1. About private provision of security, with focus on policing
Privatization and shrinking of the public sector have been key trends in western societies since the 1970ies. Just about all governmentally provided services have been prey for the hunters of economy. In many countries public spending on police has been cut down to a level of fire brigade policing, suggesting that the current resources does not suffice to any crime prevention. Crimes, like fire, are only dealt with once they have occurred. Therefore private entrepreneurs seizes opportunities to profit from people’s unfulfilled needs. They "…will be doing what the police can or will not do because of their limited resources" (Johnston 1991 p 20). The implications of this are hard to understand yet. "[W]hat we are witnessing … is not merely a reshuffling of responsibility … but the emergence of privately defined orders … that are in some cases inconsistent with, or even in conflict with, the public order proclaimed by the state" (Shearing & Stenning 1987 pp 13-14). A renegotiation of the public/private mix is in progress. Justice and security are no exceptions. Private prisons and private courts have been established a long time in the USA. However some fields still seem more delicate to discuss than others. The police and the armed forces are for instance said to be services that "…nobody seriously thinks of privatizing" (Hart, Shleifer & Vishny 1997 p 1158). In this thesis the last statement will be proved wrong.
Moreover provision in general is often referred to as either public - or private in the debate. But the distinction is far from as clear as it appears to be, perhaps not even relevant, any longer. This thesis aims at highlighting facts regarding this. In particular two questions are always present: 1) Why do we have private alternatives to public policing? and 2) If the private security industry is growing, why?
1. Theoretical framework
Contrary to common belief, economics...