Quell Training

Physical Intervention in the Security Sector: Who is at more at risk?

Physical Intervention in the Security Sector: Who is at more at risk?

We were recently asked the question above in relation to a Door Supervisor on a Nightclub door or a Security Guard in a department or supermarket?

Well initially the thoughts would be that it is a lot higher risk in the Door Supervisors world, however you need to understand the environment and pressures to see the real risk.

Many different organisations and awarding bodies have been toying with the idea that anyone in retail should hold a Physical Intervention qualification as they are now seeing the risks faced by different sectors.

So what do we think?

A door person has usually another team member on hand and can also have worked a long shift so are mentally ready for differing levels of abuse and threats inclusive of what we call the opportunist fighter (the drunk who just wants to fight the world). Apart from this they are usually in populated areas and quite often police are on hand who are also in the right frame of mind to react to spontaneous aggression or violence.  It also has to be noted that they would have had some form of physical training, or attend a gym or hobby that can be physical e.g. boxing, mixed martial arts or kick boxing. So when you stack these together not only are they physically prepared, but also mentally alert to problems or issues.  In addition to these facts the introduction of the Physical Intervention element has also allowed a larger number of door staff to be trained in disengagement and holding skills.

On the other hand a Security guard that works in the retail sector has different problems and aggression to face, but they can also be faced with people being drunk or on illegal drugs trying to commit an offence. The difference can also be that he or she can be working alone (lone working) and also with no immediate back up, for example they could encounter a violent act on a Tuesday afternoon in the winter so therefore the reaction from the PSNI could be greatly increased to hours instead on minutes. They encounter everything from shop lifting, threatening behaviour to people with learning or emotional problems.  In many cases the security staff in this area are not physically prepared or trained in situations of what to do in the case of an assault and therefore rely on their own experience to escape, and that can lead to escalation or serious injury.

Overall when you sit back and look at the two roles, it can be seen that they are streets apart and something does need to be done, whether it is adding more staff, increasing the CCTV (primary) systems, or the best approach so far would be to implement a recognised training plan to give the guards the required level of training to not only defuse high risk but to escape the situation safely.

If it was my choice on what job to do, I would select the Nightclub any day as not only would I have backup from my fellow door team who have been trained, but also the training and support to protect myself and others.

Blog Will Holland


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