When summer comes to Washington, D.C., it brings a flurry of activity along with it. Special events, such as parades, celebrations and marathons, as well as a full-complement of building construction and renovation projects creates a sharp increase in both pedestrian and vehicle traffic throughout the entire area. While this additional activity is what keeps our nation’s capital city fresh and exciting, it also creates excellent cover for thieves, vandals, arsonists and other criminals who try to use it as cover to move about more freely. Security companies in Washington DC like ours must have securigy guards who know how to use their observation skills to stop crimes. Here are some tips.
The Importance of Skilled Observation
While being observant is a positive trait in any business, it is a vital part of each and every assignment for security companies entrusted with protecting the interests of their clients. Vandals, thieves and criminals, even the really experienced ones, usually exhibit behaviors or leave clues that, if noted, can be used to help prevent losses and danger to property and people. In some cases being observant can save lives.
Depending upon the location and type of property in question, security companies depend on their security guards to use a variety of observation skills and procedures to determine potential threats and provide critical information to property owners and local law enforcement. In fact, much of what a professional security guard should note can look like normal behavior to the general public, including the following ten examples of suspicious behavior that might indicate a problem.
- Someone who fails to make or maintain normal eye contact or becomes unusually flustered during casual interactions with pedestrians, officials or other people in the area
- Someone who exhibits more than just a passing interest in security procedures at an event or area
- Someone who creates or attempts to create a distraction to direct the attention of others to or away from a certain area
- Someone who is dressed inappropriately for weather conditions, such as wearing a jacket or coat on a warm day or wearing sunglasses in overcast or poorly lit conditions
- Someone carrying shopping, hotel or restaurant bags that are not recognizable as coming from within the area
- Someone carrying baggage, backpacks or toolboxes that seem grossly out of place for the event or activity
- Someone who fidgets, appears unusually nervous or perspires profusely when conditions or activity levels do not warrant such behaviors
- Someone who seems drawn to or away from a particular area for no apparent reason
- Someone who refuses to leave when asked to do so, or returns later
- Someone who attempts to take photos or make video or audio recordings in a secretive manner or does so in an area that restricts such activities
In addition to watching for unusual activity from pedestrians or crowd members, security guards must be watchful for unusual actions by employees, contractors, support crews and staff on job sites, such as:
- Arriving noticeably early or staying noticeably late
- Parking in areas that are not easily monitored
- Removing items from the jobsite, or carrying an unusually large cooler, lunchbox or briefcase
- Taking an unusual interest in the presence of security personnel or asking questions about security measures such as the location of cameras or the timing of security patrols
Clients Protecting Their Interests
Even with security guards doing the best job possible it is important for business owners to make their own efforts to improve securty above and beyond hring a security company. Business owners should consider taking the following precautions to protect their interests and the guards that are assigned to their location.
- Control access to the site, through manned entrances and exits
- Install and utilize alarm systems and video surveillance equipment
- Install appropriate security fencing, gates, locks and lighting
- Manage all deliveries to the site and monitor exiting vehicle traffic
- Monitor contractors, suppliers, employees, public service workers and visitors with a sign-in, sign-out process
- Consider having a site security assessment performed by a reputable security company
Many security guards whose actions saved lives have used their observation skills to identify threats and know when to act. Guards need to be observant to provide the best possible protection for their clients. If you have questions or would like to get a professional opinion about a specific security concerns in the Maryland, Washington, D.C. or Virginia area, call or visit us today at Trust Security Services.
If you are particularly concerned about signs of terrorist activity, you may this article about 8 signs of terrorism helpful.