Just ‘students, old timers, and sammies’? Exploring the role of stewards and private matchday security in the plural policing of Scottish football

Colin Atkinson*, William Graham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Football clubs in Scotland employ stewards to help to provide a safe and enjoyable matchday experience for spectators. However, stewarding at football matches in Scotland has recently been subject to criticism, particularly in regard to the professionalism of stewards. This article makes an original contribution to scholarship by exploring the role of stewards and private matchday security in Scottish football, drawing upon qualitative data from interviews with 35 participants who have a professional or personal interest in stewarding and the provision of safety and security at football events. The analysis traces the rise of stewarding in Scottish football, noting both challenges and improvements in event safety. Conceptually, we refract this rise, and the concomitant decline in policing resources, through the lens of plural policing, arguing that the policing of football events in Scotland represents a paradigm example of this shift within a reconfiguring field of policing provision and security governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-449
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science and Management
Volume22
Issue number4
Early online date23 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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