A private security regulation index: ranking EU member states from 1931 until 2018

Glenn Scheerlinck*, Caroline Buts, Genserik Reniers, Marc Cools

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article quantifies the level of regulation for the private security industry in the European Union. Departing from previous studies that offer only snapshots of regulation, our research presents a yearly quantification of regulation for every EU Member State from 1931 to 2018 (i.e. 2464 observations). The outcome is based on 17 aspects of country-specific regulation. Volume as well as restrictions per regulatory measure is combined into an index. Belgium and Spain continuously have the highest index and thus the most comprehensive and restrictive regulation, while private security legislation is non-existent in the Czech Republic. We highlight important results following the interpretation of the index and discuss their implications. The fact that Member States commit their legislation to different regulatory aspects, hampering the development of supranational legislation, constitutes one of the most noteworthy findings. Most importantly, the index can be the foundation of future quantitative analysis regarding private security regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-292
Number of pages27
JournalSecurity Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Comparative research
  • European Union
  • Private security
  • Quantifying regulation
  • Regulatory index


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