Company police

Company police

Company police, also called private police, are police officers who work for a private company rather than a government agency.


United Kingdom

The term was formerly used in the United Kingdom for in-house security guards at factories and plants.[citation needed] Despite the name, these men did not have police powers.[citation needed] It has been illegal for police officers to work part-time as security guards in the United Kingdom since 1934.[1]

There are 10[2] companies whose employees are sworn in as constables under section 79 of the Harbours, Docks, and Piers Clauses Act 1847. As a result, they have the full powers of a constable on any land owned by the harbour, dock, or port and at any place within one mile of any owned land. Additionally, there are also some forces created by specific legislation such as the Port of Tilbury Police (Port of London Act 1968).

United States

These exist in most states in the United States. If they have attended the basic law enforcement officer's training academy in the state in which they work, they may be granted arrest or detention authority as long as it does not violate state law.

Their jurisdiction is sometimes limited to the property which they have been hired to protect, however most Company Police officers work in a part-time capacity to supplement the salaries they earn as full-time city police officers, thereby granting them city-wide jurisdiction if the property they are employed on is located within their respective city. In the majority of the states in the U.S., actively-employed state-certified peace officers, regardless of the capacity in which they are employed (private, public, company, security, campus, etc.), have the ability to pursue and apprehend someone suspected of committing a felony outside of their normal jurisdiction.

In San Francisco, private special police are protected by the city charter.

There are generally two types of Company Police:

  • "in-house" or "proprietary" (i.e. employed by the same company or organization they protect, such as a mall, theme park, or casino);
  • "contract," working for a private security company which protects many locations and or multiple businesses.
    • Note: in North Carolina, personnel of Private Police are called Special Police or Company Police

See also


  1. ^ "Reforms in the Police", The Times, 27 April 1934
  2. ^ "Department for Transport - Accountability and Standards of the Port Police Forces". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 

External links

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