USA VS UK Security Guards: How Different Are They?
4th April 2023
UK VS USA Security Officers
Online research has shown that the security industry is extremely popular in both the UK and America. According to Zippia, there are currently 823,148 guards employed in the USA, while in the UK – according to the UK government website, there are around 64,226 active security guards. But how similar are USA and UK security guards? In this article, we will be comparing the differences between US and UK security officers.
Becoming A Security Officer
In both the UK and America, you don’t need any specific education qualifications when you are applying to be a security guard. Instead, you need:
- To be at least 18 years.
- Pass security training.
- Have a security licence.
- Have the right to work in the country.
- Overgo background checks such as criminal record checks.
However, one key difference between becoming a security officer in the UK and becoming a guard in America is the types of security licences that officers will have to acquire and the types of training courses that they will have to pass.
UK Security Guard Licences
To become a security guard within the UK, you will need an SIA security guard licence, which is a licence approved by the Security Industry Authority. This licence normally costs £190, and you will gain this licence by passing specific security training courses and passing a first aid training course.
American Security Guard Licences
While in America there are different laws regarding what it takes to become a security guard – and these laws will depend on what state you are in. There are two different types of licences that you may need to become a USA security guard.
These are a Class D Security Licence and a Class G Security Licence. A Class D Security Licence is the most common licence that security guards will have. While a Class G Security Licence is a higher security licence and allows guards to carry a weapon. You will need both licences if you are looking to work in armed security.
Security guards who work in both America and the UK will use a variety of the same equipment such as walkie-talkies, heavy-duty boots, two-way radios, flashlights, first aid kits, and security duty belts. However, there are some differences. Security guards in America may also carry armed equipment such as batons, pepper spray and guns.
Another difference between UK and USA guards is the types of uniforms that they wear. Security guards in America may wear outfits that resemble the police. And a lot of their uniforms will include dark-coloured jackets and trousers.
While in the UK security guards will wear bright high-vis jackets or soft-shell coats. Both security guards in the UK and the USA will wear heavy-duty boots, and these shoes can provide extra protection.
Security Guard Powers
In both America and the UK, the main role of a security guard will be to provide protection for people, buildings, valuables, and properties. And they will both have similar roles and responsibilities during their day-to-day tasks. Security guards in both the UK and America aren’t allowed to perform actual arrests and can only perform a citizen’s arrest.
Overall, the main difference in power between guards in the UK and officers in America, is that American guards can use armed equipment during their tasks whilst UK guards can’t. This is because, in the UK, there are stronger and stricter laws about carrying firearms and weapons that all UK security guards must follow.
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