U.S. demand for private contracted security services is forecast to advance 4.3% per year to $48 billion in 2010, with guarding and alarm monitoring accounting for nearly two-thirds of revenues. Despite falling crime rates, many perceive a high risk of crime and harbor a belief that public safety officials are overburdened. These perceptions, as well as the perceived risk from nontraditional threats such as computer-based and other white collar crimes, and terrorism, present significant opportunities for private security firms. These and other trends including market share, market leaders, market size and company profiles are presented in “Private Security Services,” a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Vendors have sought to promote value-added services and features to boost their market share. Some guarding firms emphasize the level of training their guards have as a way to differentiate themselves from low-price vendors, particularly in markets such as government facilities and high-profile office buildings. Advances in the alarm monitoring segment will be driven in part by specialty offerings such as personal emergency response services, which will continue to benefit from the growing population aged over 65.
The security consulting segment is expected to post the strongest gains through 2010, albeit from a small base, as well as systems integration services. Above average growth is also expected for armored transport, which will benefit largely from outsourcing of backroom cash management services; correctional facilities management, which will be sustained by ongoing Federal prison overcrowding; and private investigations, which will be aided by growing incidence of white collar crimes.
Security service requirements vary across the major markets, influenced by factors such as exposure to potential loss, the nature of the customers’ activities and the availability of alternative security options. Requirements also vary based on the customers’ size and the value of their property and assets. In 2005, the nonresidential market accounted for nearly three-quarters of all private security services demand. Growth in the nonresidential market will outpace the residential market through 2010, driven in part by the ongoing trend of the government market outsourcing services such as guarding and correctional facility management.