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Private Policing: Experiences, Evaluation, and Future Direction

Author: Erwin A. Blackstone and Simon Hakim
Organisation: Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts
Publish Date: December 2009
Country: Global
Sector: Public
Method: Foresight
Theme: Protection
Type: Other publication
Language: English
Tags: Private policing, Private security, Public security, Legal issues, Regulations

The rising number and severity of terrorist incidents and natural disasters in the world, the shrinking government budgets for law enforcement, the trend towards reliance on markets and private provision of government services, the rising number of 911 calls, the regulations requiring additional security, increased exposure to legal liability, and poor publicity have all led to increased demand for private security. The conventional wisdom has been that security is a public good and should be provided by public law enforcement agencies. The question is whether the rising demand and shrinking supply of public policing requires greater reliance on private security and whether it should be regulated. This chapter describes the activities and changes over time in private policing, evaluates its performance, and suggests public policy recommendations. It investigates whether private police are a substitute or complement to public police.
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