A Need for Vision By Stuart McDonald BAppScInfSc, GCertArtsLegalSt,GCertSecurityMgt, MASIS Security and safety are crucial to the quality of the West Australian lifestyle we enjoy. Never before has the private security industry in Western Australia had such an opportunity to continue to shape its vision for the future safety and security of the community in this State. Unprecedented change in the regulatory and commercial security environments in recent times continues to challenge and extend the security industry's capabilities and professionalism.
The life cycle of the security services industry in Australia is growth and the basis of competition being price. The industry is in a developing phase moving from labour intensive guards and patrol to a technology and response stage. Outsourcing of security functions continues to be an important growth function typified by the use of contracted security by State and local governments.
The Hallcrest Report II (1) , a study of private security trends in the United States, forecasted an annual rate of growth for the entire private security industry to the year 2000 at about 7%.
Despite those more conservative estimates, sales and revenues were more robust in terms of overall averages, out performing most other service industries.
Although no formal follow up report was conducted, these estimates were reasonably accurate with the fastest growing segments identified as consultant/engineers, alarm companies, and security manufacturers. Whilst Australian Bureau of Statistics (2)information is limited it is believed that the security industry is mirroring the US experience with a small lag in consumer activity as opposed to that of industry best practice and technology. The maturing of the industry, market saturation by some industry segments; continued consolidation of the industry due to mergers, acquisitions, and business failures will continue to fuel market change. Competition will inevitably continue to exist between traditional and emerging companies, however,