30 April 2004
A rapid expansion of private security patrols on housing estates has left the public confused over who is supposed to be guarding them and their property, according to a Joseph Rowntree Foundation report.
The security market, which includes neighbourhood wardens and community support officers, must be better regulated, says the study.
The report, based on research in Yorkshire and Humberside, says residents frequently do not understand the role of additional services, which may include officers provided under contract by police forces.
Security companies said that residential services were likely to be their largest potential growth area during the next five years, but housing associations and councils want the police to improve accreditation and co-ordination of other security providers.
'Relations between the providers varied from effective co-operation and co-ordination to indifference, competition and hostility,' says the study, Visible security patrols in residential areas, published on