Sophisticated surveillance tools mean many companies wonder if there’s a place for old-school foot patrols. Private security guards were once the frontline of defence, but live video feeds have taken property security online. Why should a company put human lives at risk by asking guards to monitor properties through night and control access during the day?

One answer lies in training. Imperial Security foot patrols hold government-approved training from accredited providers, meaning guards have the knowledge and tools needed to determine when it’s necessary to engage and de-escalate an encounter and when to simply observe. Just because private security guards are present on a property, doesn’t mean they have to engage with intruders. Gauging situations to determine the best course of action is a skill accredited security guards have.

While technology allows surveillance and the collection of evidence when an incident occurs, private security guards add a human dimension that can prevent crime. An intruder wants to avoid a confrontation almost as much as a security guard does. While a video camera and sensors will alert property managers to a security breach, many intruders know they’ve got a number of minutes before someone arrive to apprehend them. Security guards, however, are already on site and can react in real time. Given a choice, most intruders will opt for a property where no one’s present.

Technology can be cost-effective relative to the expense of patrols, especially where security coverage needs to encompass a number of buildings. However, it can only record facts. A private security guard, whether on foot or on bike, can cover ground and observe with all five senses. This can add valuable information to an incident report and provide context a surveillance camera might not pick up, such as particular smells, sounds and of course real-time visual evidence. Moreover, when providing access control, guards develop a familiarity with regular site visitors and can discern change in behaviour and patterns that may indicate security risks.

Finally, just because a human is involved doesn’t mean technology isn’t. Imperial Security equips its guards with the technology needed to collect evidence accurate and efficiently. A mobile app allows guards to file reports as patrols unfold, whether on foot or bike. Data is entered with precise time and coordinate data. All mobile patrols have dash cams that provide a video record of actions taken. The combination doubles down on the protection companies receive, ensuring peace of mind.