'Plural Policing' in action: a review of the policing of environmental protests in England and Wales

Timothy John, Mark Button, Nigel Brearley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper considers the emergence of a wide range of private, municipal, hybrid and public bodies in the policing of environmental protest illustrating an example of 'plural policing' in action. It begins by exploring the innovative and challenging tactics of a new form of protester, which has been identified as the Militant Environmental Activist (MEA). The strategies pursued by the MEA have led to a complex range of organisations becoming involved in combating them that has required the development of new tactics and partnerships. The emergence of new organisations in protests has also highlighted the case for the reform and modernisation of some institutions. The role of the under-sheriff and his/her officers, private security officers and investigators, hybrid policing bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive and Benefits Agency, and the public police are examined in depth. In examining the respective roles of these diverse organisations the paper highlights causes for concern and issues that require further debate over reform.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number10
    Pages (from-to)111
    Number of pages121
    JournalPolicing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • plural policing
    • under-sheriff and bailiffs
    • private security
    • environmental protest


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