any means. Equally, it’s not for no reason that the police, the military, and private security companies often deploy them.
With its intimidating growls, visceral sharp claws, and strong jaws, most criminals may not want to take on a highly trained security dog. Canine confrontations are to be avoided. We believe security guards and dogs working together can be a heavy deterrent against crime.
Their instincts and senses are outstanding. Their sensitive noses quickly track down illegal substances, suspects, and explosives. They also become aware of things and people before we do – if you have a dog, you’ll know what we mean here.
What K9 Security Offers
Clearway’s dog patrols can complement your security guard or team, or work as a standalone service with a handler. They protect large and small businesses and can, if necessary, be fitted with body cameras in higher-risk situations – with real-time video footage for police use.
As you would expect, security dogs undergo rigorous training.
Our animals are NASDU-accredited (National Association of Security Dog Users – the regulating body in the use of dogs in security environments). They’re schooled in obedience, agility, protection and, of course, due to their heightened sense of smell in drug detection.
With the latter, dogs react quickly and deliver reliable, accurate results. Plus, their presence is passive, eliminating the need for active, manual screening. Nobody with drugs about them is going to go unnoticed.
Where Dogs are Used
Frequently, dogs are used in patrol services; they offer visible safeguarding and can strengthen and complement an area’s overall security.
Also, dogs are ideal for protecting commercial premises, building sites and open spaces, mainly where a lone security officer may be at risk.
They’re fast and agile. Their senses can identify intruders far faster than any trained security guard. In general, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that criminals don’t really like to encounter security dogs and will head off to a more vulnerable setting.
Did You Know?
- Did you know there were estimated to be approximately 268,200 employees in the security sector in the first quarter of 2023 – an increase of 27,500 compared with the previous quarter?*
- A dog’s sense of smell is, unbelievably, 10,000 to 100,000 times more accurate than a human’s.*
- A security guard can make a citizen’s arrest for handing over the intruder/suspect to the police. This power to restrain and detain distinguishes them from civilians.
- Popular breeds of dogs used for security include Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Akitas Giant Schnauzers and Bullmastiffs.
The Benefits of Security Dogs
A strong deterrent against potential intruders. The mere presence of a well-trained, alert dog can greatly discourage intruders and other types of criminal behaviour.
Versatility. Security dogs can be trained to fulfil a range of security roles based on individual needs – for instance, perimeter control, patrolling large areas and providing backup to security staff. Plus, the skills of sniffer dogs make them an invaluable resource in the war against crime.
Outstanding Sensory Abilities. Their vision, sense of smell and hearing are mind-blowing. Dogs’ primary senses blow ours out of the water.
Rapid Responders. Dogs offer immediate resistance when needed. Plus, they can navigate obstacles with agility and speed, covering wide expanses of ground in seconds.
Peerless Obedience and Loyalty. As you know, dogs are pack animals and exhibit unwavering loyalty to their pack leader –their handler. They will quite literally risk their own lives to protect people; their dedication and devotion make them perfect, steadfast guardians of humans and buildings.
Two Legs and Four Legs. In an environment where security threats continuously evolve, security guards and K9 services could be your most valuable allies. Dogs have unique skill sets, and so do people. Well-trained security professionals come in all shapes and sizes. Working together, they’re an intimidating, commanding prospect. Two legs, or four. Or, perhaps both?