Strained relationship between private security and public law enforcement

strained relationship between private security and public law enforcement

between public police and private policing have chang In restricting the definition of policing to security, I am seeking to recognize the and strained public resources will all contribute to sustained and dynamic growth of. police for according me this great honour to undertake this course. Secondly relationship between private security and public security is not solely a Policing has not undergone these radical changes without experiencing a strain on. Historically, the relationship between the two has been strained, says Malcolm K. The relationship between public police forces and private security firms is.

Their main concern is the welfare and safety of the public. Private security is a service provided by private companies. Quality private security companies, like Inter State Security, will have strict and rigorous training and certification standards. However, they have fewer restraints upon them from politics and the government. Many private security companies will not have the same powers that the police do or will prefer to offer unarmed services.

Pros and cons of public policing and private security: Public policing faces a number of disadvantages when compared to private security. Whereas, an employee of a private security company gets paid according to their performance — if they are good at what they do they can ask for a higher fee or they can negotiate their fees with the client.

Public police are also often hindered by the restriction placed upon them by the law and politics. Because private security does not have to adhere to the same sort of restrictions that public police do, they are able to focus on their jobs and perform their duties with more efficiency and effectiveness.

Due to budget restraints, the police are unable to have access to the newest technologies in security. However, because private security companies are for-profit organizations, they are able to invest their earnings in the newest and best quality security technologies and technical equipment such as cctv cameras and access control systems.

Are the uncertainties in the relationship hampering the task of crime control and crime prevention? While there is no shortage of research into the dilemmas associated with the relationship between public and private policing over the last twenty-five years e.

This paper is designed to fill this gap in the literature, using Australian examples to assist in the task of modelbuilding. Historical issues in the public-private relationship Historically, a patronizing, if not suspicious and antagonistic, attitude on the part of public police toward their private counterparts seem to have been the dominant theme Brody ; Clifford ; Shearing et al But the critical factor was the belief of the public police that private security ought to stay well away from the realm of investigation and public service, and to take a purely passive and preventative role USPSAC But the winds of change blew new understandings.

By the s, suspicion had given way to new possibilities. Police claim kudos from high prosecute offenders provide very little deterrence. Today, some residential communities employ security firms to patrol and protect their respective neighbourhoods. Indeed, an article in the British newspaper The Times, instated that: The pluralistic provisions of security services must not diminish the fundamental notion of law and order as a basic public good.

The policy makers of the s must prevent the emergence of a two-tier system in which the police protect only those who cannot afford a better service. In this distinctive area of state responsibility, private firms should complement rather than supplement the established role of the public sector cited in Hannon The resolution [in ] reflected a concern by some police that their role and functions were being eroded by the growth of private security.

Much of the impetus for this newfound confidence in private operators came from the local government sector. Consequently, there is only a small federal force the Australian Federal Police to deal with crime against federal property and personnel, and little or no involvement in crime detection or prevention by local governments.

Increasing disillusionment with state police services initiated a trend towards councils hiring private security firms, for example, to maintain a presence in open-air shopping malls. These large areas, mixing public and private space, are prone to problems of public disorder5, hence the 4 The main publicized achievements of these groups have been the development of protocols for dealing with alarms and the problem of false alarms.

For example, some significant reductions in false alarms have been claimed - up to 80 percent in some cases Dolahenty Australia also has amongst the highest levels of burglary in the world Prenzler and Townsley With police clearance rates averaging less than 10 percent, the main form of containment is through private insurance and security services.

Consequently, local governments have been in the forefront of endeavors towards complementarity e. Devising Models A number of models have been developed to clarify the different types of relationships observed between police and private security.

They are based on four models initially developed by Sarre a: Naturally, the process of modelbuilding entails an abstraction from empirical chaos, keeping in mind that the function of models in science is to allow for analysis and speculation about a more complex reality than can be reproduced in human knowledge. Inevitably, models are limited, nebulous, and involve overlaps or different applications in different circumstances, and rely upon the existence of a certain worldview, such as the predictability of the marketplace.

Nonetheless, they serve a purpose in facilitating analysis and testing by evidence in a systematic process. The following section therefore provides summaries of seven models drawn from the historical and contemporary literature on the topic, and an eighth model that suggests an ideal type of relationship for further development. The introduction is then followed by a critique of each model, introducing a number of illustrative sources from Australian experience and literature.

The Property Model This model assumes that both the private and public policing sectors are concerned with the common objective of crime control. Both sectors work by similar means, such as by patrol and investigation. The only difference is that one works on private property and the other on public property. The Division of Labor Model The character and objectives of public and private police are also basically the same under this model.

Both are concerned with reducing crime. The difference then is one of method. Police control crime primarily through the deterrent and incapacitative effects of investigations and prosecutions, and through emergency responses to sieges and other instances of public disorder.

