Research shows that private security workers now outnumber public police officers in most parts of the world. The market for private security services is worth billions of dollars, and the value will continue to increase as new threats emerge.
Private security companies meet the security needs of their clients by providing both armed and unarmed security services. They employ their expertise to serve both the needs of businesses and individuals in the private and public sectors. With services ranging from front desk guards to patrol security, the industry continues to grow rapidly.
It is no surprise then that something as niche as on-demand security is beginning to take shape. Though it's relatively new, there is a lot of potential for companies that can figure out the logistics and costs.
What is on-demand private security?
Businesses and individuals have come to understand the need for physical security. This is why they partner with agencies that can offer professional, reliable security services. On-demand private security is a cutting-edge solution in the private security industry that provides security services to clients anywhere and at whatever time they need it. The premise behind the innovation is simply that one may be unable to anticipate the need for security and should be able to get it when the need arises.
Private security agents are usually vetted professionals who may have been former police officers or military personnel. Depending on the situation, they may also be armed or without weapons, and the private agency delivering the service monitors and oversees their assigned tasks.
How does it work?
Companies or individuals would use an app to request service from a network of security professionals.
The platform may provide real-time information and reports, making it easier for clients to keep track of incidents and how they were resolved. There may also be a GPS tracker, like Uber, to let clients know how far a guard is from the building, store or home. From bookings to managing security orders, the security app will certainly be designed with the user experience in mind.
What can we expect?
With traditional physical security measures like a guard tour system solution, we know what to expect. You hire a team or company, and pay a monthly or annual fee for an agreed collection of services. Some companies may also use a security app like Patrol Points to improve their own operations and bolster transparency between the security team and the client.
The biggest difference between traditional security and on-demand is that the client would pay for only what they need, and perhaps a low monthly subscription fee. Instead of having a guard on duty 8 hours a night for 5 nights each week, a company could schedule the guard for only Thursday and Friday night, for 6 hours each night.
We've seen a few companies hint at the idea of introducing on-demand private security, but it appears testing is still ongoing. Trust must still be established. The security personnel being deployed would not be dispatched by government agencies, and their approach is likely profit-oriented. The drive for profit may create some ethical concerns when safety is the service being provided. Furthermore, if this service is offered in a big city like Chicago or Los Angeles, getting to any emergency in a reasonable amount of time may prove to be challenging. Is the security company held liable if a guard is unable to reach the scene in time? Or does the app creator share the blame?
The app also opens itself up to misinformation or abuse if anyone has the ability to use it. Let's say an individual sees a fight break out and provides incorrect information about one of the participants. With no way to verify facts, the guards may apprehend the wrong person.
What gap does this approach to security fill?
The main benefit of on-demand security is the cost. Clients only have to pay for the services they need. This can be especially attractive to smaller companies with tight budgets.
But this service could also give people an alternative to calling the police. Let's say a person who works at a bar is having trouble with a patron who is intoxicated. They can call the on-demand security service and get the help that they need without having to contact local authorities. This appears to be a convincing motivator for the service; most people can relate to having been in an uncomfortable situation that they didn't consider weighty enough to contact emergency services for.
The desire for private security can arise in a low-risk situation like hosting a small party, or a more serious event like securing an entertainment venue. With the on-demand model, ordering private security is often as easy as booking your next ride, giving communities and individuals more access to safety.
Aside from instant access to security agents on these platforms, on-demand apps would provide necessary services, including on-demand monitoring of clients as well as security checks. If it becomes necessary, the trained personnel can collaborate with authorities and be the first responders to an emergency.
Ordinary situations that require security will always exist. From people boarding vehicles at night to meeting with strangers, on-demand private security platforms make it possible for individuals or small businesses to afford security services when they need them.
Why on-demand security may be the next big thing in the industry
While there is still a lot to figure out, the potential of this security model is evident. It meets a need that has gone unfulfilled for a long time. A common reason why people may be resistant to hiring private security is the long-term commitment. If a business ends up hiring a security company that does not effectively resolve their security issues, then they may have to wait until the contract is over to fire them, or pay some sort of early termination fee. An on-demand service offers the business more freedom and fewer commitments.
Another plus to on-demand private security is the real-time data you can expect with the service. The agency monitors the patrol agents and the client has access to data in real-time. This keeps the security company accountable, and lets the client know exactly how close the guard is to them.
This wave of fusing technology and human efforts to secure lives and assets should help create safer societies. On-demand security, unlike the traditional model, offers a quicker response time combined with expertise to protect individuals and corporate organizations.
Users who employ on-demand private security services should choose their security provider carefully and with good knowledge of the actual services they require. Regardless of the number of clients the company has, it should have a proven track record of satisfying each security need, and doing so whenever and wherever.
Companies that move forward with an on-demand app will need a way to vet guards, and ensure they are qualified to complete the tasks required of them. Similarly, some responsibility must be given to the user requesting the security service. They should only report information that they know is correct to avoid false arrests or accusations.