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The Rise of the Security Sanction

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Part of the Crime Prevention and Security Management book series (CPSM)


The early 1980s had marked the starting point of that “epidemic of anxiety.” One of its characteristics had become the sense of unease and alarm brought about by traversing public space. This was caused by the growing presence of homeless people, beggars, vagrants, “squeegee merchants” and so on who were thought to put quality of life at risk. Another way in which this anxiety was understood was through fears of predatory strangers, flitting in and out of public space, seemingly despoiling their victims at random. Hence the elaborate precautions that citizens began to take to protect themselves from such risks—beware of strangers, look out for anything suspicious, put security bars across your windows and so on.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-48872-7_6
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  1. 1.

    See Chap. 3, note 9.

  2. 2.

    Their paper had 5762 citations on Google Scholar on February 19, 2020.

  3. 3.

    Chicago v. Morales, 177 Ill. 2d. 440 (Ill. 1997), 445.

  4. 4.

    People v. Superior Court (Caswell) (1988) 46 Cal. 3d 381.

  5. 5.

    Roulette v. City of Seattle 97 F.3d 300 (1996), 308.

  6. 6.

    Joyce v. San Francisco, 846 F.Supp (N.D. Cal. 1994).

  7. 7.

    Patton v. Baltimore City, Civil No. S93–2389 (D. Md. August 19, 1994).

  8. 8.

    Tobe v. City of Santa Anna, 9 Cal. 4th 1069 (1995).

  9. 9.

    Descriptions of various council signage noted during fieldwork conducted by the author in 2018.

  10. 10.

    As had been foreseen by John Stuart Miil, Chap. 2, p. 18.

  11. 11.

    See Chap. 5, note 5.

  12. 12.

    Standley v. Woodfin, 362 N.C. 328 (N.C. 2008).

  13. 13.

    State v. Vogt, 685 S.E.2d 23 (N.C. Ct. App. 2009).

  14. 14.

    R (Gillan) v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2006] UKHL 12, para. 80.

  15. 15.

    This man had claimed asylum in the UK in 1993 on a forged passport. In 1999, he was convicted in absentia in Jordan and sentenced to life imprisonment for terrorist activities. He was regularly detained in the UK under counter-terrorism provisions but never charged with a crime. After the European Court of Human Rights barred his deportation to Jordan, it reversed its decision in 2012. In the UK later that year, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission upheld his appeal against deportation and released him on highly restricted bail conditions. Home Secretary Theresa May appealed and he was deported in 2013, after the UK and Jordan agreed to a treaty stipulating that evidence gained through torture would not be used against him in his forthcoming trial there.

  16. 16.

    United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987).

  17. 17.

    This was Graeme Burton who, in 2007, murdered another man after being released on parole from a life sentence for another murder fourteen years earlier. At the time of his second murder, it was revealed that prison officers had been prohibited at his parole hearing from giving hearsay evidence that he might kill again, by the evidential rules then in place.

  18. 18.

    R v. H [2016] NZHC 524 [23 March 2016].

  19. 19.

    In re Civil Commitment of Williams, 735 N.W.2d 727 (Minn. Ct. App. 2007).

  20. 20.

    In re Civil Commitment of Ramey, 648 N.W.2d 260 (Minn. Ct. App. 2002).

  21. 21.

    Kansas v. Crane, 534 U.S. 407 (2002), 407.

  22. 22.

    Matter of Linehan, 557 N.W.2d 171 (Minn. 1996), 190.

  23. 23.

    In re Civil Commitment of Lueck, No. A10-18, Unreported, Westlaw: 3744394 (Minn. Ct. App. 2010).

  24. 24.

    Matter of Linehan, 557 N.W.2d 171 (Minn. 1996), 191.

  25. 25.

    United States v. Comstock, 560 US 126 (2010), 130 S.Ct. 1949 (2010).

  26. 26.

    His real name is Stewart Murray Wilson. In 1996, he was sentenced to twenty-one years imprisonment after serial sex offences against sixteen female victims that began in 1972, and that included wilful ill treatment of a child and bestiality. He had been living in the South Island town of Blenheim during the commission of his crimes—hence the nom de guerre given him by the New Zealand media.

  27. 27.

    If Guantanamo Bay (opened after 9/11) sounds very much like the US does imprison those thought conspiring to commit acts of terrorism without any trial or charges being laid in court, this is only used for those apprehended and seized beyond the US borders and then taken there.


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Pratt, J. (2020). The Rise of the Security Sanction. In: Law, Insecurity and Risk Control. Crime Prevention and Security Management. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-48871-0

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