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Until recently, private policing has been ignored by those pre-occupied with the activities of public police officers. In consequence there has been much discussion of the role of police but little debate aboth policing, an activity undertaken throughout history by a mixture of public, private and quasi-public agents. Contrary to models of police history which see a complete break between earlier private models of provision and the 'new' police, Les Johnston claims that there is no clean break between the 'new' and 'old' forms of policing. In the first part of the book, Johnston reviews the history of private policing and examines the various ideologies of privatization. He goes on to look at current developments in private policing, including such areas of topical concern as the activities of the private security sector, and the increasing effects of privatization on police forces. Lastly, Johnston's argument forces us to re-assess the conventional distinction between 'public' and 'private' authority so often taken for granted in social and political theory.