• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the usefulness of participant observation as a sociological methods

Extracts from this document...


The core function of the police should be to maintain order. Discuss with particular reference to Wilson and Kellings broken windows thesis In considering whether the core function of the Police should be to maintain order, there are a number of issues, both historic and current, which need to be taken into consideration. For example, the maintenance of what constitutes "order" can be interpreted differently by different communities i.e. urban and rural. The expectations of police performance and in how they deploy their resources to meet conflicting demands need to satisfy both nationally set targets and meet locally driven priorities. These demands also impacts on the police as they are expected to adopt a more managerialistic approach to policing and subsequently what this means to ensure meaningful accountability to the local communities it serves. There are different styles of policing which can contribute to maintaining order, zero tolerance style policing which can have an adverse effect on good community relations or neighbourhood policing which Wilson and Kelling assess in their thesis "broken windows". Furthermore, there has always been difficulties in achieving a balance between the different functions of policing , i.e crime fighting, detection of crime and ultimately how this reduces crime. If you explore these issues historically, when Sir Robert Peel the Home Secretary first established the Metropolitan Police in London 1829, he stated that the maintenance of order and prevention of crime was considered to be a core function of routine police work. ...read more.


There are many other many other examples that could have been used to describe this situation such as in Brixton and Burnley in the 1980s in the UK where communities ended up rioting. This was due in the main to the way policing functions were carried out as noted by Lord Scarman in his inquiry into the cause of the riots. However it took the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and the following inquiry by Mc Phearson which found the police to be "institutionally racist" and legitimised the strong views from black and ethnic minority communities about the lack of trust and confidence in the police. Many of Mc Phearson's recommendations were aimed at changing the way in which the police interacted with communities which was deemed to be essential in achieving consensus about the way a neighbourhood was policed. Furthermore it is not just a necessary function of the police but also a statutory part of the police governance arrangements. They are obliged to listen and consult members of communities when setting their strategic priorities through the Police Authorities, which are in part made up by democratically elected members, and representatives from magistrates. Whilst in the early days of policing it would have been white, middle classes who held the power and could be influential in determining police priorities, today the police find themselves, in some areas, consulting and listening to communities, which could be ethnically and culturally very different to the predominantly white male workforce. ...read more.


are now expected to carry out this function and leaving the law enforcement and many other core duties of detection, targeting known offenders and other specialist functions to be dealt with by highly trained, professional police officers. Word count 2149 ACPO statistics 1994 printed in Muncie J, and McLaughlin E 2002 Controlling Crime The Open University, Sage publications Davis (M) (1994) Urban control and ecology of fear printed in Criminological Perspectives: Essential Readings 2nd edition 2004 pages 527-541edited by John Muncie, Eugene McLaughlin Home Office website Building Communities Building crime White paper 2004 website accessed 4th June 2005 www.policereform .gov.uk/psu/ppaf/htm accessed 6th June 2005 Home Office website Police standards Unit www.policerefomr.gov.uk/policy04html accessed 6th June 2005 Home Office website Statistics from Ref http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hosb1001.pdf accessed 6th June 2005 Muncie J, and McLaughlin E 2002The Problem of Crime The Open University, Sage publications Ch p.145) Muncie J, and McLaughlin E 2002 Controlling Crime The Open University, Sage publications (Chapters 1 and 2) Police Instructions, printed in Times newspaper September 1829, in Muncie J, and McLaughlin E 2002 Controlling Crime The Open University, Sage publications (Chapter 1 p.28) Wilson, J, Q and Kelling G, 1982 "Broken Windows" The Police and neighbourhood safety printed in Criminological Perspectives: Essential Readings 2nd edition 2004 pages 400 410 edited by John Muncie, Eugene McLaughlin Personal experience as Hertfordshire County Council representative on Watford and Three Rivers Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships ?? ?? ?? ?? Laura Fortune - 1 - OU Personal ID U2597176 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the Usefulness of Official Crime Statistics to a Sociological Understanding of Crime

    4 star(s)

    protect the interests of the ruling class and that a crimes by the poor are strictly adhered to but crimes by the more affluent of our society are ignored. This can be reflected in the under reporting of what is known as white-collar crime.

  2. Crime and its effects on society. Police Reform Act 2002 The police ...

    A reprimand is a formal verbal warning given to a young person by a police officer due to a minor crime being commited. They are sometimes reffered to a youth offending team. A final warning is also a formal verbal warning to youths, they are then assed to find out the causes of their offensive behaviour.

  1. Compare and Contrast the Main Sociological Theories of Deviance.

    The central idea is that societal reaction can actually cause deviant behaviour. Labelling theorists further argues that in some situations people cannot negotiate a label, but are forced to accept the label that others give them. Becker, however, argues that 'Social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction

  2. Outline and Assess Sociological Approaches to Social Control Within Crime and Deviance

    There are many examples of this in our society, CCTV, tagging, curfews and rehabilitation problems, and Cohen says these are all parts of an ever-growing, invisible net of control. Furthermore, he charts the rise in the amounts of private firms offering security packages.

  1. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    Whitechapel the most anonymous and dangerous area in greater London, was the perfect place for the opportunist murderer. Full of crime and prostitution, murdered prostitutes transpired almost everyday and like the first victim, were not fully investigated.

  2. The following essay will explore the question; What is the relationship between policing governance ...

    practice was introduced. * Prosecution of Offenders Act 1985 -? This created the independent Crown Prosecution Service and took away the police role of prosecuting offenders in the name of the chief constable. * Criminal Justice Act 1991 - This placed further pressure on the police to keep offenders out of the criminal

  1. This paper attempts to analyse Bacceria's (1764) "On Crimes and Punishment" article. In order ...

    Firstly, they are both revolutionary in their own way. Wilson and Keeling's work was an attack on the traditional policing approaches which focused merely on crime-fighting. Their argument was that the police are often seen as ineffective in the eyes of the community and that they should protect communities as well as individuals.

  2. Burglary as a Hazard

    The best source of information about burglary and all other crime would be the British Crime Survey, which is a survey carried out nationwide to find out about the location and frequency of crime. This would be especially useful when it comes to burglary, as these sorts of crimes are not always reported.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work