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Information sharing is only as good as what someone chooses to do with that information. The security field and its practitioners are united now more than ever in removing the geographic barriers towards the common goal of protection.

The ASIS Crime Prevention Community coordinated a two-part panel discussion examining “How Private Security and Law Enforcement Work Together to Deter Criminal Activity.” Part One was released in October 2020, with Part Two being released in December 2020.

The two-part panel discussion includes expertise from global ASIS members and leaders, including representatives from the Buenos Aires Chapter, Cairo Chapter, Kenya Chapter, Space Coast Florida, USA Chapter, South Africa Chapter, Sub Saharan Region, Switzerland Chapter, Toronto Chapter, and Western Australia Chapter.

Panel organizer Matthew Porcelli, CPP virtually sat down with three of these leaders to further discuss their expertise in this area:

ASIS Toronto Chapter Representative Marti Katsiaras, PSP:

Q: How can security professionals build partnerships with law enforcement?

  1. A: Use ASIS and your local chapter to draw law enforcement. A lot of chapters have a law enforcement committee. If your chapter does not have one, create one. This committee can be chaired by law enforcement members or members who were formerly law enforcement. They can utilize their contacts to draw more LEOs and as a result meaningful networking opportunities and partnerships with private security members. A couple of years ago, the ASIS Toronto chapter held a two-part event on how current Law Enforcement members can transition into the private security world. There were a panel of speakers from both sides offering advice and tips.
  2. Build a partnership with your local police. Most police departments have a community liaison officer(s). Start with them. Introduce yourself, tell them about your company. Build a relationship. More important – maintain that relationship! Check in with them regularly. Reach out to them for advice. Share information. The stronger the relationship becomes, the more reciprocal the relationship becomes. You can ask for increased patrols of your sites. For busier areas / cities, where that may not be possible, you can offer your parking lot for use for patrol officers to complete their reports and note-taking. This shows a police presence.
  3. Share information. A lot of police departments have created databases for buildings, offices and businesses in their areas that they could access when responding to an incident. Sometimes they even come on-site and ask for building layouts and details. Use this as an opportunity. Get a contact name and contact information. If your local police department has not yet done this, beat them to it and offer it yourself. Start with a phone call or a visit to your local police station.
  4. Expand your horizons. A chapter like Toronto has a lot of members from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The GTA has 5 different police services (Toronto, York, Peel, Durham and Halton). If you factor in the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) and the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), that is 7 different police services. Build relationships with all of them.
  5. Offer your office or building as a training platform. Sometimes, police departments are looking for real environments to conduct training – ie. active shooter, hostage-taking. Or you can your local police to come into your office and offer training and best practices to your employees.
  6. Use open-source intelligence to gather information on your specific area / region. Most police departments have websites that track crime statistics. Review this information, analyze it and then go and work with your local police department to see what you both can do to solve the problem.
  7. Use social media. Most police departments and a lot of police officers have social media accounts. Follow them. They can provide a lot of useful information. You can also start building your following from their pool. Liking, sharing, commenting on their posts will increase the chances they start following you. This can be another way to start and build relationships. Reach out for speaking opportunities – either for your ASIS chapter or for your place of business.

ASIS Cairo Chapter Representative Jeremiah Davis:

Q: What is the collaboration in the ME like, between Private Security and Law Enforcement?

A: Overall, the collaboration between Private Security Companies and Law Enforcement is steadily growing, although there is still much more room for further technical and procedural development in order to successfully prevent crime within societies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In the past, the relationship was rather limited, particularly due to security matters having been traditionally managed and overseen by the State. Until this day, the majority of countries do not have a modernized legal framework allowing private security companies to operate and bring meaningful value or impact to local law enforcement and community safety. Meanwhile, private security in the Middle East is often perceived as either a.) under-developed/trained, therefore not an important element of homeland security [an unfortunately correct perception as security guards receive the lowest wages] or b.) Clearly limited in jurisdiction {really what can an un-trained, ill-equipped security guard do in the face of an insurrection]?

