The Queensland Police Service 2011-12 Annual Statistical Review reveals that from 2011 to 2012, there has been a 6% increase in the rate of offences against property and a 2% increase in the rate of offences against the person since the previous year. It is this increase in crime that has made security a necessity for businesses, government institutions, and many households.
With more than 300 security companies currently operating in Queensland, choosing one can be a daunting task. However, there are some key questions to ask when deciding which is the right security provider for you.
What are the costs?
Always the first question on anyone’s mind. You may be on a budget, but it is important to be wary of companies that pitch on price. If a company has low rates it is usually because something has been sacrificed along the line, whether it be the quality of its products and services, or the legitimacy of its business practices. This could have serious repercussions on you, your business and your security.
What is their experience? Do they have the right people for the job?
Everyone has to start somewhere, but it is better to select security providers that are well established and have good experience. If there is a particular threat that you are concerned with, ask about their experience with that concern. What are the qualifications of the staff? People with a diverse and long-running education and experience in their field show that they are genuinely interested in their job. Security providers that know your local area and its particular concerns should be highly regarded.
If you are using guards, ask about hiring and screening processes. It is best not to find out the hard way that the guards that are working for you are incompetent, inappropriate for the role, or even unlicensed, particularly in a role which involves constant interaction with the public.
Any company that intends to do business with you should be able to do a safety audit of the site.
What range of services and products do they provide? What do I need?
If you require several different services and products, for example CCTV, alarm monitoring, access control systems, and security guards, you may want to choose a company that provides all of these services in-house. This prevents having conflicts of interest and miscommunication between the different departments.
Are they adhering to all relevant legislation?
A surprising amount of security providers do not comply with the industry standards and regulations. It pays to know the laws of both the security industry and laws concerning the site, particularly Workplace Health and Safety. Don’t be afraid to investigate your security provider’s business practices. It could save you much trouble down the track.
Will they go the extra mile to help?
Picking up glasses, assisting patrons and the public, being a friend, doing little favours – it is these small things that make all the difference.