As a security guard, you may be required to search bodies or vehicles. One key thing to remember is that you have no powers and can only do this with permission.
There are certain per-requisites for a search;
1. Is the person ( employee, visitor) aware they will be searched? In certain premises a body and property search is a requirement for entry.
2.Are you permitted to make a search? Be sure if this is part of your responsibility as stated in your assignments instructions.
3. It is important to secure the consent of the person being searched before it happens. If you do not get permission you can prevent entry on ti the premises.
There are differ types of searches;
Routine; this is a basic approach usually clearly stated in assignment instructions and can be performed on a daily basis.
Intelligence- based; these are conducted on the discovery or revelation of information on a specific issue.
People; certain premises require for visitors and staff to be searched before entry or at random.
Bags; just as a person may be searched so also can their bag, this is usually done at the same time.
Vehicle; this may be conducted as well as a person and bag search.
How to do a search
It is important to carry out a search professionally and effectively bearing in mind that searches are intrusive and considering you don’t have the powers to force a search, it is worth doing so mindful of the permission you’ve been given to do so.
- During every search you are representing your employer
- Always ask permission before searching
- Show empathy and respect at all times during a search, some people have mobility issues, support them and others may be uncomfortable with the search, bear this in mind
- Keep in control of the process, prevent interference and do not allow others to observe your actions or mislead them
Maintaining levels of professionalism when searching;
- You can allow individuals to assist in the search by revealing their contents of their pockets and bags
- Same sex searching should be practised where possible, in consideration for those who may be embarrassed by the search
- The presence of another member of your security team will go a long way to to serve as a witness in the event that a member of the public may accuse of inappropriate activity
- Ensure the right environments are available for searches, in some circumstances, some may need to take clothing off like religious grabs.
When a discovery is made during a search
- Contact management
- Confiscate the items found
- Call the police when necessary
- Provide an incident report