Bill 175, tabled in November 2017, was highly anticipated by different stakeholders in the security sector. The purpose of this bill is to “set clear parameters that outline police responsibilities and identify where the use of non-police personnel may be appropriate.”
The Standing Committee on Justice Policy is now studying the Bill and we are delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the Committee study during the March 1st, 2018 public hearing.
For several months now, the private security industry has clearly expressed its readiness to provide police support services to police forces, and Canadians are on board with this notion as well.
Canadians in favour
The results of the survey¹ conducted last fall by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of GardaWorld clearly show that a majority of Canadians agree with increasing support for our police forces through private security companies. Survey results illustrate that 59% of respondents would be in favour of private security companies undertaking support tasks currently performed by police officers, compared to 29% who would not.
“Twice as many Canadians are comfortable with the concept than not. Seeing progress in discussions like the ones on Bill 175 is good and timely news,” says Mr. Paradis.
The results of the survey also demonstrate that Canadians firmly support a secure environment regarding the legalization of cannabis without burdening police officers. “Canadians are very comfortable with the prospect of having serious security companies play a greater role in supporting police officers in the wake of the legalization of cannabis,” shares Mr. Paradis.
Putting the right people in the right places
“Let us be clear: outsourcing police support services does not suggest security guards performing work that requires full policing power. Outsourcing police support services means security guards performing support duties, so police officers can focus on their core duties, and therefore, better protect the public,” states the Hon. Christian Paradis, Senior Vice President at GardaWorld and former Federal Minister.
“It’s important to understand that we do not want to replace police officers. Nobody is suggesting that we should privatize the police—that’s not it at all. We want to allow security professionals to perform the tasks for which they are qualified in order to support our police officers; thus enabling our police force to focus more on the duties for which they alone are qualified,” adds Christian Paradis.
“On a broader scale, with increasingly sophisticated crimes and complex investigations, it goes without saying that our police officers should be able to devote themselves to their core area of expertise without being distracted by secondary tasks that can easily be carried out by the private security industry,” concludes Mr. Paradis.
Canada’s private security industry is subject to regulations, resulting in obligatory guard training. With more than 140,000 licenced guards, these security professionals are capable of performing police support functions while trusted organizations would be mandated to monitor their work. GardaWorld already provides cash services for financial institutions throughout Canada and United States and airport security, including pre-boarding screening, jointly with federal authorities. “These are great examples of partnerships from which we can build on,” explains Mr. Paradis.
Taking into account that several jurisdictions have followed suit in the same direction, that an industry conference was held by the Chamber of Commerce of Canada last spring on the matter, and that Canadians have expressed their readiness for such improvements, Mr. Paradis is convinced authorities have all the tools required to take appropriate action, and at the end of the day, the quality of public safety will increase.
¹The survey involved 1,007 Canadians and was conducted between October 27 and November 1, 2017.
To learn more about our police force support services click here.