Purple vests. The origins of plural policing in Belgium

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Purple vests. The origins of plural policing in Belgium

Type: Article / Letter to editor
Title: Purple vests. The origins of plural policing in Belgium
Author: Devroe, E.
Journal Title: European Journal of Policing Studies
Issue: 3
Volume: 2
Start Page: 304
End Page: 325
Pages: 22
Issue Date: 2015-03-27
Keywords: Plural policing
social disorder
Abstract: This article increases the body of knowledge on the origins of plural policing in a continental setting, more specifically in Belgium. Compared to other European countries, Belgium occupies a unique position, which can be explained by its particular constitutional setting. While non-police public actors execute police surveillance tasks in the public space, private security companies have no more competences than any ordinary citizen. Today maintenance of social disorder in the public space presents itself as a municipal patchwork, delineated by municipal autonomy and by political choices against privatisation. In this article we formulate an answer to the central research question “How did plural policing processes in Belgium originate and what is the current situation?” By means of a multiple case study with triangulation of methods, 27 years of security policy (1985-2012) are analysed. Contrasting with neo-liberal policies in the UK from the 1970s on, Belgian policy was shaped by the powerful presence of socio-democrats who occupied key ministry positions in the federal government, such as the minister of the Interior and the minister of Big Cities, throughout the entire time period. Political bargaining processes explain the ongoing investment in prevention and in “purple vests,” and the choice to exclude private actors in the public space.
Uri: urn:issn:2295-3523
ISSN: urn:issn:2295-3523
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/33211

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