Nuclear policing

Another area where there has been the development of specialist policing is related to nuclear power stations. The importance of protecting such locations from terrorist attack and ensuring the safety and security of nuclear materials makes this a high priority for high-quality policing and security. There are many countries that do not have nuclear power stations, but those that do have established a variety of structures to protect them from normal security departments, from private security contractors through to specialist police. For example, many nuclear power stations in the USA are protected by private security companies regulated by the US Nuclear Regulatory' Commission, which, given the large number of specialised police forces in the USA, is surprising (Faddis, 2010).

In the UK, however, there is a specialist police force called the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), which changed its name from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary (UKAEAC) in 2005 after it was reconstituted under the 2004 Energy Act. What makes this even more interesting for scholars of private policing is that in the UK much of the nuclear industry has been privatised. So the Civil Nuclear Constabulary represents a public police force serving private companies - undertaking functions that in many other countries would be undertaken by private security.

The CNC does not deal with much crime and rarely arrests, with only 30 and 40 arrests respectively in the past two reporting years - an arrest rate of 0.03 per officer per year (see Figure 5.1). Its officers work on slightly worse conditions compared to the public police as they have to retire at 65, compared to 60 for the public police, and receive a starting salary after training of £25.7k compared to £27.2k for the public police (BBC News, 2016; Civil Nuclear Constabulary, n.d.-b; Hampshire Constabulary, 2017).

The predecessor of the CNC was created in 1955 under the 1954 Atomic Energy Act (Johnston, 1994). The CNC’s role is to provide security at nuclear installations, preventing and detecting crime and securing nuclear materials in transit (bar nuclear weapons, which are the responsibility of the MDP). The CNC is a routinely armed police force employing around 1,500 officers, significantly more than the 668 reported by Johnston in 1992 (Civil Nuclear Constabulary, n.d.-a). This growth reflects both expansion in the nuclear industry and the growing threat of terrorism to such facilities post 9/11. Officers hold powers on all nuclear sites and within five kilometres of them; they also hold powers in relation to the transit of nuclear materials and in the pursuit of persons reasonably believed to have interfered or stolen nuclear materials protected by CNC, amongst others (Energy Act 2004, Section 56). The force falls under the jurisdiction of the IOPC, and the 2004 act also mandates regular inspection by HMIC (international obligations also require security inspection by bodies such as the Office for Nuclear Regulation -Civil Nuclear Security).

Originally when the UKAEAC was formed there were no structures created in the enabling legislation: no police authority, just the United Kingdom Atomic

Energy Authority Board. This has gradually been changed through the creation of an authority and then the 2004 legislation establishing clear statutory structures. The CNC is now maintained by the CNC Police Authority, which is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Police Authority has eight members, with four members from drawn from industry. The chief constable is also unusual in not always coming from a police background: the incumbent at the time of writing (March 2018) was a former brigadier in the army, and a predecessor was rumoured to be a former MI6 officer (Gov.uk, n.d.; The Guardian, 2009). The role is also described as ‘chief constable/chief executive officer’.

Criticisms have been made concerning the governance and accountability of the CNC (Johnston, 1994; Rogers, 2007; The Guardian, 2009). There have been concerns regarding potential armed incidents when the CNC are escorting materials (or supporting the public police), their surveillance of antinuclear protestors, the influence of the nuclear industry on operational policing and the structures of accountability and governance. Regarding the latter, the 2004 legislation clearly establishes governance structures that are equivalent to the public police, given the context of the vast majority of the policing. Any armed incident would still fall under the jurisdiction of the IOPC, as with a local force. Interference with police operational decision making is clearly a risk, and in 1994 the chief constable resigned over the refusal of the then police authority to increase officers. However, the 2004 structures do make this more difficult. Given that the role is to secure the nuclear sites and transit of materials, it would be surprising if they were not conducting surveillance on environmental protestors and they are subject to the same regulations as the public police regarding this.

It has been argued in the past that the CNC are nothing more than an expensive armed security firm (Esler, 1983). The security roles at nuclear facilities are very similar to the duties of security officers at many other locations in industry. The low number of arrests and reported crimes also add weight to this argument. However, the alternative would be a security force, either in-house or under contract, and these may well be less effective and also less robust in resisting the commercial pressures of the industry. The specialism required and the risk of loss of resources would make giving responsibility to the relevant local police a poor choice. Given the importance of the security of nuclear materials the CNC would seem to be the best available option. There have, however, been investigations into a possible merger of this force with the MDP, but to date no definitive proposals have emerged (T/ie Guardian, 2012).

