The Need For Urban Protection Services

By Brett Robinson

The necessity for Urban security services can be demonstrated by online searches which reveal many private firms offering them in addition to those offered by formal metropolitan authorities. In cities across the world it has become evident that the continuing trend of urbanization, in progress now since the eighteenth century has reached a point where specialized services are essential.

Historical records show that cities have never been very safe places. Crime proliferates, disease spreads and disasters like fires break out. Populations in urban areas tend to be dense and this accounts for the rapid spread of threats and dangers

During the Great Plague of London the spread of disease from one house to another was so great that people embarked on a mass migration in order to escape the germs. Such mass panic situations are extremely dangerous. It has been shown even in recent times how difficult escape is when large numbers are involved.

Hostilities brought on by politicians can also result in attacks that are directed at cities. During the Second World War the populations of Berlin, London and Dresden suffered direct bombing. Finally the governments of Britain and America obliterated sixty-six thousand people in an instant when they dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima. Such harsh realities illustrate what can happen to people concentrated in urban areas.

The terrorist attacks on America, known as the 9/11 incident were a reminder of a strategy that has been employed for a long time now by groups who wish to gain political power by using ordinary unarmed citizens as targets. In urban centers where there are many people these methods are particularly effective and have been used to bring down governments and replace them with terrorists.

The demonstrable effectiveness of terrorism is due almost entirely to drama. Where traditional war is expensive and difficult, attacking unarmed civilians is easy. Few people are killed compared with conventional wars but the effect is greater. That is why terrorism receives much attention though threats such as disease or inevitable earthquakes are less concerning though potentially more disastrous.

Using sophisticated electronic equipment the private lives of city dwellers have now become public. Cameras and other devices are used to record movements and detailed actions of people, as George Orwell foresaw would be the case. Whatever the long term effects of this may be on the human condition the immediate consequences are that huge amounts of information on individuals are quickly available to authorities and to security services.

Security firms have replaced traditional police services where those have become ineffective. They collaborate closely with state authorities within the law. Private firms, being branches of private enterprise, focus on servicing paying clients. However, in some countries where state police forces have become ineffective or corrupt provide the protection for which tax payers must pay extra.

It is ironic that all the sophisticated equipment and heightened states of alertness may be disrupted by events that occurred some time ago on the Sun. Though we are only dimly aware of what the consequences of sun storms may be there is the possibility that gravitational fields may alter disabling all electronic communication. In such a scenario Urban security services will have to fall back on the very old methods of personal communication and care. Private firms that have a loyal client base that they have served well for years would be well placed to face this new challenge.

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