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Security officers and the policing of private space in South Korea: profile, powers and occupational hazards

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This paper provides empirical data on security officers in South Korea. It begins by examining broader international research on security officers identifying key traits, before assessing the findings from this research, which are based upon interviews with 60 security officers drawn from three distinct sites where they are commonly used in South Korea. These include an apartment complex, factory and retail outlet. The findings suggest several parallels with other empirical research on security officers in the United Kingdom and USA, including low commitment to job, long working hours, feelings of alienation and experience of abuse and violence. The research also shows a distinct older profile of security officers at two of the assignments and most significantly, very low levels of confidence in their knowledge of their legal tools as well as rare use of them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-262
Number of pages16
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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