Manual Security Officers and Policing: Powers, Culture and Control in the Governance of Private Space

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In several other major cities, including New York , Toronto and Rotterdam , the city authorities or other organisations already maintain publicly accessible maps to help citizens identify pseudo-public spaces and the boundaries that divide them from genuinely public land. Despite calls from campaigners, until now no such map has ever been drawn up for London, in part because details of land ownership are scattered between several different bodies, and information regarding public access provisions in planning agreements can be difficult to obtain from local authorities.

In collaboration with GiGL, Guardian Cities has identified approximately 50 sites in London that meet our relatively narrow criteria for pseudo-public space: namely outdoor, open and publicly accessible locations that are owned and maintained by private developers or other private companies. The dataset behind the map has been made public, and can be accessed on the GiGL website and the London Datastore.

Private control over large open spaces in the city is not without historical precedent. In the 19 th century many areas of central London, including stretches of Belgravia, Marylebone and Pimlico, were effectively gated communities, sealed off from the general public and policed by private entities. Throughout the late 19 th and 20 th centuries public struggles were waged to force open land and ensure streets, squares and parks were adopted by local authorities over whom Londoners of all backgrounds — not just the influential or wealthy — could exert a measure of democratic control.

The nature of pseudo-public space in London was highlighted in , when protesters from the Occupy movement initially attempted to rally in the open space outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square, only to be removed by police on the grounds that they were trespassing on private land.


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Public space campaigners point out that Pops appear unrestricted to the average person as long as they are behaving in ways that corporate landowners approve of, such as passing through on the way to work or using the area for spending and consumption. It is only by exhibiting unsanctioned behaviour — holding a political demonstration, for example, or attempting to sleep rough in the area — that citizens are able to discover the limitations on these seemingly public sites. Leach believes that increasing public awareness is vital, and that the publication of a map detailing the locations of pseudo-public space is an important first step.

A lot of our great protest and reformist movements started in parks because they were natural gathering places.

ATTENTION SECURITY OFFICERS: Security Uniform Best Practices

These spaces are a representation of our freedom in society, which is little by little being eroded. On a recent visit to a number of different pseudo-public spaces in London, the Guardian found that this was true. Huge variations exist in how clearly land ownership is signposted, as well as in the number of amenities provided by the landowners and the level of security in operation.

Many of the newest sites feature similar types of landscaped gardens and water features, free wi-fi and big screens showing summer sport, as well as activities like table tennis, climbing walls and outdoor gyms. The Guardian asked the development consortium behind Nine Elms, as well as Hammerson and the Ballymore Group, developers of the Bishopsgate Goods Yard, for information regarding future restrictions and permissions on their pseudo-public spaces, but none were willing to comment.

Neither were the councils of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth or Wandsworth — the relevant planning authorities for the two sites.

The Role of the Police in the Co-Production of Art Security in London | SpringerLink

I think there are many instances where private spaces are well-used and enjoyed, and contribute socially and economically to the city. For Anna Minton, however, the aesthetic appeal or otherwise of pseudo-public spaces misses the point. Alternatives to pseudo-public space do exist.

Meanwhile, in London, private ownership of apparently public spaces continues to increase. Watching over them, dressed in a hi-vis jacket, was a private security guard. The Guardian asked him what rules he was enforcing, and he shrugged. Guardian Cities contacted the landowners of more than 50 pseudo-public spaces in London, asking an identical set of questions: what restrictions are in place covering users of your land, how are these enforced, where can members of the public see a list of these restrictions, and what conditions are there in the relevant planning agreements regarding public access to your land?

Police and society

We also asked whether a series of public activities — including peaceful political protest, non-commercial photography, non-commercial artistic performances and rough sleeping — would be permitted on their site. Both landowners also said that homeless people attempting to make a bed would be asked to leave the site but would be directed towards relevant support services. East Village said that permission was needed for any photography or filming on its land; Canary Wharf Group said that non-commercial photography and filming was allowed. Both landowners said advance permission was needed for artistic performances and requests would be considered on a case by case basis.

6.4 Ethics of Private Policing

Similarly, in Canada , various acts [13] [14] specifically prohibits private security personnel from using the terms Probation Officer , law enforcement , police , or police officer. Alberta and Ontario prohibit the use of the term Security Officer , which has been in widespread use in the United States for many decades. Recent changes to the act have also introduced restrictions on uniform and vehicle colours and markings to make private security personnel clearly distinctive from police personnel.

Some sources feel that some of these restrictions are put in place to satisfy the Canadian Police Association. The former, often called "guards", are taught the mantra "observe and report", are minimally trained, and not expected to deal with the public or confront criminals. The latter are often highly trained, sometimes armed depending on contracts agreed upon with clientele, and are more likely to interact with the general public and to confront the criminal element. These employees tend to take pride in the title "Security Officer" or " Protection Officer " and disdain the label of "guard".

