Security guards are also known as security officers, security inspectors, or protective agents. Typically, security guard services are employed by the government to protect a business residence or a private person to protect people, property, money, equipment, etc. from different types of hazards.
Furthermore, security guards can protect you from any criminal activity, damaged property, unsafe worker behaviour, etc. by enforcing preventive and safety measures. These highly trained officers do their duties by maintaining a high-visibility presence to prevent illegal, criminal, and inappropriate actions.
They are always available to look for signs of possible crimes and safety hazards. Their ultimate duties are to minimize damage to property, make warnings, and escort trespassers off the property. They also report incidents or crimes in the area to their clients and emergency services.
However, the extent of authority that security guard services offer is a point of contention for most people. When it comes to stop and search, most people wonder whether a security guard is authorized to search passers-by. In this blog, we explore the duties of security guard services in Toronto and whether or not they can search you.
Can a Security Guard Search You?
In Toronto, security guards are allowed to search you only if they have a warrant of arrest. They can also search you if they have permission from a governing body and if you are within the authority of that body. Keep in mind that the power of security guards to search is much more limited than that of police officers.
In most cases, even if you steal something, the guard should wait for police officers to arrive on the scene. As officers of the law, they have jurisdiction to do the searching.
Also, even if there is a sign stating that searching is a condition of entry, you can refuse to be searched. However, if you refuse to let the security guard search, they may ask you to either leave the building or refuse admission.
For commercial buildings with valuable properties, refusing to allow a security guard to search you may be cause for suspicion. In this case, they may perform a citizen’s arrest.
Do You Have to go with a Security Guard if They Ask You?
You can refuse to go with security guard services and their operatives if they haven’t arrested you. However, the guard might ask you to leave the premises on behalf of the owner. They can also refuse to let you in, for one reason or the other.
If you don’t leave when they ask you to, you may be accused of trespassing. If that happens, they can use reasonable force to remove you.
Moreover, if you are under a citizen’s arrest, they can detain you as long as the police are not yet on scene. Furthermore, they can use reasonable force to do this.
What Authority do Security Guards in Toronto Have?
Security officers under the employ of professional security companies may be hired by private citizens or commercial organizations. While a security guard licence is important, they do not have exclusive legal authority like the police.
However, a security guard on premises over which they have jurisdiction has the legal rights to perform the following duties:
If a security guard has witnessed an actual crime, they can perform a lawful citizen’s arrest. Arresting becomes more legal if they have witnessed a felony. Also, it’s essential to take note that “arrest” in essence means detaining the suspect. As private citizens, private guards are held to the same standards as every other citizen.
A citizen’s arrest allows the guard to detain the criminal or trespasser while immediately contacting the police to make a valid arrest. Also, restraints may be used to hold the suspect as long as the restraint is considered reasonable.
Jurisdiction on Private Property
The authority of a non-police security guard is limited only to the property they have been hired to protect. Along with this, they are authorized to stop an individual from performing prohibited acts inside the premises.
They can also ask the person to leave the private property. If the behaviour persists, they may detain the individual by making a citizen’s arrest.
Use Weapons and Force
When it comes to the use of “reasonable force,” it is only allowed when detaining or ejecting a person on private property. Besides, the use of force should be reasonable based on the severity of the crime and the risk facing the guard and other individuals.
While reasonable force is permissible, it is crucial for security guards to act with caution and not with impulse. They should be careful not to use unnecessary force, especially if it involves weapons that may cause severe physical damage and hurt legal proceedings.
Consequently, if a guard oversteps bounds by detaining or using force outside of self-defence, it can lead to serious legal consequences.
Usually, a security guard is not licensed and allowed to search a person without their permission. Even if they suspect the person possesses stolen property, searching them or their property is not permitted.
Due to state law’s protection of the individual’s rights, the power to search is highly restricted. A guard’s authority to search a person or his/her personal property is typically limited to the police. It must be conducted with a warrant or consent from the suspect.
More so, searching is also permitted in cases where permission has been granted by contract. It is also allowed when the security guard company has required signed agreements stating that searches may be conducted.
Why Hire a VIP Security?
Hiring a VIP or Executive security prevents physical harassment. VIP security differs from a regular crowd control or static security service. With this specialist kind of security service, security guards are personally responsible for protecting a particular person.
Below are some of the common reasons why certain people and celebrities might be targeted and need protection.
- Political aspirations
- Other personal concerns
These are some of the reasons why VIP security services exist. They are there to protect all the VIPs. This kind of security also helps to guarantee at least some semblance of privacy while an individual is at home or on location somewhere.
For example, even if there is no immediate danger, over-enthusiastic fans can also cause harm when they get too close to a popular celebrity. The main advantage of hiring VIP or executive security services is the experience and protection expertise that they offer.
If you are in need of VIP security or security services, consider Northern Force Security. We offer Executive or VIP security services and other protection services. More importantly, every one of our security officers has the requisite security guard licence, training and experience. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 647-982-1385 for faster contact.