• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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)

    This victimization of ethnic minorities through police discrimination and racism is an important element in the assessment of official statistics. This can be seen from figures issued by the Home Office in June 2000 where there was an over representation of ethnic minorities in prisons in Britain and where 19%

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

    brought out in order to try and lessen the extent of anti social behaviour, It was brought in mainly to control, truancy, suspected crack houses, illegal firework usage, false reports of emergencies, wasting police time and trespassing. It also gave the local councils the power to order under 16s to erase graffiti that they were proved to of done.

  1. Describe law and order in London in the late nineteenth century.

    Due to the fact that no one had been caught and blamed for the murders, the newspapers came up with many theories as to who the murderer really was. The newspapers hyped up the ripper and this interested many members of the public.

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

    They are critical of the functionalist and subculture theories of deviance. Interactionists argue that human action is creative. We create our roles in relation to and adaptation to others. Normality is negotiated. Edwin Lemert argues that societal reaction is a 'cause' of deviance.

  1. Assess the usefulness of consensus theories for an understanding of crime and deviance in ...

    non-utilitarian crime such as graffiti, this would enforce a sense of belonging within the community and give the gang status amongst the community because people know who they are. This closely links in with Merton's Strain Theory. Durkheim was a major influence on the work of American sociologist Robert Merton (1910; 2003).

  2. Assess the usefulness of official statistics to a sociological understanding of crime.

    Also it doesn't include crimes against business and it also excludes a wide population, under 16's, who are most likely to be victims of crime. The youth are most statistically more involved in crime as well which allows sociologist to assume rationalisation is a bulwark against crime because as you get older and how more at risk your criminality reduces.

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

    A key to gaining power is to control what is considered to be knowledge, and the methods of gaining knowledge. Those who succeed in having their definition of knowledge accepted gain power, and in turn will use it to enforce their view of the world.

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

    more supervisory powers. The supervisory powers of the upper ranks decreased and became more managerial. - it is important to note that the Act balanced the increase in police powers with increased rights of suspects and a code of (police) practice was introduced.

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