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  • Farah Benis

Private Security And The Rise In Antisocial Behaviour



On Wednesday, the England men's football team qualified for their first major tournament final since 1966. But the other result in the capital that night was more than 20 arrests for public order offences. Delighted fans in London climbed telephone boxes, tube stations and surfed along the tops of buses.


For the most part, what we witnessed after England's memorable victory over Denmark, was simply over-exuberance. But the truth is, this wasn’t just football banter and jokes. Crimes were committed across the whole of England. Bus windows broken in London. Bollards hurled around Leicester town centre. Public order offences, even assault on the police, up and down the country, as elation made way for antisocial behaviour.


Antisocial Behaviour On The Rise


It's not as though this is some kind of one-off situation, brought about by the euphoria of England hosting a major sporting event in which they are enjoying success. Even at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, with a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs in London, we saw similar troubles. From the crowds of revellers partying in Piccadilly Circus, to the impromptu games of late night, post-pub cricket in Peckham; antisocial behaviour is a growing problem.


A report published in April suggested that a little over 19 million antisocial behaviour incidents were logged during the 2020/21 period. Offences ranged from fly tipping and loud parties, through to property damage, burnt out cars and drug dealing. But staggeringly, that number was up 30% on the 2011-12 figures.


It's not only antisocial behaviour causing concern for residents in the capital, either. Knife crime has always been an issue in London, but figures have risen exponentially in recent years. In the 2014/15 period, London saw 9,684 recorded offences involving a knife. However, the 2019/20 period saw a marked increase, with 15,928 incidents (a leap of more than 64%).


Private Security Replacing Police


The government began its austerity program, which included the slashing of police budgets, over a decade ago. From 2010 to 2019, the Metropolitan Police Service's government funding fell by 29%. The trend is not unique to London, either. In the 2018/19 period, a total of £13.3 billion was spent on policing in England and Wales, 16% less than in 2009/10. We don't need to bring in Sherlock Holmes to understand why antisocial behaviour and knife crime are on the rise.


Local residents are understandably concerned. Crime is rising and the Met are struggling to cope. The good people of London just want to protect their homes and businesses. Desperate times have seen people take matters into their own hands, only to make the situation far worse.


Amateur Security: False Economy


A case in point saw the residents of Richmond fighting back in August 2020. After countless unanswered complaints of antisocial behaviour, including swathes of partygoers drinking on the cricket field, leaving a trail of broken beer bottles, nitrous oxide canisters and even broken coffee shop windows in their wake, local community groups opted to hire private security guards to police the once-peaceful green and the nearby town centre.


A good idea in theory, but only if correctly implemented. Unfortunately, rather than utilise the services of a professional security company, the residents opted for a cheap, improvised security solution, which has exacerbated their problem. It may be something of a cliché, but you really do get what you pay for.


An incident involving a man wearing a high visibility jacket, hired by locals to keep the peace, went viral on social media. He was filmed throwing an alleged criminal from a scooter, causing a minor media storm. Consequently, the police arrested the amateur security guard on suspicion of assault.


To make matters worse, as a result of the incident, the authorities have subsequently cracked down on such community-led patrols. Residents now say that they feel more on their own than ever, a situation that could have been avoided had they not scrimped on security costs.


This all goes to highlight the importance of using the right security services to combat antisocial behaviour. Untrained amateurs will undoubtedly do more harm than good. The solution is to employ a team of highly trained and professional security guards, with SIA licenses and a wealth of experience in handling such matters.


FFA: Professional Security Services


At FFA Security Group, we offer bespoke security solutions, tailored to your every need. In order to provide the best possible service for our customers, we believe in supporting our employees with the best possible training.


That's why, in addition to only employing carefully vetted, fully licensed staff, we go over and above the minimum legal requirements to obtain a SIA license. Our staff receive additional training in multiple fields, including customer service, sexual harassment and diversity and inclusion.


So if you need flexible security solutions in the London area and want a supplier whose core values are diligence, professionalism and reliability, contact FFA Security Group today. Call 0208 050 7671 or email hello@ffasecuritygroup.com for a quote.