Martin Gill will be speaking at the Markets in Policing conference

‘Markets in Policing: The Appetite for and Organisational, Cultural and Moral Limits to Markets in Public Policing’

International and Comparative Experiences from Europe and Beyond

An ESRC Public Policy Conference


11th & 12th July 2016

Liberty Building, University of Leeds


For some time, public policing has been shielded from debates about marketisation and the greater involvement of the private sector. Recently, however, a maturing private security industry, austerity measures and changes in land-use and property ownership have created a climate in which the political terms of the debate have shifted dramatically in favour of greater marketization of public policing. This conference will bring together international researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to discuss and reflect on international and comparative trends in the involvement of the commercial sector and markets in the provision and delivery of public policing. It will explore the cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional appetite for, and barriers to, greater marketisation and commercialisation of the policing function.

Some of the questions to be address throughout the conference will include: What international innovations in markets for policing exist and what does research tell us about their impacts? What are forces driving and limiting the involvement of the private sector in policing? What role does law, politics, cultural norms and social values play in structuring comparative experiences? What tasks should be performed by sworn constables with legal powers and which tasks might better be devolved to others? What should the parameters of the public police role be? Does outsourcing provide an effective means of responding to contemporary austerity measures? To what extent can private security be harnessed to public ends? What are the limits of private sector involvement in public policing? What implications does marketisation have for public legitimacy? To what extent does the marketisation of policing herald erosion to the idea of the police as ‘sacred symbols of national pride’? What are the implications of marketisation for allied trends in civilianisation, pluralisation and privatisation in policing?

This conference will be of interest to those keen to understand international development and future directions in the growth and role of private security and markets for policing.

The following high profile international speakers have confirmed their attendance and contribution to the conference, amongst others:

  • Professor Philip Stenning, Griffith University, Australia
  • Professor Marleen Easton, University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Dr Tessa Diphoorn, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Dr Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand, Gothenburg University, Sweden
  • Dr Kevin Walby, University of Winnipeg, Canada
  • Professor Gorazd Mesko, University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • Professor Jan Terpstra, Radboud University, the Netherlands
  • Professor Marc Cools, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
  • René Hiemstra, G4S Netherlands
  • Cédric Paulin, Conseil National des Activités Privées de Sécurité (CNAPS), France
  • Professor Ian Loader, University of Oxford, UK
  • Dr Alison Wakefield, Portsmouth University, UK
  • Dr Adam White, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Dr Conor O’Reilly, University of Leeds, UK
  • Dr Michael McDonagh, Securitas UK
  • John Shaw, G4S UK
  • Professor Martin Gill, Perpetuity Research & Consultancy International, UK

Please click here to read the programme for the conference.


For further information please contact:

Conference Administrator: Lauren Gale –

Conference Organiser: Professor Adam Crawford –

Conference Venue: Room LG.06, Liberty Building, School of Law, University of Leeds

For further information about the ESRC seminar series see the project website:

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