Privatizing police discretion—‘private security criminal investigations’ in Sweden

Stiernstedt, Peter ORCID: (2019) Privatizing police discretion—‘private security criminal investigations’ in Sweden. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. ISSN 1752-4512

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This article highlights the commodification of private security criminal investigations in Sweden. Today, the reach of the private security industry extends to almost all responsibilities traditionally reserved for the police. Regulation is constantly trying to catch up with the ever-changing scope and nature of private security. When looking at private security industry regulation in the European Union, Sweden enjoys one of the most comprehensive frameworks. There are however gaps and private security criminal investigation is one which, if left unchecked, could possibly lead to a dangerous commodification of justice and decreasing trust in the police. In this article, these issues are explored through interviews with a number of stakeholders. The interviews reveal that the potential danger lies in circumstances whereby police are, for various reasons, forced to turn down investigations. Citizens and organizations alike then have the opportunity to proceed with the investigation through a private security service provider. Presented with a complete substratum for prosecution, the police are incentivized to proceed. Thus, police discretion as to whether or not to proceed with an investigation is effectively for sale. The article consequently calls for a revision of Swedish private security regulation.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1093/police/paz074
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice following peer review. The version of record [Peter Stiernstedt, Privatizing Police Discretion—‘Private Security Criminal Investigations’ in Sweden, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice] is available online at: []
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Criminology
Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Policing and criminal investigations
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Peter Stiernstedt
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2019 09:36
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:01


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