Street life, neighbourhood policing and ‘the community’

Stephen Moore

in ASBO nation

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420282
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301493 | DOI:
Street life, neighbourhood policing and ‘the community’

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In the United Kingdom, the public's response to street-life people provides a number of interesting insights into the process by which certain groups come to be viewed as a threat and their consequent treatment by the wider community. This chapter examines the mechanisms by which certain groups become increasingly visible as threats to public safety, and the conditions under which they become demonised. It then argues that the ‘default position’ of communities, when asked what they want done about a problem group, is, and, historically, often has been, to seek their elimination. The process of ‘getting rid of’ or eliminating a group perceived as threatening is more likely to occur when power over decision making on the future of the ‘out-groups’ is handed over to communities. Neighbourhood policing, one of New Labour's major policing initiatives, may increase the likelihood of greater punitiveness and social exclusion. In addition to street life in the UK, the chapter explores the notion of ‘community’ and ‘neighbourhood’ in New Labour thinking, specifically as it applies to anti-social behaviour.

Keywords: United Kingdom; New Labour; anti-social behaviour; street life; neighbourhood policing; community; out-groups; public safety; punitiveness; social exclusion

Chapter.  8920 words. 

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