A short response to Adam White

Some views on the emotive and thorny subject of police privatisation…

BSC Policing Network

I don’t dispute any of Adam White’s “5 reasons why it’s difficult to privatise the police”. But if instead we think about the privatisation of policing, I think he overlooked a sixth important factor – namely the normative and police-centred positions on privatisation and pluralisation of policing provision that have been taken by so many academic commentators and official reports in the U.K. and elsewhere.

In terms of public reports, the position on privatisation taken in the 2013 report of the self-styled “Independent Police Commission”, titled Policing for a Better Britain, provides a good place to start. The Commission was chaired by a former Metropolitan Police Commissioner (Lord Stevens), and was comprised of 39 members. Eight of these were associated with the private security sector, and at least three of those had previously held senior public police positions. Despite its title, the Commission’s report was almost all about…

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