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Concerned security 1

Private security operatives and mechanical restrains

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Concerned security 1

I would like some opinions.

I'm a PSO (private security operative) and I work in night clubs and venues across various counties but mostly in the UKs Motorsport capital.

I have a large amount of colleagues and myself who carry and are willing to deploy mechanical restrains.

I have on a few rare occasions deployed mechanical restrains to stop a person leaving or to detain or arrest them before a police officer gets to me and my colleagues to prevent assaults, further criminal damage or in one case prevent a suicide.

Now I would like some opinions.

Security guards/door staff etc... Do you think they should be aloud to carry and deploy mechanical restraints.

Yes there is argument for the private sector taking over policing and other various arguments of the like but the way I see it mechanical restraints are not a status symbol of a police officer or whatever. Mechanical restraints they are a tool for restraining someone against their will to be awnser able for an offence and to prevent a further crime occurring.

This is all under S24 aka any persons arrest.

The only difference is I am using mechanical restraint such as police officer to stop them for going before a police officer gets there and takes them I to custards.

So PSOs and handcuffs? Good or bad?

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This topic has nothing to do with the Special Constabulary or UK Policing so is not suited to the General Discussion forum.

Therefore, topic moved to: Help me! Everything Else.

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Bad, and frankly, you shouldn't need to come and ask us. You should be clear on the law, you should be clear on what you can and can't do and you should be clear on when you can and can't restrain someone. You really wouldn't like my opinion of "Private Security Operatives."

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There is a fine line in my mind between protecting a venue, turfing out trouble makers ect to actively carrying handcuffs in the event that you need to arrest someone using 'Any Person Powers under PACE.'

This 'mechanical Restraint' guff is nonsense, lets get that out of the way, I have never, ever heard any cop refer to handcuffs as 'mechanical restraints' they are 'handcuffs' (never even heard our OPT instructors refer to cuffs in such a manner.)

You CAN carry handcuffs and even use them BUT you MUST be able to justify their use every time you do decide to use them and also ensure that the force used was 'reasonable' - if you use them and there use isnt deemed as reasonable later on down the line it becomes assault, this is before we even touch on the subject of training issues around the use of cuffs.

I personally am very wary of Security Staff carrying handcuffs because (and I don't mean to sound harsh here) the training isn't up to scratch, the quality of alot of security staff frankly isn't up to scratch and the SIA in my humble opinion certainly isn't up to scratch to regulate it. A nightclub bouncer who's job it is to kick people out of private venues, monitor doors ect in my mind doesn't really need to carry them, the SIA doesn't train staff in there use routinely either and I'm fairly sure they wouldn't condone the use of them.

All that being said I do feel 'Loss Prevention Officers' or 'Store Detectives' do potentially have a need to carry handcuffs in certain circumstances, they routinely detain people for an indictable offence (it is their very job description) and often have to sit on folk until police can respond, this does expose them to a risk of confrontation. Again I would like to see some form of training rolled out before this became the norm and I'd also like to see these guards trained up in statement writing and also carry a record of notes and trained up in how to accurately record those notes (basically issued a pocketbook and trained to use it.)

Adamanski hit the nail on the head though, before asking when, why and how to use cuffs AFTER you've already used them, you REALLY should know already - you're leaving yourself wide open here to not only civil complaints but criminal ones too.

Edited by Radman

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I have on a few rare occasions deployed mechanical restrains to stop a person leaving or to detain or arrest them before a police officer gets to me and my colleagues to prevent assaults, further criminal damage or in one case prevent a suicide.

Now I would like some opinions.

So PSOs and handcuffs? Good or bad?

Radman is largely right although I'll pick up on a couple of his points.

I accept that by you using the term 'mechanical restraints' you're using the noun to encompass other forms of restraint; the military refer to handcuffs as one of the forms of mechanical restraint, there are others.

Legally you're on dodgy ground and clearly you don't know the law anywhere nearly as well as you should. You should never ever "detain" somebody without having arrested them; only PCs and PCSOs have a power of pre-arrest detention and only then in limited circumstances. As you are making the distinction between arrest and detention you have misguided yourself into believing you have a power which you don't. Sure you can arrest somebody but you cannot detain somebody without having first arrested them. This applies to whether you're using handcuffs or not.

As a member of the public (read 'PSO') you have no special powers to use handcuffs and only designated security staff are granted this power in law (these are people like detention and escort officers). Therefore any use of them must be justified to the nth degree.

As Radman has said most security guards receive very poor training and it's worth bearing in mind that the SIA do not provide training to anybody, it's the job of private companies to deliver this. If you're not 100% sure of the law don't even consider it.

Before carrying handcuffs you should:

  • Gain written authorisation from your employer (e.g. G4S)
  • Have written authorisation from the client you're working for (e.g. JobCentre)
  • Are covered by a current, valid insurance policy that cover mechanical restraints
  • Be in receipt of current, valid training from a reputable training provider
  • Carry a pocket-notebook to document your use of force
  • Have a company use of force policy in place
  • Be prepared to be arrested yourself if a complaint is made against you

Unfortunately security guards do get arrested for using/misusing handcuffs and you have to be prepared for the ramifications (e.g. potential suspension/revocation of your SIA licence, being taken to court etc.)

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