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NCJ Number: 182376 Find in a Library
Title: Policing for Profit: The Future of South Africa's Private Security Industry
Author(s): Jenny Irish
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 44
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for Security Studies
Halfway House, 1685
United Nations Development Program
New York, NY 10017
Sale Source: Institute for Security Studies
P.O. Box 4167
Halfway House,
South Africa
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: The South African private security industry is increasingly performing functions that used to be the sole preserve of the police.
Abstract: With feelings of insecurity rapidly rising, an increasing number of South Africans are using private security companies to protect themselves and their assets. The broad private security industry is employing over 200,000 security guards throughout the country, of which the guarding industry is the largest, with 125,000 guards working for approximately 3,200 security companies. Although the South African private security industry is increasingly performing functions traditionally associated with the police, there are clear differences in the objectives of the two services. Whereas the police are charged with protecting the public at large, the private security industry operates for profit and is accountable only to its clients. Moreover, the police generally apprehend criminals after they have committed a crime; whereas, the private security industry seeks to prevent crimes. There are many "fly-by-night" security companies that provide a cheap but substandard service, thereby tarnishing the image and reputation of the industry as a whole. Many of the larger South African private security companies have expanded their operations into other countries in Southern Africa. Private security companies have even involved themselves in political conflicts that are occurring on the subcontinent. In South Africa, private companies that make use of guards are regulated by a statutory body, the Security Officers' Board. The Board polices the regulations that govern the private security industry and sets minimum training standards for security guards. 57 notes
Main Term(s): Private police
Index Term(s): Police-private police cooperation; Public/private police comparisons; Trend analysis
Note: Institute for Security Studies Monograph Series, No. 39, August 1999
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