• The Emergence, Growth and Implications of Private Policing in Victoria. “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Greg Linsdell is a senior lecturer at Charles Sturt University, Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security where he coordinates the post graduate Leadership and Management Program and International Programs. Greg's professional background is primarily in policing with Victoria Police, Australia.)


The growth of private policing has been the subject of numerous commentaries that perpetuate the rhetoric of Shearing & Stenning (1980) in announcing a "quiet revolution". The figures that formed the basis of these original commentaries were largely based in the US and appeared to generalise readily into the Australian experience. Australian authors have used official statistics to support the notion that change of a similar scale is occurring in Australia. This work examines these figures more closely and questions previous assumptions which equated a licensed security officer to a public police officer on a one-to-one basis. It also shows how the vacuum created by restrictions on public policing create unprecedented opportunities for private sector growth which arguably erode accountability while creating opportunities for enhanced cooperative partnerships. The emergence of private policing and the relationships between public and private police are examined against theoretical frameworks and complemented by the insight of the practitioners and industry leaders which enables the development of a rich, Victoria specific, picture that will inform the shape of future research.

MATERIAS: security, private policing, private security, Police, Victorianism