The evolution of security industry regulation in the European Union

Button, Mark and Stiernstedt, Peter ORCID: (2016) The evolution of security industry regulation in the European Union. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 41 (4). pp. 245-257. ISSN 0192-4036

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The European private security sector has grown from a handful of small companies at the end of the Second World War into a multi-billion Euro industry with thousands of firms and millions of security staff. In Europe the demands for security is not just expressed notionally but also officially in The European Agenda on Security stating the European Union aims to ensure that people live in an area of freedom, security and justice. This paper will begin by exploring the role of private security in society. It will then move on to consider the main phases in the development of private security regulation in Europe. Following on from this some of the main areas of policy development will be considered, such as European bodies, initiatives and standards. Finally the paper will explore some of the potential op tions for the future in better regulating the European private security sector. From a historical perspective the evolution of private security regulation can be divided into three phases; the Laissez- faire, the centrifugal and the centripetal era - each with its own distinct characteristics and impact on the concurrent industry. In the European Union where there is the legal framework for the development of a single market in services the key social partners have been at the forefront of developing a series of standards and guidance documents which promote standards across borders at the European level. However, the institutions of the European Union have been reluctant to intervene at a European level in setting minimum standards of private security regulation. Thus, the changing terrain of the European Union relating to security, regulation and the private security industry mean the current trajectory may be in need of an injection of more radical thought and consideration.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice on 26/12/2016, available online:
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Criminology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Peter Stiernstedt
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 09:09
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:00


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