Maurice Punch

in Zero tolerance policing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9781847420558
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304395 | DOI:

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This chapter concludes that the problem is that the landscape of policing is altering dramatically and rapidly. Questions and concerns about whether the new structure will be benign, accountable and service-oriented and whether the new policing policy will protect citizens from arbitrary authority remain to be unanswered. The chapter argues that tracing the architect of the new zero tolerance policy as well as its blueprint is difficult to determine, and public consultation was simply set aside without considering the views of the public. The police, which is an essential agency in society, is undergoing a reform with indecent haste and effectively with a reversal to a system of ‘crime control’ without public discussion, against traditional and prevailing police values, and with no formally articulated long-term vision on policing. Within this context, zero tolerance policy hence reveals a poverty of thinking on policing policy. It simply means reverting to a non-reflective, ostensible common-sense, back to ‘real policing’ agenda, with the meaningless mantra of ‘old-fashioned thief taking’. Except now, the government has become the thief; it has stolen the police from the people.

Keywords: policing; policing policy; zero tolerance policy; police; crime control; police values

Chapter.  5299 words. 

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