What to Know About the Pat Down and Inspection by Security Officers

Inspection and pat down security officer

The pat down, the visual inspection as well as the baggage search are security measures meant to detect the presence of any potentially dangerous object. However, as a security officer in charge of this type of measure, there are certain rules to respect and to know. If one of these measures leads to the discovery of a sensitive object, the agent can alert the police.


The Pat Down


The pat down consists of putting the hands over the clothes and accessories in order to identify the presence of objects susceptible of being dangerous on the person. Usually done with pat down gloves, the security pat down needs to be performed by a person of the same sex as the person who receives the pat down. It is also mandatory to have the latter’s consent before the pat down. If the person objects, the access to the controlled area is forbidden.


The security pat downs can only be performed in two particular circumstances: if the order of the prefect observes the existence of a serious threat to the public safety or if a gathering of over 300 people will take place in a closed location.


Only the security officers certified by the prefect who own a professional card, work for a private security company and are responsible for human surveillance are authorized to perform pat downs. 


The Inspection and the Search


The visual inspection of the baggages only allows the agent to look inside the baggages to detect potentially dangerous objects while the search of a baggage implies that the baggage is opened and that the possessions are moved around. If the person refuses the inspection or the search of the baggage, they are forbidden to enter the controlled area. Only agents who own a professional card given by the CNAPS (National Council of Private Security Activities) and work in a company dedicated to private security have the right to perform this type of inspection or search.


The security officers can perform this type of measure as part of their general tasks or during a gathering of over 300 people in a specific location.