5 Key Things to Look for When Hiring a Security Service in London

Living in London, one of the largest and busiest cities in the world, safety and security should be top priorities for all of us. With so many people, buildings, businesses, and valuables concentrated in one place, adequate security measures offer essential protection.

However, finding exemplary security service in a vast metro area like London can seem daunting. With so many options to choose from, how do you know which company is the best fit for your needs? Whether you’re looking to secure your home, office, retail store, or other properties, you want to be sure you’re getting top-notch protection.

As a Londoner and having dealt with various security companies in the city for over a decade, I know first-hand the importance of feeling safe and secure in our great city. I’ve seen the good and the bad regarding security services operating in London.

In this blog post, I’ll provide you with five key factors you must consider when hiring a security service in London. These insights come from my experience managing security for my properties across the city. You’ll find this valuable advice if you run a business, own a home, or want to keep your family and assets safe.

Examine Their Reputation and Credentials

The first thing you want to look at when evaluating a security company is its overall reputation and credentials. This gives you insight into their effectiveness, trustworthiness, and legitimacy as a provider of essential security services.

Check Background and History

How long has the company been operating in London? An established history in the city shows the ability to understand the unique security needs here and build a solid client base. I’d be wary of new companies or those with little presence in London.

Also, check what others say about them online and amongst your connections. Do they have many positive reviews? Or do you hear complaints about poor service? You want to see a solid reputation.

Verify License and Certifications

Reputable security firms in London should have proper licenses and certifications mandated by regulation. This includes SIA (Security Industry Authority) approval and BS7858 employee screening.

Check that licenses are valid and up to date. This shows they follow rules and regulations around operating security services in the UK.

Look for Specializations

The best security firms will have expertise and specializations aligned with your needs. For example, retail security, corporate office security, residential security, event security, etc. Look for proven experience serving clients similar to you.

Consider Awards and Recognition

Quality companies will have a track record of industry awards and recognitions validating their service and standing. These include prizes for service excellence, best technology adoption, fastest response times, etc. It’s not a requirement, but it speaks to overall quality.

Make Sure Their Guards and Employees are Rigorously Screened

A security service is only as good as the people they employ for your protection. When hiring, you must ensure they have rigorous screening policies and training programs for guards and other staff.

Background Checks Matter

Reputable companies will thoroughly vet guards and employees through extensive background checks before hiring. These checks should examine criminal records, employment history, and financial records.

Proper screening ensures you don’t have dishonest or unqualified people protecting your premises. Be bold and ask about their exact screening procedures.

Look for Ongoing Training

Good security firms will have regular ongoing training to keep guards updated on equipment, procedures and regulations. Refresher courses on safety protocols, surveillance tech, compliance issues, etc, should be provided.

You want guards who are alert and capable, not complacent. Training indicates a commitment to quality service.

See If Guards are Licensed

In London, security guards for most premises are legally required to have an SIA license. This involves training, background checks and more. Be sure your provider only uses properly licensed guards. It’s for your protection.

Make Sure Their Equipment and Systems are Modern and Effective

Having the latest technology and equipment is crucial for adequate security and protection. You want systems that deter, detect, and defend against criminal activity.

AI-Powered Surveillance

Look for companies using the latest AI-enhanced surveillance systems. This includes cameras with object and facial recognition to identify threats and track activity better.

Intelligent motion sensors can also differentiate between a stray animal and an intruder. It improves monitoring and response.

Updated Alarm Systems

Alarm systems have come a long way. Ensure the company offers modern solutions with remote access, mobile notifications, and intelligent detection to reduce false alarms. All are fully integrated for comprehensive monitoring.

Robust Cybersecurity

For any internet-connected systems, check that they utilize proper cybersecurity protocols and encryption. This protects against hacking, a significant risk. Ask about their specific measures to prevent breaches.

Response Fleet

Top security providers will always have a fleet of well-equipped response vehicles ready. If an alarm is triggered, this allows them to get to your premises within minutes. Slow response defeats the purpose of security.

Compare Services Offered and Costs of Multiple Providers

Go with something other than the first company you find. Thoroughly compare multiple providers’ services and costs to find the best match.

Get Quotes from At Least 3 Companies

Contact 3-5 security services in London to get itemized quotes. Most will provide free consultations and quotes for your needs. Look closely at what’s included and how prices are structured.

Compare Services Side-by-Side

When comparing quotes, create a table listing each company’s specific services. These include several guards, patrol frequency, equipment features, alarm monitoring, cybersecurity, etc. The best match provides what you need.

Look Beyond Just the Cost

Cheaper means something other than better when it comes to essential security services. Make your decision based on a balance of service quality and reasonable rates. Get what you pay for.

Find the Right Plan for You

Look for companies willing to customize plans and contracts to suit your needs. Locking you into rigid agreements could be better. You want flexibility.

Clarify Payment Structure

Understand exactly how you’ll be billed. Many companies offer combined or hourly rates for equipment and guards. Make sure billing terms are clear before signing.

Verify Response Times and Support Offered

The hallmark of excellent security service is rapid response and robust ongoing support. You want a provider that’s dependable and accountable.

Ask About Average Response Times

Top security firms will have fast response times to alarms and incidents, usually within 10-20 minutes for properties in London. This relies on comprehensive monitoring and properly equipped guards. Slow responders put you at risk.

Look for 24/7 Support Availability

Reputable companies will offer phone and email support 24/7. You’ll have a direct contact for immediate assistance if any issues arise. Support availability prevents vulnerabilities.

Check Reviews and Talk to Existing Customers

The best response times and support indicators are checking reviews and talking to existing customers. Ask about their experiences with response to any incidents and ongoing support needs. This provides insight into real-world performance.

Consider Response Times in Your Decision

When comparing companies, consider making response times a determining factor. Even if slower responders cost less, the security risk may not be worth it. Fast response is critical.

Ensure Proper Monitoring Standards

Check that their systems are constantly monitored based on proper security industry standards. Lax monitoring leads to slow responses. Know their monitoring procedures.


Finding the right security service in a major city like London means going beyond just a company having the lowest prices or flashiest advertising. Take time to research options thoroughly using the five tips provided above.

Vet companies’ reputation, screening procedures, equipment/systems, services and costs, and response times. Compare multiple providers to find the one that best satisfies your security needs and requirements.

Your family’s safety and your business’ assets are too valuable to leave in the hands of just any security company. Do your due diligence as a discerning consumer – the insights provided here will lead you to find stellar security services you can rely on.

Remember, a truly effective security provider will protect you and give you peace of mind. Never settle when it comes to protecting your properties and loved ones in this beautiful city we call home.

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