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Can Security Guards Carry Handcuffs?

Apr 29, 2021
I'm often asked if I can carry handcuffs. A handcuffed criminal seems justifiable, doesn't it? It looks like the perpetrator is bound for the safety of the public and us, the security officer.

Although, can you, a security guard handcuff a criminal to a pole? Or cuff the felon and escort them away?

Many ask if a security guard can carry handcuffs in the first place?

In the UK… ”the SIA neither endorses nor declines to endorse handcuff use.”

Therefore, a security guard could carry handcuffs. Just like anyone else, no UK law prevents civilians from carrying handcuffs. That begs the question… are security guards allowed to use handcuffs in the UK?

The SIA’s view on the use of handcuffs states:
“Anyone who does carry handcuffs should be aware that their use could constitute a crime unless they can show that using them was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.”

Therefore, security guards with handcuffs should train to use them correctly. If you choose to carry handcuffs with the backing of your company, then you should be well versed in how to apply handcuffs correctly to avoid injury. Also, understand the situations where you can use them. And ensure that it is proportionate, reasonable and justifiable use.

If a security guard used reasonable force to restrain an assailant, then using handcuffs would be justified while waiting for the police. You could reasonably argue that the handcuffs ensured both parties safety.

Nevertheless, using certain types of handcuffs could throw up liability issues for the security officer. Rigid and hinged cuffs can be used one-handed to apply pain-compliance/control techniques unlike the chain type of cuff. Misuse of those handcuffs could see you facing a civil suit if the accused is not found guilty.

Personally, I wouldn't carry handcuffs. There haven't been that many situations where I've felt I needed them. What about you?
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