Security jobs vary in pay and duties. There is sometimes little relationship between duties performed and compensation, for example some mall "security officers" who are exposed to serious risks earn less per hour than "industrial security guards" who have less training and responsibility. The roles have progressed and so have the areas for which security people are needed. The term "agent" can be confusing in the security industry because it can describe a civil legal relationship between an employee and their employer or contractor "agent of the owner" in California PC , and also can describe a person in government service " Special Agent Jones of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ".

Language selection

The title "agent" can be confused with bail enforcement agents, also known as "bounty hunters", who are sometimes regulated by the same agencies which regulate private security. The term "agent" is also used in other industries, such as banking agents, loan agents and real estate agents. Security agents are often employed in loss prevention and personal or executive protection bodyguards roles. They typically work in plainclothes without a uniform , and are usually highly trained to act lawfully in direct defense of life or property.

Security officers are private citizens, and therefore are bound by the same laws and regulations as the citizenry they are contracted to serve, and therefore are not allowed to represent themselves as law enforcement under penalty of law. Just as with the police profession, training requirements for the private security industry have evolved over time. For the most part, contracts were awarded to security officer companies through a competition process and the final selection was often made based on cost rather than the experience or professionalism of the security guard company.

That changed drastically on September 11, when radical terrorists attacked the United States. The event moved corporate threat concerns to the top of the priority list for most security guard contracts started being awarded based on professionalism. More money was invested in security so more money became available for training of security guards. The term 'security professional' began to surface and large private security companies like Blackwater, USA began offering training services for the private security industry that approached the level of training provided by the military.

Security companies began paying enough to attract people with significant backgrounds in law enforcement and the military, often in special operations. Template:Citation needed. Template:Expand section Any person who conducts a business or is employed in a security-related field within Australia is required to be licensed.


  • Ethics of Private Policing – Ethics in Law Enforcement.
  • Revealed: the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in London.
  • Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal.
  • Security Officers and Policing - E-bok - Mark Button () | Bokus.
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  • Managing Information: Core Management.
  • Associated Data.
  • Each of the six states and two territories of Australia have separate legislation that covers all security activities. All persons licensed to perform security activities are required to undertake a course of professional development in associated streams that are recognised nationally.

    Unsanctioned behaviour

    This has not always been the case and the introduction of this requirement is expected to regulate the educational standards and knowledge base so that the particular job can be competently performed. Strict requirements are laid down as to the type of uniform and badge used by security companies. Uniforms or badges that may be confused with a police officer are prohibited. Also, the use of the titles 'Security Police' or 'Private Detective' are unacceptable. While the term security guard is used by companies, government bodies and individuals, the term security officer is deemed more suitable.

    Security Officers may carry firearms, handcuffs or batons where their role requires them to do so and then only when working and have the appropriate sub-class accreditation to their license. Template:See also. In Canada , private security falls under the jurisdiction of Canada's ten provinces and three territories. All ten of Canada's provinces and one of its territories the Yukon have legislation that regulates the contract security industry. Most provinces in Canada regulate the use of handcuffs and weapons such as firearms and batons by contract security companies and their employees, either banning such use completely or permitting it only under certain circumstances.

    Additionally, in some provinces, some terms, or variations of them, are prohibited either on a uniform or in self-reference. Canada's federal laws also restrict the ability of security officers to be armed. For example, section 17 of the Firearms Act makes it an offense for any person, including a security officer, to possess prohibited or restricted firearms i. There are two exceptions to this prohibition found in sections 18 and 19 of the Act. Section 18 deals with transportation of firearms while Section 19 deals with allowing persons to carry such firearms on their persons to protect their lives or the lives of other persons, or for the performance of their occupation Armour Car Guards, Licensed Trappers , provided an Authorization to Carry ATC is first obtained.

    Private security in the province of British Columbia is governed by two pieces of legislation: the Security Services Act [23] and the Security Services Regulation. The legislation requires that guards must be at least 19 years old, undergo a criminal background check, and successfully complete a training course. Section 11 1 c of the Security Services Regulation prohibits security personnel from carrying or using any "item designed for debilitating or controlling a person or animal", which the government interprets to include all weapons.

    As well, section 11 forbids private security from using or carrying restraints, such as handcuffs, unless authorized by the government. However, as in other parts of Canada, armoured car officers are permitted to carry firearms. In the past, only personnel that worked for contract security, that is, security companies, were regulated in British Columbia. However, as of September 1, , in-house security officers and private investigators came under the jurisdiction of the Security Services Act and Security Services Regulation.

    Bodyguards and bouncers, effective November 1, , are also subject to these regulations. Armed private security officers are much rarer in Europe , and illegal in many countries, such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In developing countries with host country permission , an armed security force composed mostly of ex-military personnel is often used to protect corporate assets, particularly in war-torn regions.

    This dispensation is not available to Vehicle Immobilisers.


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