Skip to content

Book Review: The New Security

The New Security: Individual, Community and Cultural Experiences. By Helen Forbes-Mewett. Palgrave Macmillan;; 267 pages; $68.

The New Security: Individual, Community and Cultural ExperiencesAs more security practitioners pursue advanced education and apply their security expertise, they recognize the value that research brings to the industry. There is a growing body of rigorous, fact-based research that can now be referenced and applied to a wide variety of security challenges.

The New Security: Individual, Community and Cultural Experiences is one of a series of research-based books: “Crime Prevention and Security Management.” While many in the security industry seem to be put off by the word “research,” publications like these are a sign that the industry is maturing.

Author Helen Forbes-Mewett looks at a variety of subjects through a security lens. She defines the subject matter from perspectives of psychology, sociology, culture, and religion, and evaluates security in various physical contexts. The author discusses challenges involving new threat trends in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; new security practices including partnerships and information sharing; and cultural barriers.

In the discussion on international student security, concerns over housing and accommodation issues, multiculturalism, and socializing and drinking are addressed. The book also considers research participants’ perspectives of security in the context of physical, material, social, cultural, and institutional security. While these topics are not for everyone, there is value here for those responsible for establishing and managing security programs in these environments. The book provides plenty of food for thought in both the big and small pictures.

The era of opinion-based security must come to an end. There is a massive and growing body of knowledge available to practitioners that should be accessed, read, discussed, and applied to provide higher levels of understanding. This book provides valuable insight for those wishing to tap into it.

Reviewer: Dr. Glen Kitteringham, CPP, has worked in the security industry since 1990. He is president of Kitteringham Security Group Inc. and holds adjunct instructor positions with the University of Calgary and the Justice Institute of British Columbia.