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Private police, on the other hand, contribute to the larger picture of crime control through a preventive presence, the installation of environmental design technologies, and other forms of site- specific tools for preventing crime and facilitating compliance with rules. Both prevention and response are necessary, just as fire safety requires both systematic prevention and emergency response. The Competing Forces Model In this model, the two sectors are assumed to have roughly similar capacities to provide diverse responses to crime.

The stakes are the same burglaries, home invasions, attacks by rapists and the presence of graffiti are factors that have stimulated some of them to pool financial resources and employ private security patrols.

Police assert that they embody democratic values of equality of service with high professional standards. They characterize their competitors as poorly trained opportunists who provide a false sense of security to vulnerable clients. Private providers point to the failure of police to reduce crime, and claim to be more efficient and cost-effective in delivering security.

The Supplementary Service Model This model again assumes that the essential character of the two sectors is the same, although their power differs in crucial ways. While they both operate in the same crime control market, the public sector has precedence.

strained relationship between private security and public law enforcement

Public police have various additional powers, granted by statute and obtained through superior training and equipment, which put them at the forefront of the fight against crime. The private sector can only supplement the essential public service work of police.

This work falls to the private sector where there is inadequate funding for police, or more important calls on police time.

One indicator of the subordinate status of private sector is the fact that the security industry in half of the jurisdictions in Australia is regulated by police. The Ad Hoc Partnership Model This model sees the two sectors combining if and when needed, regardless of differences in jurisdiction, powers, and tasks.

Cooperative arrangements may be formalized on a temporary basis in response to particular problems. The strength of these partnerships is linked to the need each has for the other; for example, the public police have no unequivocal access to private areas and private security personnel recognize their limitations once they leave private property.

In general, these arrangements are localized geographically or in terms of specific problems. When the crisis or event is over, the formal relationships become redundant.

The Combined Forces Model This model takes a highly optimistic view of cooperation between the two sectors. It asserts that close permanent arrangements can be developed both at executive and operational levels to maximize the synergetic effects of cooperation.

Public police recognize they cannot provide the coverage of premises that private security does, so informationsharing through formal communication channels provides a mutual benefit in the face of the overwhelming size of the crime problem.

Private security services need the data that are routinely provided to the public sector. This model envisages a highly symbiotic relationship. The Unholy Alliance Model This is an essentially negative view of police and private security, both separately and together. They are seen as occupations plagued by corruption and misconduct.

Permutations of corruption derive from associations between the two, including police moonlighting in security work and the illegal sale of privileged information held by police. It argues 5 that the distinctly different principles of service between the two sectors mean that cooperation needs to be, for the most part, limited and closely regulated.

At the same time, ad hoc and established partnerships are necessary responses to the inevitable interaction and conflicts due to overlapping responsibilities. Procedures are required to establish standards, and to ensure maximum public benefit. We do not, therefore, propose definitive judgements about the suitability of any of the models. That said, we make a provisional assessment of the extent to which each one provides an adequate description of the current situation, and then suggest a model that provides an appropriate ideal to be developed from a public interest perspective.

The latter issue is crucial if one believes, as we and others do e. The Property Model A major source of support for this model lies in the fact that Western legal systems give considerable powers to property owners or their agents, and restrict police powers on private property Inbau, Aspen and Spiotto ; Sarre b.

Public Policing vs Private Security

Public police typically are only able to enter private property by consent, by special judicial authorization, or where they believe with good reason that specific crimes may have been committed or are in the process of being committed e.

Conversely, security officers have enormous powers to expel people from private property, and limited legal powers and responsibilities in public spaces. Additionally, research on the security industry suggests that, in the Shearing and Stenning Police entry to private property, even in the case of maintaining order at sporting and cultural events, is largely by request.

There also appear to be few cases reported in the literature of private police venturing beyond the bounds of private property except by way of a contractual relationship with public authorities.

Property boundaries, therefore, appear as a useful distinguishing criterion.

strained relationship between private security and public law enforcement

The model has very little to say about different styles of policing and different proprietary rights, nor anything about what the relationship is and should be between public and private police. Additionally, the model is losing applicability and sharpness of focus as the public sector outsources an increasing range of policing services Grabosky The model therefore appears to lack full coverage of the phenomena being studied.

The Division of Labor Model This model retains the core legal and spatial principles embodied in the property model but gives them reduced significance in developing a more multidimensional framework. Private police conceivably could respond to public calls for assistance but generally lack the infrastructure of telephone and radio relay systems, and normally limit access to paying customers who may or may not be public authorities.

Police, on the other hand, are available at all hours to any member of the public.

Conceivably, much of the work done privately could be done by police, as many are quick to argue, were police to be appropriately funded Smith In light of resource limitations, however, market economies naturally produce a dual system.

