U.S. demand for private contracted security services is forecast to advance 4.7 percent per year to almost $66 billion in 2012. Growth will be spurred by a high perceived risk of crime (from conventional violent and property crimes to white collar crimes and terrorism) and a belief that public safety officials are overburdened. Gains will also be fueled by an ongoing trend in the privatization of some public safety operations such as guarding government facilities and correctional facilities management. These and other trends are presented in Private Security Services, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Security consulting revenues are expected to achieve the strongest growth through 2012 because consultants are able to manage a wide variety of services when creating, upgrading or implementing security plans. Pre-employment screening, systems integration and guarding services are also expected to post above average gains. The trend toward more sophisticated and automated security electronics that are increasingly integrated with other building operations will boost growth for security consultants and systems integrators. Guarding service revenues will advance as providers continue to promote value-added services and features. In 2012, guarding services will continue to account for the largest share of private security services with 44 percent of revenues, followed by alarm monitoring services with 28 percent.

In 2007, the nonresidential market accounted for three-quarters of all private security services demand. Additionally, growth in the nonresidential market will outpace the residential market through 2012, driven by strength in security spending in schools, health care facilities, retail outlets, government buildings and public venues The Freedonia Group, Inc.

The commercial market is expected to remain the largest nonresidential market segment, accounting for 50 percent of demand in 2012. The government market will retain its position as the second largest market, benefitting from the continuing privatization of certain government functions, such as adult correctional facilities management and the guarding of courthouses and other government buildings.



(million dollars)

% Annual Growth

Item                                         2002                2007                2012                02-07            07-12

Security Service Revenues  35780             52250             65850             7.9             4.7

Guarding                                  14760             22150             28900             8.5             5.5

Alarm Monitoring                    10480             15150             18360             7.6             3.9

Private Investigations            2590                3760                4500                7.7             3.7

Armored Transport                 2120                2620                3300                4.3       4.7

Corrections                              1780                2500                2950                7.0             3.4

Systems Integration               1415                2315                2960                10.3             5.0

Consulting, Screen, Other     2635                3755                4880                7.3             5.4


Source: © 2008 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.