You’ve probably come across a somewhat overzealous security guard who gave you the impression that he was abusing his rights a bit, but you didn’t know exactly where his rights ended, so you let him search your bag and eat your packet of cookies without saying anything. Look no further, we’re going to outline a few questions you can ask yourself about this job, and you’ll see which ones respect the limits of their job and which ones abuse them.
1. Do they have the right to search you?
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NOPE. Under no circumstances can a security guard search you in the same way as a police officer. However, he has the right to feel you by passing his hand over the clothes if you are at the entrance to a concert for example, only when it is an event which receives more than 300 spectators. On the other hand they do not have the right to ask you to show what you have in your pockets.
2. Can they search your bag?
When it comes to bags security guards have the right to ask you to open them but can only afford to look inside, they are not allowed to touch or move your belongings, but can possibly ask you to do so.
3. Can they exercise their activity on public roads?
In theory, they have no rights since they work for a private company, so outside the confines of their workplace where their role is justified, they have no rights.
4. So they can’t sue someone in the street if there’s been a crime?
So there it gets complicated, if you have committed an offense such as theft, a security guard can pursue you and arrest you. He can then take you to the nearest police officer but cannot take you back to the store. You can wait with him for the police at the place of your “arrest”.
5. What happens if you refuse to show your bag or be patted down?
The security guard can forbid you to enter the enclosure of a place that receives the public if you refuse to cooperate (festival, concert). However, a security guard cannot refuse you entry to a store if you refuse to show the inside of your bag. The store is more risky trying to drag you out than trying to force you back in anyway.
6. Can a security guard force you to deposit your bag in lockers?
No, at no time can you be forced to drop off your bag. If you come across someone very annoying you can ask for a receipt from the store in case of theft / loss of your belongings. The same if there is a sign at the entrance telling you that it is mandatory to drop off your belongings or to be searched, these signs are worth nothing.
7. Can they suddenly prohibit someone from accessing a shopping center or a shopping mall?
No. ABSOLUTELY NOT it is illegal and it is an abuse of power contrary to your freedoms to come and go. You are allowed to give them a judo hold in this case (no it’s not true, but you have the right to enter).
8. Can a security guard prevent you from leaving the store or lock you in a room?
If there is suspicion of an offence, a security guard can force you to stay on the premises while waiting for the police, but if he does not notify the police or the gendarmerie, he does not have the right to do so. right. He can ask you to wait in a room but he can’t force you, so you can wait for the police in front of the cash registers in the store for all to see and cause a scandal.
9. Can a security guard ask you for your identity papers?
Just as you don’t have the right to ask him for his, only a police officer can ask you for your identity papers, in front of a security officer you can therefore refuse and nothing will happen to you.