The public system, like the hospital system, must prioritize cases on a triage basis and cannot serve allcomers or provide total prevention6. The Division of Labor model, therefore, has considerable explanatory power in accounting for both the different spheres of operation and different functions of the two types of policing. The model, however, describes two essentially separate systems, even where it asserts that their parallel functions provide considerable benefits in total Shearing It also has little to say about either positive or negative points of interaction, or about how interaction should be managed.

The Competing Forces Model The first two models are essentially benign assessments of police-security relations. One of the points they both miss is the often intense conflict, frequently noted in the literature, which occurs between the two sectors.

For example, Haxton describes a conflict that arose in the city of Brisbane.

strained relationship between private security and public law enforcement

However, the police Divisional Inspector attributed a 30 percent drop in burglaries over six months to a police crackdown on the resale of stolen goods. Competition in this environment is not healthy and may not assist the crime reduction task.

This has been aptly summed up by an English Chief Inspector: By simply patrolling, security officers are not more likely to detect crime but are likely to maintain order and in maintaining order to prevent crime, albeit only in the area they police. The fact that the crime may be displaced to areas policed by the public police is of no concern to the administrators of private security quoted in Hannon Liberal values This limitation is based on limits on state intervention into the circumstances and psychology of potential offenders and of choice, competition and merit entail at least some social differentiation based on income.

This means that some people will choose to spend their money on security based on self-assessments related to personal or company needs and capacity to pay. Social democratic interventions offset the more pernicious inequalities that unfettered liberal values would produce. Debate about the adequacy of public sector funding is a perennial feature of such societies, but this basic combination is observable in most modern societies and is clearly evident in policing, as in most essential services.

They are hired for a fee to provide a service agreed between them and their client — a very simple and effective arrangement that works for both parties. So where is the confusion? A further source of conflict between police and security has been the question of who should respond to intruder alarms — a problem greatly exacerbated by false alarms.

In the State of Western Australia, for example, a review of alarm responses revealed police had responded to 45, alarms in a 12 month period. Of these, 94 percent involved unnecessary police attention. It was estimated police attended calls a week resulting from user error, faulty equipment, improper installation, lack of maintenance or weather conditions Western Australia Police The fact that police are willing to receive information but not to pass on information is another source of resentment in the private sector.

Only 13 percent of respondents in his survey passed any information to the public police While 49 percent stated that police supported their decisions in handling security problems, 12 percent did not agree and 29 percent did not respond This question elicited a rather strong, perhaps emotional uniform response which is not possible to quantify clearly, but obviously the majority of respondents were not happy with the police and said the police were totally negative in this relationship.

A number of correspondents even provided us with examples of what they called police harassment e. Others in the same vein said police were not interested in providing any assistance when called in by security officers Rees The above analysis suggests that negative attitudes on the part of police are an ongoing and major source of conflict between the two sectors.

Descriptively, this model would appear to apply at many levels, although its contemporary relevance is being modified by a strong trend towards more formal cooperation and more accommodating attitudes on the part of some police leaders. The Supplementary Service Model Some concession for the need for private providers can be seen increasingly in the publicly expressed views of senior police Feltham There is little doubt that the police force with its present numbers and legislative restrictions cannot any longer be all things to all men.

However, the ultimate responsibility of the police force is, and will continue to be, to maintain law and order. With some 38, personnel, the security industry could be a very valuable intelligence- gathering network for the police patrol officers of this State NSW Police Service It must be conceded that police remain the first point of emergency call for most citizens, and are called in to do the most difficult and dangerous work.

They also initiate almost all criminal prosecutions. But the private sector fills vacuums left in other areas of policing Johnston a: Training is another area where qualitative differences in preparedness and adaptability are readily apparent. Across Australia, training requirements for security operatives vary enormously, with no entry level training required for many security functions in some Australian States and Territories, and with several days of minimal training being the average requirement Prenzler and Sarre Police, on the other hand, typically have at least six months preservice and twelve months probationary training with numerous opportunities for in-service training.

Studies in the United States have found police perceptions of poor training and accountability standards in private security as one of the major obstacles to cooperation Cunningham et al ; Morley and Fong Other American studies highlight the fact that perceptions are often askew from the reality e.

For example, police are more positive towards security providers than is often thought. Any preferred model of alliance is altered somewhat when one of the parties becomes the agency responsible for licensing the other, and in Australia police regulate the security industry in at least half the jurisdictions7. But the argument is ironic given the very poor record of Australian police regarding corruption and misconduct e. Nonetheless, police have been a crucial source of pressure for improved regulation.

Police involvement in industry regulation has not been without contention. Police initiatives have been interpreted as a power grab by some, including a former editor-in-chief of Security Australia magazine Adams