US demand for private contracted security services is projected to increase 5.2 percent annually to $63.8 billion in 2016. The market will be supported by a high perceived risk of crime (from conventional violent and property crimes to white collar crimes and terrorism) and a concern that public safety officials are overburdened. The outsourcing of security activities to contracted firms, instead of relying on in-house security, will support demand. The privatization of some public safety operations, such as guarding government facilities and correctional facilities management, will also boost gains.
Security services that capitalize on continuing technological developments hold especially good prospects. For instance, both security consulting and systems integration revenues will see above-average growth. Security consultants and systems integrators are able to manage a wide variety of services when creating, upgrading or implementing security plans and when installing or upgrading complex electronic security devices. In addition, the trend toward more sophisticated and automated security electronics that are increasingly integrated with other building operations will boost growth for these services.
In contrast, security services that are more labor intensive, such as private investigations and armored transport, are expected to see below average growth. These services face strong competition from a range of technological advancements, including improvements in security systems, information technology and, in the case of armored transport, electronic finance. In contrast, security guarding, though also labor intensive, will see solid gains through 2016 as providers continue to promote valueadded services and features, emphasizing their guards' special skills and high level of training as a way to differentiate themselves from low-price vendors.
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. In 2012, the nonresidential market accounted for approximately three-fourths of all private security services demand. However, through 2016 the residential market is expected to outpace the nonresidential market, benefiting from the recovery in housing construction, which will spur strong growth in residential alarm monitoring.
In the nonresidential market, the best growth prospects are in the industrial and institutional sectors. Industrial demand for security services will be supported by the recovery in manufacturing activity and rebound in industrial construction. The institutional market will also benefit from strong growth in construction activity, which will increase the number of facilities that require protection. In addition, demand will be supported by the gravity of security risks in institutional settings where large numbers of persons typically are gathered, many of whom are less able to protect themselves.
Details on these and other findings are contained in the upcoming Freedonia industry study, Private Security Services presents historical demand data for 2001, 2006 and 2011, plus forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by type, market, and US region. The study also assesses key market environment factors, evaluates company market share, and profiles 35 US industry competitors, such as ADT, AlliedBarton, CCA, G4S and Securitas.