The Growth of Private Security

Trevor Jones and Tim Newburn

in Private Security and Public Policing

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198265696
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682933 | DOI:

Series: Private Security and Public Policing

The Growth of Private Security

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It is generally accepted that private security is a growth industry. As far as North America is concerned, Johnston notes that the main burst of expansion probably occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. Shearing and Stenning have also documented large increases in employment in private security, in particular within contract guarding, in Canada and the United States during this period. Comparable data for Britain has been harder to come by, although a range of estimates of the size of the industry have been made. These suggest that although the private security industry has grown less extensively than in North America, there has also been significant growth in Britain in recent decades. This chapter looks at measures of the growth of private security over time, and assesses different explanations for this growth. It considers two general types of explanation for the ‘rebirth’ of private policing: the ‘fiscal constraint’ theory and the ‘structuralist’ or ‘pluralist’ theory. It also discusses the growth of mass private property in Britain.

Keywords: Britain; growth; private security; North America; private policing; fiscal constraint; pluralist theory; private property; employment

Chapter.  9018 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminal Law

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