Shifting the paradigm: rethinking the public/private continuum in covert private policing

David Aspland

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter


This paper discusses the shift between the public and private sectors in policing, with attention to the covert aspects of the policing function, and why private policing has enjoyed rejuvenation and resurgence over the past 40 years, across the world, after public policing agencies had dominated the field of policing since the early 19th century. It also examines how many aspects of private policing are ideally suited to covert methodologies. It considers the regulation of private policing mainly as it exists in the Australian context, together with issues for Human Rights, especially privacy, in the modern pluralized policing environment. It also examines two key aspects of covert policing by the private sector, the use of CCTV surveillance and Intelligence gathering by paying attention to aspects of Situational Crime Prevention through a number of scenarios.The situation in modern policing is more complex than a simple public/private divide and plays host to a range of interactions that bring many policing actors into contact, competition and alliance in networks and assemblages. Yet most research and regulation still remains focused on public policing even though, numerically, private policing is now a major player in the provision of policing services in an increasingly fragmented, pluralized and commodified market.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial implications of covert policing.(workshop on the social implications of national security 2009)
EditorsK. Michael
Place of PublicationWollongong
PublisherUniversity of Wollongong Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781741281934
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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