This project aims to establish a European network, led by White Rose Consortium member institutions, to constitute the basis for a bid for funds to undertake comparative research examining private security regulation in a European framework. This network, comprising EU partners and non-academic research users, will come together around the following core activities, which the funding will be used to support:
1. An initial project inception/scoping event in late 2011.
2. A two-day conference in spring 2012 to launch the European network at which the following will be explored: (i) the policy developments regarding the regulation of security; (ii) the key conceptual themes; and (iii) the contents and outline of a European funding bid.
3. The development of an interactive network website.
4. The preparation of a comparative research bid to the European Commission or alternatively under the Open Research Area (ESRC) in conjunction with national funding bodies in participating EU countries.
The research focus of the network will centre on regulatory problems and policy challenges that attend to the interface between public policing and private security in different European countries. In particular, it will seek to explore the issue of coordinating security providers towards the public good. While the regulatory frameworks for orientating public security providers toward the public good are generally very well developed, the regulatory frameworks for orientating private security providers are patchy and uneven. This creates problems not only in a domestic context but also in a pan-European context given that European Directive 2005/36/EU on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (which came into force on 19th October 2007) established a fluid European labour market in the private security sector. The network objectives are to:
• Compare and contrast different regulatory frameworks
• Explore connections between regulatory systems
• Draw lessons of best practice at domestic and European levels.