Street crime

Street crime

Do you know that historically, the street crime grew in relation to population growth?

The rise in crime in England is accelerating. According to the police figures, the London murder rate surpasses New York for the first time in modern history.

 

To counter street crime we have to first understand the reasons behind occurrence. This can be social background, poverty, inequality, toxic masculinity, alcohol abuse, deprivation, marginalisation, limited job opportunities, social exclusion.

Psychological speaking, police tactics of stop and search can lead people and gangs to feelings of mistrust, marginalisation, victimisation, and of course huge resentment towards the police. Gang members are significantly more likely than others to carry weapons as a motivator of mistrust factors. Instead of a punitive enforcement approach, we have to turn our attention to more effective measures. This can be involvement in public safety programs, trust building and a bigger presence in youths educational programs to rise awareness about the consequences of violence and street crime.

 

Even more importantly, we have to take into consideration the fact that youth centres and projects have been closed or affected by public funding cuts. With local councils budgets cut by 50%, statistics reported that between 2012 and 2016, over 600 centres where closed. This leads the young generation to find alternative activities after-school. Without the support and safe place they find in the local youth clubs, they easily get swallowed by the claws of street gangs.

 

“I think this has been one of the problems with policy: we say our risk of being a victim of violence is much lower, but who are ‘we’ and who are we not including in that category?” Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies told the Guardian.

With 132 homicides occurred in London last year it may not seem like a huge number for the government to take some feasible actions. On top of that, financial cuts obliged police officers number to drop, even if on the Metropolitan Police website you can apply for a police officer career. Misinformation is spreading. With the lowest record level since the ‘80, the police officers in England are becoming overwhelmed. With only three police officers for 1000 people that London has on dispose of, and over 200,000 police officers personnel reduction in the last 8 years across England, it is clear that the city safe needs more support.

 

To prevent streets crime, security companies should take a stance and always look in the best interest of the public safety and staff. After all, this is their very core of the business itself.

With an increased need for manned security on a variety of industries serving the public service, from the security point of view, most companies are overlooking the safety of their staff and public. Due to the growth of marketplace requirements, the competition is more focused on thriving at all cost. Is rather disturbing the fact that security companies accept any kind of contract without a deeper consciousness and safety of the clients and employees. As a private security company, Shield had to turn down contracts where the client requested only one security officer for the gathering of more than 100 people. Without risings the awareness of the implications that may result in an incident of any kind, the clients will always look for the fewer expensiveness solutions.

 

The cost of freedom is always high. In an age of anxiety, across the security industry, officers face various dangerous incidents from time to time. The tragedy of Mr Tudor Simionov in the early hours of New Year’s Day is no exception. Attracting a lot of media attention and involvement in creating awareness about nightlife, clients and security providers should take a step back to analyse those risks. Is it possible to overcome a certain situation with only three security on a private event in central London? The reality shows us not, and Tudor pays the price for standing in the way of gatecrashers.

This article is not intended to debate or presume the occurrence of the incident. However, questions should be risen if a venue risk assessment was conducted. If the security officers working on that night were directly contracted by the event manager or if they worked for a security company. How many guests attended to the event, and if they were high profile clients who decide that only three security officers are enough for the event? Do the security officers had any training in conflict management, and did they knew the legislation of this country? Prior to the attack, the security officers knew to “buy some time” before denying entrance on the premises to alert the police?

 

Without a doubt, your role as a retail security, door supervisor, Close Protection or event security carriers different responsibilities and risks.

So, should we start looking into protective equipment when working the doors? I say yes, and if you haven’t already, now more than ever, is time to invest into a body armour vest.

With the nature of unforeseen risks, we cannot just rely on a risk assessment as frontline staff. And with the legislation in force, we aren’t allowed to wear any other protective types of equipments in the line of duty to defend against street crime.

 

The ballistic vest may seem extreme, however, the severity of risk you may be exposed to facing aggression or threats should be carefully assessed for the most likely scenario. A Kevlar stabbing resistant vest it is a real need as a piece of effective personal protection equipment. Moreover, cut, slash and even human biting resistant clothing can add an extra layer of protection against violent attacks toward frontline professionals.

That’s not all. Without better training in conflict management, self-defence, restraint techniques, every security who exposed themselves by the nature of their work are at risk.

 

Personally, I wish there will be a union for security officers to serve the best interest not only of their members but of the whole industry workers. The implications will be much more beneficial for security companies, their clients they serve and staff who put their life on the line.

Posted by Alexandru Zamfir

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