Private security is a mushrooming phenomenon worldwide, yet little is known about its nature and extent. There is a lack of systematic research that deals with the size, shape, growth and implications of private security operations. Furthermore, the limited available information has been dominated by Anglo-American publications tending to overlook the situation outside Anglophone countries. In addition, academic literature in general lacks a coherent set of theoretical concepts that can explain developing private security markets.This book aims to tackle such blind spots by focusing on both the theoretical and empirical side of flourishing 'manned' guarding services in the Netherlands. It maps out the evolution of private security over the past 30 years and elucidates why the industry has grown so large. The book also offers detailed insights for politicians, policy-makers and ordinary citizens who frequently encounter private guards, but lack detailed information about them. In so doing, it sheds light on changes representing major shifts in policing and public order maintenance, tasks which to date have been government's primary responsibility.