Armed response and private security in South Africa

Armed response and private security in South Africa

As the private security industry continues to grow in South Africa, so too does its role in protecting businesses and their customers. Data from the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira) shows that there are now significantly more private security officers than police officers across the country – just over 182,000, versus over 560,000 armed response employees. In real terms, this translates to a ratio of one police officer for every 413 people within the population, while there is a private security guard for every 106 people.


This article takes a closer look at why armed response and private security services are becoming increasingly important in South Africa. 


The Growing Need for Armed Response Services 

Armed response is one of the most common forms of private security services available in South Africa. Armed response teams provide a quick, effective solution to any security threat, allowing individuals to protect their families and property, and companies to protect both their staff and customers. 


In many cases, these teams can respond faster than law enforcement officials, meaning they can often arrive on the scene before a criminal has had time to escape or cause any further damage. While armed response teams are not allowed to apprehend criminals, they can alert authorities and help contain the situation until official backup arrives. 


Private Security Companies 

Due to the large number of registered private security companies in South Africa, organisations and individuals have an abundance of choices when selecting a service provider. It’s important to consider all factors before making a decision—price, quality of service, experience level, etc.—to ensure that your business or home is receiving the highest level of protection possible. 


Many private security companies provide additional services such as CCTV surveillance systems installation and maintenance as well as access control systems for buildings and vehicles. It’s also worth getting the advice of neighbours, as some companies have a larger ‘footprint’ in particular suburbs and more in-depth knowledge of the residents and businesses who reside there.  

Average Costs of Armed Response in South Africa  

While rates will likely go up in the new year, the average monthly cost of armed response for your home ranges between R400 and R800, depending on which area you live in and what extras (like alarm systems) you include as part of your package. For businesses, the rate is usually slightly higher, although still in the same range. 


Limitations of armed response in South Africa 


One of the downsides of traditional armed response services is that your coverage is generally limited to your home or business premises, and to the officers employed by the company you have a contract with. This is one of the reasons we at EMERGIVAC are so proud of our Emergi-Guard offering, which is included as part of our emergency medical assist membership. 


With EMERGIVAC, you get access to four armed response callouts per year – wherever you are in South Africa. When you need us, we’ll dispatch the closest available offers from one of our private security partners to assist you, whether that’s at home, work, or on the road. Find out more about the benefits of becoming an EMERGIVAC member from as little as R249 per month


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