Why the world prefers private security

Why the world prefers private security

By Stephen Martinez

According to a research conducted by a leading U.K newspaper, it was found that the private security service workers have outnumbered the government security officials around the world. People are more concerned about their lives and in this time when every country if fighting one form of terrorism, they prefer private security service over the state security for their protection.

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Facts And Figures

In around 40 countries including China, India, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, United States and United Kingdom private security service dominates the government security service officials. In Britain alone, there are some 232,000 private security personnel in comparison to 151,000 police personnel. Private security service is estimated to be $180bn business around the world and is expected to reach $240bn by 2020 which is far more than what we spend to end global poverty i.e. $140bn. In India alone, there are some seven million people working in this profession. The United States has some 1.1 million people employed in this business compared to 660,000 police officials. Most of these private security service officers hail from army or police background.

Target Audience and Their Reason for Preferring Private Security. 

Mostly private security service officers are tasked to protect specific people, places and things. These are also employed in patrolling shopping malls, public streets, housing societies etc. They basically placed there to restrict access to high profile residential areas and luxury hotels. In India and U.K almost every residential colony has a private security guard for security and safety. Around the world, the rich and the wealthy hire private security service for their protection against criminals, thefts, international rogue gangs and life threats. It is an easy task for such rogue gangs to target their family and demand money and other resources in exchange for their life; therefore it becomes necessary for them to hire additional private security cover for their family. There are specific private security service providers which concentrate on ultra-rich persons and providers services including event security, celebrity security and executive protection. Recently the board of directors of Apple approved the use of private jet for its CEO even for his personal travels citing security reasons. Similar high-net-worth individuals have employed executive protection services. Celebrities and event management companies hire celebrity security and event security as and when required or needed to them.

While on the move celebrities face a lot of threat from stalkers and paparazzi thus it is in their own benefit hiring private celebrity security service for their protection. Similarly, event management companies need to hire event security services so as to manage crowd control and keep miscreants at bay.

Growing Inequalities

The Universal human rights state that everyone has some basic rights. These include Right to Life, Right to Liberty and Right to Security etc. Governments around the world are committed to delivering these rights but when rich employ private security service for themselves this result in social inequalities. The growth of the private security service means loss of trust and community bond.

Personifying Wealth

The reported revenue of GS4, the largest private security company, is £6.8bn.

Armoured transport, surveillance, private investigation, monitoring are all part of private security and the market is expected to grow to $240bn by 2020. This business is growing at a rate of 6% per year and is growing at an exceptional rate in China, India and other developing countries. The root cause driving this industry is the belief that the crime is rising although the crime rates have gone down in past few years.

Bodyguards have also become a symbol of status for people. These are considered to be a symbol of wealth and social status. People develop a habit of flaunting their guards in public places which grabs them public attention and power symbol.

Unregulated Industry 

70% of the clients in this industry are the private business. In 2011, there were some 19.5 million security guards in around 70 countries. This results that the wealthy employ sophisticated technology and the poor resort to illegal means for safety and protection.

Currently, there are no international rules and regulation governing these private security firms though there exists an international code applying to these firms but it is voluntary. Governments of Uganda and Sierra Leone are thinking on exporting private security labour overseas so as to guarantee jobs to its citizens.

In Europe, parliaments committee for foreign affairs drafted new EU-wide rules for private security firms and a ban on carrying out military combat tasks.


Thus, private security is highly recommended to high-net-worth individuals and high profile persons. Though heavily criticised, private security today is a booming business and provides employment to millions of people.