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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'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 possession of drunken women and vagabonds'. ...read more.

Middle

An article in the Daily Star newspaper explains how a man was minding his own business and these 'hoody thugs' attacked him without provocation (Malley 2005), while the daily mirror shares the opinion of the Ex-Metropolitan Police chief who believes 'hoodies' should receive longer prison sentences (McGurran 2005). There is an assumption that disorderly behaviour and therefore criminal elements are easily recognisable and by removing these elements the problem will be eliminated. Kelling and Wilson even recognize the failures in establishing who is criminal. They point out that when people on a housing estate were asked where the dangerous places were they identified where young ones gather and play music, even though this was not an area of crime. This puts the thesis on shaky ground, they claim that if you sort out the disorderly elements this will stop it escalating into further criminal action. However if the people pinpointed as disorderly are not committing or causing criminal acts how does stopping and harassing them prevent further criminal acts, it could surely produce the opposite effect in that they feel oppressed. Instead it is labelling people as disorderly and therefore criminal for what they look like and what they wear. This also illustrates that the thesis is one sided as it looks at the feelings and thoughts of the 'victims' but fails to take account of the feelings of those who are actually labelled as criminal. ...read more.

Conclusion

It also points out that those labelled as 'criminal' are not necessarily criminals. They are more likely to be those who appear different and those highlighted by the media. There also appears to be a never ending cycle of those labelled as criminals and there is a failure to take note of any social influences. In addition the prejudice that results from labelling can have devastating consequences. All of these reasons coupled with the point that the police are unlikely to catch a person in the act means that a police presence in the form of foot patrol is unlikely to have an effect on street crime rates. However it does seem to have a positive effect on those in the community fearful of crime. Although due to police accountability and political pressures this is not seen as important or cost effective. In conclusion, I don't think that the core function of the police should be to maintain order as it has little effect on crime rates and they tend to target those who 'looks' like criminals, also by using foot patrols and concentrating on street crime means other areas of crime would to be overlooked. However I do think that the police role in maintaining community relationships does have merit, as they could be used in an advisory capacity and this way police could continue monitoring crime and fear levels within the community. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree English Legal System 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 University Degree English Legal System essays

  1. Critically analyse Police powers on Stop and Search, Arrest and Detention.

    Findings also showed that 20% arrested had no action taken against tem, the findings also showed that ethnic minority groups were more likely to have no further action taken against them indicating that the arrest should not have take place in the first place.

  2. Law and moral.

    Lord Templeman said society is entitled to protect itself against a cult of violence: pleasure derived from the infliction of pain is an evil thing, and cruelty is uncivilised. Lord Jauncey said it would not be in the public interest for the deliberate infliction of bodily harm during homosexual sado-masochistic activities to be held to be lawful.

  1. Discuss the section 8 under The Children Act 1989, where family relation may have ...

    The child can apply for a Contact Order. Any parents or guardian, who have a RO in relation to the child, have a right to apply for a Contact Order. The Contact Order ceases to have effect if the parents live together for a cautions period exceeding six months [s11(6)].

  2. Judicial accountability

    Let us look at the universe and reflect. Right from the smallest particle to the great heavenly bodies, all are bound by rules, which regulate their movement. Thus every inanimate object in the universe is governed by law which nature has laid down for all times to come to regulate its movement and behaviour.

  1. Present the arguments for and against the proposition that the police forces in Britain ...

    at least pose the same threat to criminals than be underpowered in a violent situation. A powerless police is not a police that is fit to protect. Some initial arguments of the police force being armed are that a force that is armed will act as a deterrent towards armed criminals.

  2. The Corporations Act 2001 places civil obligations on directors and officers of a company ...

    supplied and the business opportunity rule was directed to preventing this from occurring. Taking up corporate opportunity A well-known case in which the duty not to usurp the business opportunities of a corporation was affirmed was the Privy Council decision in Cook v Deeks 6, held that the directors breached

  1. Civil Liberties

    Minnesota, 1931). � In NYT v. United States (1971) the Court ruled that the publication of the top-secret Pentagon Papers could not be blocked. What Types of Speech are Protected? Hate Speech - hate speech is the new frontier. Campus speech codes, city ordinances, and the Communications Decency Act are just a few examples.

  2. In my essay I am going to look at the explanations that sociologist have ...

    Sociologists question and reject these ideas and have their own explanations. They lack convincing and supportive evidence. A lot of studies show that a large number of the population, particular juveniles, at one time in their life did commit a crime.

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