Mapping the Australian Security Industry
This study was designed in response to media claims about dramatic growth in the size of the security industry in Australia, following lethal incidents involving security personnel. All available sources on the size and dimensions of, and changes in, the industry were analysed-primarily occupational data from the national census and government licensing figures. The findings were compared to police and population figures. Overall, the research did not result in a definitive set of figures. Census data for persons' main occupations in security-related work and in the police respectively show a ratio of 1.2:1, while the numbers of licences indicate there are just over twice as many individual security providers as police. It is likely that many of these licence holders work part-time. Growth in the industry has outpaced that of the police and the population. The most recent census figures for a five-year period show that while the Australian population increased by 6.0 per cent and the police by 6.5 per cent, the number of security providers grew by 31.1 per cent. The study concludes by emphasising how the public is now highly dependent on security services, but current issues suggest the need for more sophisticated regulation to improve conduct and quality of service.