Private security at Milipol Paris
- 58 exhibitors in 2021
- Almost 1,000 visitors in 2021 (8% of the attendance)
- Thematic conferences on the large events security management and a dedicated morning session in 2019 featuring speakers from the FFSP, the CoESS, the CHEMI or the CDSE.
- Many products:
- Transmissions, communication and positioning solutions (transmitters-receivers, earpieces, geographic Information Systems (GIS), fleet management,...)
- Technologies for observation and surveillance, perimeter protection
- Personal protective equipment, armours and weapons
- Training and consultancy for access control and security services, secure transports, bodyguard services, civil defence,...
They were there in 2021
Article - Private security: a sector in upheaval
In France, the private security sector consists of 12,000 companies employing over 183,000 security officers, with a global turnover of €7.9 billion in 2019. This not very attractive sector is currently facing various challenges as regards the major sporting events soon to be held in the country.
A crucial reassessment of the sector
Security is a key concern in the run-up to the major sporting events France is hosting in 2023 and 2024: the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin is fully aware of these challenges, which are exacerbated by the patent lack of private security officers. "We need about 25,000 more private security guards for the Olympics," he says. To achieve this level, the ministry will make use of several levers. The minister is proposing the creation of "specific temporary credentials", particularly for students. "Many of them want to work during the event and with training, there is no reason why they should not become private security guards," says Darmanin. In addition, €13 million will be allocated to the continuous training of 64,000 guards over the next two years. "To retain security officers, the sector must be able to offer higher salaries," says the Minister. The unions and management of the prevention and security industry thus met in the autumn of 2022 to raise minimum wages, and a 7.5% increase was announced at the end of the negotiations. But it still remains to be seen whether this will be enough to achieve the objective.
New technologies: a golden opportunity for private security
Private security guards are using more and more new technologies to help them in their daily work, with drones, alarms and cameras as their main tools. But innovation is now taking things even further. In late September, Michel Cadot, interministerial delegate for the Olympic Games and major events, announced a number of security-related measures that should appear in the future Olympic Act. For example, the project would authorise the use of algorithms by surveillance cameras in the Paris region, with the aim of "identifying abnormal behaviour in large crowds".
Industrialists are stepping up to facilitate the work of private security officers through new technologies. One example is Labcoor, which is using artificial intelligence to develop security gates that can detect any suspicious objects, for use at stadiums and performance venues. After signing a partnership with the manufacturer Atermes, a specialist in security and defence, the company wants to move on to the mass production stage. With these security gates, up to 3,700 people per hour could be checked without having to search each person individually. If the gate detects a suspicious object, a security guard will carry out a manual search on the person. The start-up is aiming for a market launch in time for the Rugby World Cup, i.e. within a year.
Private security around the world
Some 40 countries around the world, mainly in the US, South Africa and Asia, have a more highly developed private than public security sector. India has 7 million private security guards but only 1.4 million police officers, making it the country with the largest differential in the world. In the US, there are 1.1 million private security employees compared with 666,000 police officers.  With France, it is the opposite: there are almost 40% more police and gendarmerie officers than private security guards.
Some cities integrate private security officers into the ranks of the local police, as in Melbourne and London. In the US, the role of security guards goes even further. They can be called upon to replace municipal police officers on leave, or to manage prisons or migrant detention centres. However, the role played by these private security officers raises questions, particularly in countries with significant inequalities, as the wealthiest can buy their security from private organisations while the poorest are forced to rely on an inadequately developed public security system.
Will private security in France undergo a transformation, in view of the two upcoming major world sporting events? Will private security officers be given increased powers, as is sometimes the case in other countries?
Answers are expected soon. But although everyone officially says the situation is under control, it is clearly urgent to meet the challenges involved.
 La sécurité privée en France, Défense zone.com, May 2022
 JO 2024: face au manque d’agents de sécurité privée, le ministère de l’intérieur veut faciliter les recrutements, Le Monde, 22 September 2022
 Agents de sécurité: 7,5 % de hausse salariale dans la branche, Le Télégramme, 29 September 2022
 JO 2024: Oui aux algorithmes, Protection sécurité magazine, 4 October 2022
 Sécurité privée : quelles sont les conséquences de son importante croissance dans le monde?, Rendre notre monde plus sûr, 5 April 2022