“It’s terrifying”: Security experts call for better protection

Gina Field wants to see security guards be able to carry protective equipment. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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The recent Bondi Junction Westfield stabbing attack has seen security experts call for guards to be allowed to carry additional safety equipment.

Safety equipment such as pepper spray, handcuffs, and batons are what security personnel would like to carry with them in order to protect both themselves and others.

Managing Director of Nepean Regional Security, Gina Field, has been at the forefront of these calls, saying the security industry inherently sits on the back foot.

“I mean we have no equipment to protect ourselves, and yet an 18-year-old can go into Bunnings or go into a kitchen store and buy an 18-inch knife with ID,” Field said.

“It’s terrifying.

“The baddies have more access to lethal weapons then we have to non-lethal [equipment].”

The security sector has been rattled after Bondi Junction security guard Faraz Tahir lost his life in the stabbing spree allegedly perpetrated by Joel Cauchi earlier this month. A second security guard was also stabbed but fortunately survived.

Following on from this attack, where six people were killed, the security industry has seen some react quickly through fear.

“At the moment, security personnel are flocking to buy these so-called stab proof vests and there are no standards on them,” Field said.

“So, these guys are going online and paying $40 for a vest, giving themselves a false sense of security.”

With calls for better safety equipment, Field is also asking for a review of the way security guards are trained.

“They’re calling on better training techniques on the job, you can do as much in the classroom stuff as you want,” Field said.

“There needs to be more on the job training and there needs to be evidence of that.

“Similar to a learner driver, you know, how you have to get your log book up and be signed off that you have done so many hours, that’s what I believe should be happening on these job sites.”

Field explained the series of attacks in Sydney has made security personnel highly sought after.

“People are really quite nervous, and they are calling on guards for situations where we’d never have security personnel there,” Field said.

“I just think there is going to be this fear factor, and now I’ve been asked to go and do some tips on how people can protect themselves.

“I mean that is unheard of, things like escape, hide, and tell; work out your exit routes, hide if you can’t escape and have as much information as possible.

“We would never have thought about that two weeks ago.”

Emily Chate

Emily Chate joined The Western Weekender in 2024, and covers local news - primarily courts and politics. A graduate of the University of Wollongong, Emily has contributed to The Daily Telegraph and worked as a freelance journalist.

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