Assessing the degree of publicness and privateness of CNC, it is more to the public end of the spectrum, but not quite as public as the BTP. First of all they are a public body created by statute. However, they are funded largely by private companies in the nuclear industry. In terms of the groups they serve this is largely the nuclear industry. They operate on a mixture of spaces: largely private space (only open to authorised persons), but some public space when transporting nuclear materials. They do, however, possess special powers as constables or equivalent (although with some restrictions on space).

Campus police: universities, colleges and schools

Universities and colleges

A significant body of specialised private policing in the USA is campus police. These are specialised police forces dedicated to a specific university or college. Many of these police in the USA have comparable powers to the public police; many are armed and wear comparable uniforms. Sloan (1992) traces campus police back to 1894, when Yale University hired the local police to protect its campus. It might also seem surprising, given that campuses usually have much lower rates of crime in most categories compared to adjacent residential areas, that there would be a need for such bodies (Henson and Stone, 1999). However, in the 1960s, when unrest and violence exploded on many campuses (especially protests about the Vietnam war), and where traditional ‘watchmen’ type security were unable to cope, university administrators, unhappy with the public police response to students, started to establish their own police forces.

There are now many of these specialised police forces in the USA. During the 2011-2012 school year the US Department of Justice (2015) estimated that, of the 900+ US four-year colleges and universities with 2,500 students or more, two thirds had campus police. These were predominantly public institutions with 92 per cent using them, compared to 38 per cent amongst private institutions. The research identified 861 campus law enforcement bodies, employing around 15,000 sworn officers, 11,000 non-swom security officers and 5,000 civilian support staff, amongst others. Amongst sworn officers, 94 per cent were authorised to carry sidearms, pepper and chemical sprays, and 93 per cent a baton. Around nine in ten campus sworn officers also had arrest powers which extended beyond the campus to adjacent areas. The role of campus police varies but there is a focus upon community policing, patrol, crime prevention, rape and domestic violence prevention and drugs and alcohol education. There is a recurring theme in the literature on such police forces that they are considered to have less status than the public police (Patten et al, 2016; Jacobsen, 2015).

An example of such a force is the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD), responsible for policing 19,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff and 700 buildings with around 80 officers. The HUPD comprises of a patrol, criminal investigation and dignitary protection unit. The core functions of HUPD include:

  • • responding to criminal incidents;
  • • checking on the well-being of students, faculty, and staff;
  • • responding to disturbances;
  • • providing escorts;
  • • taking reports of lost and stolen property;

responding to lockouts;

investigating suspicious activity;

responding to alarms; and

investigating trespassers or unwanted guests.

(HUPD, 2017)

HUPD officers are sworn in as special State Police officers, with deputy sheriff powers, which gives them, ‘the authority to make arrests for criminal offenses committed on campus and for any “breach of the peace” on city streets in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’ (HUPD, 2017, p 4). Officers are also armed and receive the same training as the public police in Cambridge, and have primary responsibility for the investigation of all crimes on campus, bar homicide. The chief of HUPD reports to the general counsel of Harvard University, who is a senior administrator responsible for the legal affairs of the university. Harvard University is a private university, predominantly privately funded, and in turn funds the HUPD. The force serves predominantly a specific group - Harvard University students and staff - and operates largely on private space. The officers do have similar powers to the public police. Thus HUPD exhibits a high degree of privateness. However, there are many universities and colleges in the USA which are predominantly publicly funded: thus the degree of privateness does vary.

It is interesting to compare to other countries, given that most campuses face similar crime and policing problems. In the UK responsibility for policing campuses lies with security departments and security officers in virtually all the universities. The exception is the University of Cambridge, which maintains its own constabulary. Under the 1825 University Act the chancellor and vice chancellor have the power to appoint and swear in constables. The University Constabulary is headed by the university marshal and in the past would patrol the university, but has now become more of a reactive force, responding to incidents and playing a role in ceremonial occasions of the university (University of Cambridge, n.d.). There are 27 part-time constables and they wear a more traditional uniform with top hats. A FOI request in 2015 identified they had not made an arrest in 15 years (Whatdotheyknow, 2015b). Oxford University also had the power to establish a constabulary under this legislation, but in 2002 the bowler-hat-wearing ‘bulldogs’, as they were known, were disbanded. In 2008, however, the university’s need for a police presence led them to pay /(120,000 to Thames Valley Police for four police community support officers to patrol the university (The Telegraph, 2008). The University of Cambridge Constabulary is part of a public university (although in the UK universities, and particularly Oxbridge, have a degree of independence from the state); the university is funded by a mix of public and private funding; but they serve the university and those who visit and operate largely on private space and some quasi-public space.