That being said, there remain critical examples of coordination and collaboration throughout the MENA region, a particular requirement in order to physically secure some of the most complex, austere environments, stretching from Morocco and Mali to Iraq and Yemen:

  1. By law, PSC’s are predominately owned by former military or law enforcement – this increases levels of trust and coordination/information sharing with law enforcement.
  2. There is an increase in collaboration in the most remote locations, mostly to support businesses and their people to operate safely and secure a nation’s foreign direct investment.
  3. There is an increase in collaboration in the most complex locations, such as conflict zones. The safety and security of businesses, diplomatic and humanitarian sectors are ensured through this collaboration. This is key to avoid unintended consequences for a government which relies heavily on these sectors.
  4. Governments are working closer with PSC’s to offer national security trainings – including close protection certifications. Although, these courses would never measure up to the international standards stipulated by the ASIS International CPP accreditation.

With new societal demands and challenges arising every day, the collaboration amongst PSC’s and law enforcement in the MENA region must continue to grow to meet today and tomorrow’s challenges. With growing risks and challenges locally and globally, including an ongoing Pandemic, the collaboration is as integral as ever to building a safer society, as law enforcement alone cannot protect its communities. Through this cooperation, the reputation of PSCs amongst authorities would undoubtedly improve, leading to more efforts to effectively facilitate security sector reform with a modernized regulatory framework to ultimately develop better served communities and increase safety for all in the region.

ASIS Western Australia Representative Andrew “Bear” Kirk:

Q: What hinders the development of the relationship between Private Security and Law Enforcement?

A: To paint a picture I will briefly describe the environment and how it differs to other countries and cities. Perth is the most isolated city by distance in the world with its nearest neighbours Adelaide and Darwin both thousands of miles away. The main city of Perth has a population of just under 2 million people with its outer suburbs and metropolitan areas spread geographically across 2478 sq miles and its spread north to south reaching 80 miles and west to east 30 miles. Perth is a very cosmopolitan city with many nations represented through immigration or refugee schemes.

20.8% of households in this area earn more than $2500 per week with the mining industries providing most of the income and infrastructure to support the area.

Law enforcement is upheld by both State and Federal Police Forces with a requirement for Private Security Companies to be licenced under the Licensing Services (Security) Regulations.

Private Security is mostly divided into the following;

  1. Business and Residential Security consisting of CCTV, Access Control, Physical Security, and
  2. Event and Public Services Security consisting of doormen in hotels, pubs and nightclubs and sporting events staff.


  1. Offences against persons including family related offences (domestic) have increased over 5 years by 7.4% and these figures rose significantly in 2020 due to the Covid-19 lock down.
  2. Selected offences against property or persons and property have decreased over 5 years by 40.1%
  3. Drug offences have decreased over the same period by 17.7%

So what is going wrong (if anything) and how can it impact society in and around Perth.

Areas of conflict arise between Private Security and Law Enforcement differ in the two geographical areas:

  1. In the rural areas the reaction of the police is seen to be slow and has an impact on the perceived efficiency of alarm systems, cctv, physical security etc and this affects sales.
  2. The jurisdiction and powers of arrest are also limited in Private Security and therefore the amount of specialist training is of a low standard, this ultimately puts many QRF type security officers at risk of harm.
  3. In the inner cities the density of security officers is concentrated around areas where alcohol and drugs are a factor and are mainly in the public eye 24/7.
  4. Also at festivals, concerts and sporting events alcohol and sheer numbers is always a factor upon the efficiencies of Private Security with Law Enforcement only seen as a backup just in case
  5. Law Enforcement and Private Security only meet once every two months and there is a feeling from Private Security that this is too infrequent.
  6. Communications between the two are also limited.
  7. Changes in policy tend to come around based upon the latest election victories and promises made and are therefore short term and not sustainable.