A Brief History of Private Security Guards

You may be forgiven for thinking that private security guard services are a 20th-century invention, but you will be wrong. The Security guards or Security personnel stretch way back, and I mean way back!

Did you know that the word ‘safety’ comes from the Latin’ Se Cura’ or ‘free from care’? No! Neither did I, but the Roman emperors probably used the security guards as personal defenders, thus enabling them to do what the Roman emperors did best with relative safety – That unless you were Julius Caesar! Et Tu, Brute – and all that!

But going back to the 5th Century BC and ancient Greece, local magistrates used about 300 Scythian enslaved people to maintain law and order and arrest when the need arose.

During the recent Middle Ages, when everyone was not fighting everyone, you could hire private security guards to protect your land and your family if you were rich enough. Some of these guards used to be war veterans who were now out of work because… yes, you guessed it…. they had no one to fight!

By the early 18th Century, more and more people were flocking to the cities in search of work and, as a result, already congested roads with crime, violence, and illegal activities. Thus taxes and revenue were raised to pay private security companies to patrol the cities for anything suspicious. The problem was that they were often open-eyed when their palms clashed with any silver denomination. Corrupt officials – who had thought!

By 1900 many countries had a well-known central police force, and in many cases, there were clear guidelines for what they could and could not do. Company owners with essential assets to protect themselves began hiring private security guards to monitor their business premises. A notable example was Henry Ford, who used private security companies during World War I and the Great Depression to protect his industry from massive looting.

From the 1950s to the ’60s, the Cold War was raging, and espionage was rampant. For this reason, private security guard companies were required to guard almost anything considered helpful to our communist allies, and this was the start of large scale private security companies.

Today, however, there are many opportunities for you to see private security personnel alert at a music event rather than at a nuclear reactor, but keeping people, goods, and objects’ safe’ or ‘free from care’ is still a name of the game, even after all these centuries.

So you have… a brief but exciting (hopefully) history of private security guards…

If you need to talk to a modern security company, contact Metropolitan Guards at 1300 73 11 73

Leave a Comment