Plural policing in Europe: relationships and governance in contemporary security system

Megan O'Neill (Lead / Corresponding author), Nicholas Fyfe

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

8 Citations (Scopus)
167 Downloads (Pure)


References to ‘plural policing’, ‘policing beyond the police’ and the ‘extended policing family’ are now commonplace in many discussions of policing in late modern societies. There is a danger that claims about the dynamic and changing nature of plural policing themselves become a new orthodoxy and begin to lose a sense of local nuance and recognition of the importance of place-based specificity and context in understanding the particularities of policing. It is this need to unpack the complex ways in which contemporary plural policing is now configured at a local level within different national political environments that provides the underpinning rationale for this Special Issue. Focussing on aspects of relationships and governance in six jurisdictions across northern and western Europe, it provides important insights into how the policies, practices and narratives around plural policing reflect the influence of particular histories and geographies. The first three articles are focused primarily on the relationships which have emerged in the public sector through its own processes of pluralisation, in particular, through the introduction of policing auxiliaries or municipal policing in Scotland, England and The Netherlands. The fourth article considers both relationships and governance in pluralised policing in Paris, France. A detailed analysis of the governance of safety and security is taken up in the final two articles, examining the cases of Austria and Belgium. These articles clearly demonstrate that experiences of pluralised policing vary widely within Europe and call into question the assumed dominance of neo-liberal forces in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPolicing and Society: an International Journal of Research
Issue number1
Early online date17 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • Plural policing
  • private security
  • policing auxiliaries
  • policing governance


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