Taking care of business: Public police as commercial security vendors

Julie Ayling*, Clifford Shearing

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    The article examines practices in 'user-pays' policing. It locates these practices historically as well established, with a lineage that stretches back to the beginnings of the police in Britain and earlier. The article identifies different forms of user-pays policing, the various practices they include and the regulatory issues raised by them. Consideration of the tension between a conception of policing as a public service and charging for police services suggests that user-pays policing can be, and often is, compatible with public interests and the provision of public goods. A case study of events policing within an Australian Police agency explains this further. The article concludes with a consideration of the risks that may be associated with user-pays policing and of possible future directions for police participation in the market-place as security vendors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-50
    Number of pages24
    JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


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