Although it may not seem fair, private security firms have to strike a careful balance as they do their work.
On the one hand, individuals and businesses who use these security firms obviously expect to do its job by keeping a premises free of disorder and crime.
To some extent, it is fair to expect that a security business will do what it is paid to do. However, customers and the public can get an unrealistic expectation that a firm will stop all criminal activity on a premises.
On the other hand, security firms and their employees must follow the law when doing their jobs. After an encounter, officers may be accused of abusing their authority and may face allegations including battery, false imprisonment or violating a person’s civil rights.
Security firms do not have to prevent all criminal conduct
Security firms are expected to their jobs well. However, just like the public police force, private security officers cannot be expected to stop all criminal activity in the places they are protecting.
As applied to security guards, the legal rules of negligence and premises liability both vary from state to state and are fact-sensitive.
However, in general, whether a security firm has to pay compensation to a crime victim will depend on whether or not the firm could have anticipated the crime. A security organization must take appropriate steps to prevent foreseeable criminal activity.
Firms do have the right to use reasonable force in security work
In most states, security guards have a right to use physical force in the course of their jobs. Under New York law, for example, physical force can be permitted in certain circumstances in order to protect both people and property.
Security guards may have other privileges as well, but they and their employers should be aware of how the laws apply to them.
Despite having some legal protections, because they are trying to strike a difficult balance, even the best managed security firms can get sued from time to time. When a lawsuit comes, the firm will want to have a proper legal defense.