When it comes to security, recognizing suspicious behavioral cues from potential threats can be one of the most important steps in preventing harm. As a security officer, you need to know how to spot the signs, no matter if you’re protecting a business, a high-profile event, or walking among everyday citizens. By learning to read body language, observe behaviors, and interpret verbal cues, you can stay one step ahead of potential threats and keep yourself and those around you safe. This blog post highlights six behavioral signs that can help security officers promptly identify and respond to suspicious activity. Keep reading to learn more!
6 Potentially Suspicious Behavior Cues to Watch For
1. Avoiding Eye Contact
Furtive behavior can be a sign of suspicious or deceptive behavior. Someone who is acting suspiciously may avoid direct eye contact to fight the revealing of their emotions or cues to their true intentions. Combined with other behaviors like fidgeting or looking around a lot, avoiding eye contact could raise reasonable suspicion about someone’s trustworthiness. The person could be attempting to avoid being identified or hiding something from view.
2. Nervousness & Suspicious Activity
Anxiety and nervousness can result from a person acting out of character due to an unexpected disturbance. People who are engaged in illegal or suspicious activities may exhibit nervousness or anxiety, including pacing or repeatedly checking their watch or phone. This behavior could be intentional, as they are trying to distract the security personnel, divert attention, or draw crowds to a specific area for an ulterior motive.
3. Excessive Perspiration
Excessive perspiration, particularly in cool or temperate weather, can be another sign of suspicious activity. As discussed, individuals who are involved in illegal or suspicious activities may experience increased heart rate or anxiety, leading to excessive sweating. If you notice someone who is sweating profusely and there is no obvious reason for it, it could be a sign that they are involved in something suspicious.
4. Suspicious Activity at the Exit or Entrance
Individuals conducting illegal activity often spend their time near entrances or exits for a quick escape if the plan goes south. They may be waiting for someone, attempting to sneak out undetected, or watching for potential threats. Security officials should pay close attention to individuals who linger near entrances and exits or attempt to enter the location repeatedly.
5. Unusual Body Language
People who are involved in suspicious activities may display aggressive or defensive body language, such as clenching their fists or crossing their arms. They may also exhibit unusual postures or gestures, such as standing too close to a wall or holding an object in an unusual manner. By being aware of unusual body language, you can quickly identify potential security threats and take appropriate action.
6. Excessive Questions
Excessive questioning can indicate someone looking to access an area they shouldn’t or get information for later. Such inquiries are a straightforward way to avoid detection, trick security personnel, and gain entry to restricted locations. Therefore, paying close attention to anyone looking for clues on how to enter a secure area is essential. Be careful not to give out information that can be considered confidential or can compromise the safety of anyone.
Know The Statistics
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI), Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, approximately 7.9 million property crime offenses were reported to law enforcement agencies in the United States in 2020. Of these, an estimated 22.6% were classified as burglary offenses, which involve the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft. In addition, the UCR Program reported approximately 1.2 million violent crimes in the United States in 2020.
It’s worth noting not all suspicious activity leads to criminal activity, and not all criminal activity is reported to law enforcement agencies. Therefore, the number of incidents related to suspicious activity is likely higher than reported in official crime statistics. It is always important to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.
Controlled F.O.R.C.E. Training + Suspicious Activity
Knowing the signs of suspicious activity is essential for learning better situational awareness. Recognizing behavioral cues and identifying suspicious activities can help minimize the risk of a security issue arising in the first place. At Controlled F.O.R.C.E., we take pride in improving the safety of our communities by providing first responders, military members, and civilians with cutting-edge training. Our reach extends not only across the United States but internationally as well. With the right training and awareness, you can be a valuable asset in preventing and responding to suspicious activity. Learn more: https://controlledforce.com/training-calendar/