Setting Oxbridge aside, special police for universities are rare in the UK, most European countries and Australia too. Canada has some similarities to the USA. The University of Toronto has its own police force, the University of Toronto

Campus Police, whose 50+ officers are special constables (University of Toronto, n.d.). McMaster University in Canada also has a university security service where officers are sworn in as special constables, as does Alberta University.

Schools police

In the USA it is not just higher education where special police forces exist. Many schools in the USA also have their own police forces. For example, in Los Angeles there is the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) serving the schools of the city. Research by the National Center for Education Statistics suggested that 43 per cent of public schools in the US, rising to 64 per cent of high schools, have a police officer presence (CNN, 2015). This amounted to 46,000 full-time officers and 36,000 part-time. These officers patrol, prevent drugs and weapons entering schools, deal with incidents and help to maintain secure environments for education. Some of these officers are drawn from the public police (amd are known as school resource officers), but there are many schools and groups of schools that have their own dedicated police. Indeed, Brown (2006) traces the Indianapolis Public School Police back to 1939. Some of the limited research on police officers in schools has suggested that pupils view them positively (Brown and Benedict, 2005), while other research has suggested they lead to more incidents being defined as criminal and to more crime being detected (Na and Gottfredson, 2013). The growth of such police in the USA has been fuelled by government money encouraging them. In the UK and most other countries school police forces are rare, although there are many examples of the public police having formal arrangements and a presence on school premises (Brown, 2006).

Policing religious places of worship

Historically the church has been very powerful in many European countries and was much closer to the centre of political power. This influence and power has waned over the last few centuries, but there are still some remnants of this in the UK, which will soon be explored. However, before some of the cathedral constabularies are considered, some of the examples from other countries will be considered. The Vatican City State is a small micro-state in Rome which has its own police force, the Corps of the Gendarmerie of Vatican City. However, as this is the ‘national’ police force of the Vatican, which is a recognised state, it is not a ‘private police force’. A better example is the Washington DC National Cathedral, which has its own police force of 20 sworn officers - the Washington National Cathedral Police Department - responsible for policing the land of the protestant Episcopal cathedral which includes the National Cathedral, 57 acres of land, three schools and a parish church. These officers have public safety functions, dealing with lost and stolen property and traffic control. They assume important ceremonial roles when there are major state events at the cathedral, such as the funeral of a president (Lee, 2008).

In the UK there are still a number of cathedrals which maintain their own small constabularies. These include:

  • • Canterbury Close Constables;
  • • Chester Cathedral Constables;
  • • Liverpool Cathedral Constables; and
  • • York Minster Police.

Cathedral constables have existed since 1275. Cathedrals are medieval institutions which have had the ability to create their own laws and offices. The Church of England (the established church in England) has its own parliament which can create its own laws relating to church property, affairs and canons. The Cathedrals Measure 1999 (which has the same status as an act of parliament) formalised a long standing tradition of cathedrals being permitted to create any ‘office, dignitary or statutes’ relating to a cathedral and its precinct. This has partially formalised the tradition of cathedrals creating constables, and there are also plans for further ‘measures’ to go through the General Synod to formalise cathedral constables. Although these constables can be traced back many centuries, it is only in recent years with the growth of terrorism and the reduced capacity of the police that cathedrals have taken these issues more seriously and sought to develop a more professional police presence on their premises (Cathedral Constables Association, n.d.).

These are ver)' small forces, with six at Canterbury (and three further in training), five at Chester, four at Liverpool, and ten at York (Personal Communication). Ripon Cathedral also plans to establish a force and has already recruited one officer to develop this, but currently the officer only wears the uniform at major events and has another role for most of his working time. All these officers are paid employees of the cathedrals, other than at Chester, which uses volunteers who are retired officers from Cheshire Constabulary'. The officers pass a nationally agreed training course - the Certificate in Cathedral Constable Attestation, a level three course - and also undertake a personal safety' training course provided by the Mersey' Tunnels Police, which entitles them to carry' batons. The officers possess constable powers on cathedral property' (Cathedral Constables Association, n.d.). Cathedrals (belonging to the Church of England) are part of the state and therefore so are the constables; they are largely funded by the state, so the constables are public on that issue; but they serve the church and those who visit, and operate on a mix of private space and quasi-public space.

Policing political institutions

Some political institutions, such as national parliaments, have established their own special police forces. The US congress is policed and secured by' the US Capitol Police, which is responsible for congress on Capitol Hill. In Berlin in Germany there is the Polizei beim Deutschen Bundestag, which is responsible for the security' and policing of the German parliament. It has sole power on the premises, excluding other police agencies, as a means to prevent possible interference in the affairs of parliament. This compares to many other countries where it is the responsibility of the public police, such as the UK, where the Palace of Westminster is policed and protected by the public police, the Metropolitan Police Service.

 
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