Guards and Improved Technology to Support Growth of European Manned Guarding Market

As the ever-escalating threat of terrorism continues to push security issues to the foreground, optimization of security solutions is assuming great importance. Alarm monitoring and rapid response solutions are being increasingly deployed in enterprises to effectively tackle any critical situation. Great stakes are placed on the quality of the service, and vendors in this space are offering a synthesis of technology and manned guarding, incorporating video surveillance, access control and intruder detection to provide a wholesome security solution.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Manned Guarding Market, finds that the market earned revenues of over US$32.78 billion in 2007 and estimates this to reach $47.18 billion in 2014.

"Technology or guarding alone cannot address the growing security needs,” said Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Archana Rao. “An optimum solution combining manned guarding services and security technology will emerge as the most preferred solution in the future.”

Another significant issue exerting its influence on the market is that of de-policing, which has encouraged the migration of former police officers to manned guarding services provided by private security companies. Faced with an acute shortage of police authorities, countries across Europe are grappling with the rising crime graph. This is expected to enhance the prospects for adoption and outsourcing of manned guarding services to private security service providers. Video surveillance technology has added another layer to security, further optimizing the solution.

"Shortage of trained guards is forcing companies across Europe to raise the wages of guards, negatively impacting profit margins of smaller companies in the market,” said Archana Rao. “This rising cost is driving the adoption of technology among end users, thereby cutting down on the number of static guards required.”

Nevertheless, manned guards are scarce and there is a huge discrepancy between demand and availability. In the United Kingdom, shortage of guards is taking on serious dimensions. Low wages are at the crux of the problem as guards are typically paid around $27,452 to 33,388 a year. Unless companies take serious note of this and hike wages in the United Kingdom, the market will continue to encounter serious roadblocks.

Besides shortage of guards, cost of service and low margins have restrained market progression. In the wake of the economic slowdown, cost control has become critical, and companies are pressurizing service providers to cut costs. Service providers are circumventing cost challenges by deploying technology that can help expedite the efficiency of guards and security measures.

The market is characterized by stiff competition and participants are operating on very tight margins. Companies have found it extremely difficult to sustain in such a scenario. To offset the margin crunch, companies are offering comprehensive security packages that combine guarding and electronic security. Businesses are opting for services that combine manned guarding with other facility services such as cleaning and building maintenance, where all services are handled by a single contractor.

Going forward, manned guarding services will entail packages that combine both security service and facility service. Service providers must strive to upscale customer value by offering optimized guarding services. End users must also be made aware of the benefits of combining state-of-the-art security technologies with manned guarding to achieve better penetration capability in this competitive marketplace.

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