Source: (2005) Theoretical Criminology. 9(3):325-343.

France has been affected by various changes concerning safety policies during the last two decades, especially at the local level. Several features can be noticed: territorialization, the link between prevention and repression; and contractualization. In such a context, the traditional monopoly of the central state—besides being increasingly fragmented between various agencies—on security has ended. Such a move must be related to the growing importance of local authorities in the elaboration and implementation of policies against insecurity, but equally to the role played by various other agencies. The present article seeks to understand interagency co-ordination and point up the existence of a complex array of networks governing safety. It also seeks to examine critically the claim made by some scholars of the turn to repressive policies that would affect local policies.