Private Security in a Plural Policing Environment in Slovenia
|journal||EJPS (ISSN: 2034-760X)|
|date of publication||March 6, 2012|
The Slovenian security sector has significantly changed and developed in the last two decades. Surprisingly, it was not the police force that mainly characterised this period of changes, but rather non-state security providers who prepared grounds to develop a plural instead of historically prevailed mono policing society. The whole process was rather specific since Slovenia became an independent state less than 20 years ago and it had to change its economic and political system from socialism to the western type of liberal democracy. In this regard, even the security sector did not remain untouched, and the process of privatisation and commercialisation of once a state controlled function began very early. If there was in the beginning of the process only one public police organisation and one state-owned (“private”) security firm, twenty years later, there is one public police organisation with around 8.500 police officers, 117 private security firms with around 6.200 security officers, as well as other security/policing providers, like private detectives and municipal/city wardens. The concept “plural police family” is actually even broader, there are some institutions that were not stablished for the purpose of policing, but their tasks, nature of work and special powers make them just that – another policing provider in society and in this regard, the customs service and judicial police also need to be mentioned. Nevertheless, the crucial relationship remains the one between the public police and private security firms, who together still represent the most numerous and most influential providers of security and social control in the Slovenian society. As some studies show, these relations are not perfect but also not conflictive or competitive, allowing enough space for further cooperation that strongly depend on the position of the public police as the central and dominant actor in the security sector.