What societal changes and events have led to the significant growth of private security from the mid 1800’s into the twenty-first century?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The period from the mid-1800s to the present day is a very long period.  Not surprisingly, this means that there have been different societal changes that have led to the increase in private security over that time.  Let us look at three of the main changes that have made more private security necessary.

The first change has been the overall growth in the size of businesses and the size of our society.  In the distant past, there might have been less need for private security forces because everything was smaller.  The typical business would have been run out of a home where people would live full-time.  The fact that people would be at home all the time lessened the need for security.  As our society grew, work and home became separate and private security became more and more necessary.

The second change was the great fear of violent crime that arose in the 1970s and 1980s.  Increases in crime during this time made many people feel less safe.  It helped lead them to want to live in places like gated communities with their own security forces.  They felt that living in such places would insulate them from the crime that seemed so prevalent in the rest of society.

The last change has been the move towards government austerity over the last few decades.  As people demand lower taxes, government has had a harder time keeping up large police forces.  This has led to a situation in which more and more private entities feel the need for private security.