chapter  16
Ian Loader (1999), 'Consumer Culture and the Commodification of Policing and Security', Sociology, 33, pp. 373-92.
Pages 20

We are faced then with a - potentially unstable - paradox. For at the very time when the police are mobilising their power of 'legitimate naming' (Loader 1997b:3) in an attempt to temper popular expectations of policing, they have resorted (albeit, partially) to a discourse in which it is generally taken that consumers are sovereign, are offered a choice between alternatives, have preferences which call for no justification, and can exit with their custom if these preferences remain unsatisfied (Abercrombie 1994). As such, a number of possible consequences can be discerned. First, consumerism risks exacerbating and entrenching public disappointment in the police. To the extent that individuals take seriously the invitation to think and act as customers of policing (with all that entails about forming mental projects and anticipating their satisfaction (Hirschman 1982)), they are likely to discover that the shift of power from producer to consumer implied by the prevailing discourse fails to match up to what they hope and imagine should be forthcoming from the police in practice. Prominent among the sources of disquiet here stands visible police patrols, a vehemently expressed consumer demand (Loader et al. 1999) that the police not only find it difficult to satisfy, but also increasingly view as falling 'into antique mode' and refusing to shed its 'ancient moral freight' (Douglas 1992:26, 35).