1st Edition

Policing, Port Security and Crime Control An Ethnography of the Port Securityscape

By Yarin Eski Copyright 2016
    258 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Ports are the vital hubs of the maritime transport industry, and crucial to the flow of global trade. The protection of this global supply chain from crime and terrorism is a fundamental objective of port security, and is a landscape beset by new challenges and changes post 9/11. Building on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in two major European ports, Yarin Eski discusses how operational policing and security realities and identities are established, and examines how industrial commercialization has aggravated security issues.

    Policing, Port Security and Crime Control offers a compelling empirically balanced account of the attitudes and practices of port police officers and security officers, exploring the everyday realities and ambitions of these street-level professionals as they seek to (re)establish a meaningful occupational identity. In doing so, this book presents a criminological understanding of the way that security questions and procedures are integrated into the daily lives of those that protect the industrial port sites, where they themselves must interrupt the global supply chain in order to defend it.

    Exploring topics such as port security management, multi-agency policing, port theft, drug trafficking, human smuggling and terrorism, this book offers a major contribution to the growing literature on transnational crime and security and is one of the first to offer an ethnographic approach to port security. This book is interdisciplinary and will appeal to criminologists, sociologists, ethnographers and those engaged with policing and security studies, as well as professionals in the field of multi-agency policing, border control, security and governance of the port and wider maritime industry.


    1. An ethnographic approach

    2. Imagining the port securityscape

    3. Management, colleagues and partners

    4. The port business community

    5. The shipping industry

    6. Stowaways, port thieves and drug smugglers

    7. Terrorists

    8. Conclusion


    Yarin Eski is a Senior Lecturer in Policing Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, UK

    "Eski’s detailed ethnography makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of port security and to the literature on the occupational identity/culture of security workers. The author does a great job of explaining why ports are vital ‘nodes’ in global communications and trade and why criminologists and other students of security ought to pay closer attention to them."

    Ian Loader, Professor of Criminology, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, UK

    "Yarin Eski provides a much-needed ethnographic look at a little-studied issue in criminology and criminal justice studies. This is an empirically detailed account that is still in touch with theoretical and conceptual concerns in the justice sciences. Eski gives readers a critical take on how port security impacts already marginalized and racially profiled communities. Anyone interested in security, surveillance, law, crime or crime control should take a look at this book."

    Kevin Walby, Associate Professor and Chancellor’s Research Chair, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Winnipeg, Canada