Not all the answers lie with private security

One of the toughest elements of modern-day policing is the average police officer on patrol is expected to bean expert in so many things.
Nanjing Night Net

As the first responders to a wide variety of emergency situations, traditional skills of law enforcement are naturally important, but the very diversity ofsituations dictates these policing strengths and skills are now not enough.

Victoria Police respondedto a family violence-related issue every two minutes in 2014. Many require they become family law expert, counsellorand even security advisors all at once.

The issues of demandbecomeeven more acute when the call on police resources are so intense and there is a publicperception that due to these demands more traditional roles are being neglected.

An emerging trend is to fill the gap between demand and publicly funded services with private expertise.

Recently this has extended to the use of private security providers to help in the protection of family violence victims.

The Salvation Army has partnered with a private security company in a project called Safer in the Home, which was launched last month to help fill this very gap.

The private provider,Protective Group, has been working in the field since 2013 with some success in debugging homes of malicious surveillance, providingadvice on the justice process, suggesting interim security solutions and a range of other deterrence programs for victims.

So far the results are promising and with federal government funding and the Salvation Army’s oversight has provided access to the most vulnerable.

Criminologists Diarmaid Harkin and Kate Fitz-Gibbon say it isa model of promise with some proven benefits, but they have also highlighted the risks of a wider influx of private security into the realm: The level of competence and appropriateness of private security employees gaining privileged access to victims becomes more risky with potentially large numbers of companies offering theservice.

They argue the skills and competency of commercial providers cannot be guaranteed particularlywith no specific accreditation or regulation system yet in place.

A sensitive area with vulnerable users will need more work in regulation and oversight if it isto become part of the family violence resource gap solutions.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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