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Mapping Private Security - The Companies and the Industry

Posted: 26 Aug 2008  

Allison Wylde

University of Roehampton

Date Written: August 26, 2008


This study arose from a project funded by the London Development Agency Secondment into Knowledge Programme, which tested the ideas that path dependence and lock in were affecting a firm's relationships with their buyers (a private security guarding firm and a local authority). A gap in the literature that examined the economics, structure and future of the private security sector was identified.

The private security industry PSI was an obvious choice for study; currents estimates are of growth at rates faster than most GDPs and it is recommended a stock choice by leading investment banks. However it was found that the current literature is largely based on studies by criminologists on private policing and on international governance and post conflict sate building in war zones issues from the international relations, policy and law literatures.

It is proposed to undertake a mapping exercise to address this gap and help understanding and guide policy makers, particularly in light of the growth in the role of PSI in regeneration, megaevents, including for example the London 2012 Olympics. This mapping will consider, the history, size and structure of the industry; the industry bodies, and the regulatory and legislative frameworks, together with examples from the suppliers and the customers ranging across the small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to trans national corporations (TNCs).

Current theories from economic geography used to guide the development of the theoretical standpoint for this investigation.

Keywords: Keywords, private security companies, mapping the security industry, manned guarding, CCTV

Suggested Citation

Wylde, Allison, Mapping Private Security - The Companies and the Industry (August 26, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Allison Wylde (Contact Author)

University of Roehampton ( email )

Roehampton Lane
London, SW15 5PU
United Kingdom

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