The various police bodies of a country are part of the structure of a state . These bodies are intended to ensure the safety of citizens. Its actions must be understood in the context of public security, that is, the whole of citizenship. In contrast to this model is private security.
Both public and private security are developed in a specific normative field. As a general idea, it should be noted that in its public dimension, security is available to citizens, while it is part of those who can pay for a complementary service . As a general rule, people who are dedicated to private security are known as vigilantes or security guards and have certain specific assignments and training.
The most common services practiced by private security guards are the following: control of subway facilities, private companies, condominiums, escort services, night surveillance in any type of establishment, etc.
As a general criterion, the private security guard must try to prevent any type of crime and protect the physical integrity of people, as well as their material assets at work.
In relation to the knowledge of various disciplines are included private security professionals: criminal law, court proceedings, psychology, use of weapons, self defense, among others. People who carry out these activities must pass psycho-technical tests and obtain a permit from the state that allows them to carry out their activity as a private security guard.
The Private Security Debate
In many countries, there is controversy about private security and especially in relation to companies and professionals engaged in this activity. The social debate presents aspects that are potentially conflicting:
1) the use of weapons;
2) the training received by professionals;
3) the social and labor situation of the guards;
4) the difficulty to delimit their functions within the law;
5) cases of abuse of authority among guards.
This sector receives criticism in several ways. On the one hand, security guards become a semi-police body, that is, a parallel police body, which generates a certain tension between the two security models. On the other hand, private security becomes an instrument to limit citizens’ rights and freedom .