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The core function of the police should be to maintain order.' Discuss with particular reference to Wilson and Kelling's 'broken windows' thesis. This essay will provide an explanation of the broken windows thesis and link this to the role

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  • Essay length: 2568 words
  • Submitted: 20/06/2006
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University Degree English Legal System

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'The core function of the police should be to maintain order.' Discuss with particular reference to Wilson and Kelling's 'broken windows' thesis.

This essay will provide an explanation of the broken windows thesis and link this to the role of the police in maintaining order. It will highlight that the thesis only recognises street crime as a source of criminal activity and how disorder and order are defined in this context. The issue of how maintaining order produces tension with regard to human rights will be examined and in particular who is often labelled as disorderly and therefore criminal. The issue of reducing crime will also be investigated and the reason why reducing crime is viewed as so important in the first place. Finally the positive effects of the thesis will be examined and it will look at the alternatives to the police maintaining order.

When Robert Peel founded the metropolitan police in the early 19th century, the primary function was crime prevention and maintaining order through street patrols. This was to protect the public from the 'menace of mob disorder' (Reith 1938) as Robert Peel did not want to leave the streets 'in the nightly

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