The do’s and don’ts of a security guard

Security guards are hired by the owners of the premises to ensure the protection of their patrons, staff and the property. They are also there to guarantee that the conditions of entry are met by customers by a particular place. They do not have the same power as law enforcement officers, however, a security guard’s main job is to regulate and enforce the rules of the premises.

What they are allowed to do

Security guards can ask for your identification to determine your age if there are conditions for entry at the venue regarding age. If you do not comply or they find out you have falsified your identity, they are allowed to kindly vacate you from the premises. Every job has rules and it’s their job to enforce those rules, so if you are not adhering to the rules of the premises, they will without a doubt refuse you entry, according to the rules of the premises.

According to Youth Law, a legal rights centre for youths, states that, “Signs of excess intoxication can warrant refusal into the premises. But they cannot discriminate against you because of your race, disability, sexual preference, or gender.”

Security guards are allowed to take you by the shoulders and escort you outside of the building, but they are not allowed to forcefully remove you to the point where it leads to a case of assault. There are many security jobs in Cape Town that provide skilful training where the right procedure is made to be followed so that there are aren’t any misconceptions.

What they are not allowed to do

A police officer and a security guard have two very different job descriptions and if you find that a security guard is violating his power of authority then you have the right to report him or her to management.  They only have authority to detain someone, until the police arrive, if the person is found to have committed an offence. Other than that, they cannot do more. They do not have the authority to ask for your name or address nor can they search you without your permission. However, they may ask your permission to search your bag before entering the premises, as condition of entry. If you should refuse, they are allowed you deny you access from entering.



In the case of assault by a security guard

In the event of assault by a security guard, you should report it immediately because he or she may disperse following the incident. Get there identification, as well as details of any independent witnesses. You can either report the incident to the building management or go to the police station to lay a charge of assault, to protect yourself from any further involvement.