In the industrial circle today the terms police and private police are widely used. While the term police refer to the regular law enforcement authorities, private police generally refers to the industrial security services engaged by entrepreneurs. Difference between the two is quite prominent. While the former is the agency that implements law; the latter is the one that works within the ambits of law to prevent trespass, sabotage, and pilferage in the industrial unit.
Such private police working for industrial security however are subject to the overall supervision of the regular police. Accountable for their actions before the law enforcement agencies, these agencies act as the in house security performing police actions within the organization.
While the two services are different because of the fact that uniformed personnel perform policing much more frequently than the in house people or private police. However there are some circumstances where the functioning of the two coincides pretty perfectly. In such case their respective actions become similar.
Growth of private police upholding industrial security as an industry is basically a phenomenon that grew in the twentieth century. However, individual concepts of such policing were prevalent long back in history. Countries and especially the commercial world where competition and rivalry is intense, provides ideal platform for evolution of the private policing for protection of security in industrial units. In some countries like England private policing not only preceded the public police but also necessitated the introduction of regular public police.
Like England, in many countries, state controlled agencies for law enforcement emerged out of such private organizations that were basically established for maintenance of public orders. One of the objectives of private police organizations was also to promote and protect private interests. However, public police was concerned with public interest that encompassed common zones in the society.
In sharp contrast to what happened in UK, private policing was an offshoot of public policing in United States. New York was first city to have in place public police services.
It all started with wealthy merchants hiring security guards to protect their properties and interests. Gradually however it grew into a full-fledged industry providing industrial security to large, medium, and small enterprises.