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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: September 2009

8 - Directions for the future


Third party policing represents a major shift in crime control. It is a trend in policing that mirrors wider societal transformations in regulatory practices concomitant with the emergence of the “risk society.” In third party policing, responsibility for crime control no longer rests with state agencies, but is shared with a wide range of regulatory nodes (both formal and informal) including regulatory agencies, local councils, businesses and individuals. Police partner with property owners, local residents, business owners, parents, health and fire regulators and local councils to control and prevent crime. Third party policing is thus defined in our book as police efforts to persuade or coerce organizations or non-offending persons, such as public housing agencies, property owners, parents, health and building inspectors, and business owners to take some responsibility for preventing crime or reducing crime problems (Buerger and Mazerolle, 1998: 301). In third party policing, the police create or enhance crime control guardians in locations or situations where crime control guardianship was previously absent or non-effective.

Our book had four main goals: first, to define and describe third party policing. What does third party policing look like in practice? How is third party policing implemented at the coalface of policing? What are the key dimensions of third party policing? What types of legal levers are used in third party policing and why?