Private security or policing is just as important as the functions of the State Police. Private policing has not really been encouraged because people basically viewed them as add-ons to the state police. There are many areas of security where private police and state police merge and combine their efforts for the prevention of criminal activity. Both police bodies have quite a few things in common, and in some instance, their functions and duties overlap with each other. Private policing and detective work has been around for many years, and their scope of operations goes back even before the public police.
Whenever there is a reference about private policing, the most famous name that comes to mind is Pinker-tons, the reputed private agency that has helped the police in solving many crimes. There are quite a few similarities between private and public police, and both the agencies generally use similar means in their routine tasks. In fact, it is quite difficult to discern any major differences between the public or private police. Although many private security companies operate at a national and even international level, they are mostly small operations, with around 30 to 50 employees which suggest that there is a persistent demand for private policing agencies.
Generally private policing is being used for the protection of property, or for crowd control, basically for political and religious organizations. Other forms of private policing include private security guards, policing at schools and industrial complexes, policing at large department stores and supermarkets etc. Most private policing is done on a commercial basis, but usually for political or religious rallies and gathering the private policing is done on a voluntary basis. People are now turning to self-help to protect valuable and property, as the police are already overstretched and it is not possible for the state police to provide individual protection for banks and armored cars that move cash and other valuables around.
However, private policing as commercial ventures is quite distinct from the state police, as the functions and priorities may differ for different purposes. Private police enjoy many advantages over the state police, as they are not bound by ethical, organizational or legal restraints that the state police have to adhere to. This basically helps in meeting objectives for the private police where the state police because of any constraints are not able to perform efficiently. Another factor in the constraints imposed on the state police may be attempting to curb the powers of the state police