Should security guards be armed to protect themselves?

In South Africa most security guards are expected to work and often fight crime without firearms.

Are these guards life's put in harms way by their employers for not equipping them with necessary tools to fight the kind of crimes we have in the country?

A security guard at Shoprite Heidelberg just outside Johannesburg was shot dead by robbers while trying to disarm one of the them.

Head of Justice and Violence Prevention at Institute for Security Studies, Gareth Newham says crime has got more violent in South Africa over the last five to six years, more people are being attacked in their homes and on the streets.

Read: How a brave listener tried to defend a security guard from attackers

There's a large number of people employed as security guards in South Africa, more than the number of police officers.

Gareth Newham, Head of Justice and Violence Prevention at Institute for Security Studies

We would expect businesses to be lot more aware of the dangers that such people experience. Companies just outsource the security function to a private security company and they don't think much more about it...

Gareth Newham, Head of Justice and Violence Prevention at Institute for Security Studies

Newham says companies need to provide training to these security guards on how they can protect themselves when incidents like this occur and that they should not be any situation where they put their lives in danger.

You wouldn't really want a situation where you put your security guard's life at risk without providing some kind of training on how to defend themselves and not put their lives in danger...

Gareth Newham, Head of Justice and Violence Prevention at Institute for Security Studies

To hear the rest of the interview with Gareth Newham, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Should security guards be armed to protect themselves?


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