Police Discretion

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POLICE DISCRETION 'A possible outcome of police officers using their discretion is injustice for some suspects and offenders'

'A possible outcome of police officers using their discretion is injustice for some suspects and offenders'


Police discretion is a way of enforcing law and order which is widely used by officers throughout the world. It gives the officers the ability to make use of the law to the letter or not to put into effect to the letter of the law. Various experts are of the opinion that autonomy in decision making by management staff is one of the crucial distinctiveness of law enforcement agencies. Discretion is about making the correct judgment based on input of the condition and immediate situation around the police officer. The rules and regulations, which are recognised, do not take into explanation human nature and that in some cases there are lawful basis why we should not hold certain actions to the letter of the law.

There are an extensive range of causes of discretion. There is not an absolute to every situation consistently. There are diverse people concerned in different locations with different approaches. Some police officers consider that politicians ratify laws to make metaphorical statements and that they do not wish full enforcement of the laws. Age, race, income, attitude toward the officer, gender, and income status are all factors of how police respond to a situation (Bowling, 2002, 88).

Thesis Statement

A possible outcome of police officers using their discretion is injustice for some suspects and offenders.

Discussion and Analysis

The majority of police forces worldwide claim as their mandate preventing crime, bringing law breakers to justice, maintaining peace, and protecting the community. Many pledge to discharge their duties with integrity, respect human rights obligations, treat all sections of the community equally, and deploy only minimum force.

In the United Kingdom, the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence by a gang of young white men in April 1993 propelled the issue of how the police respond to racist crime to the centre of public debate. A public inquiry established to examine why the Metropolitan Police had failed to bring the killers to justice; and to make recommendations to ensure that such a miscarriage of justice did not happen in the future. The report of the inquiry chaired by Sir William Macpherson published in a blaze of publicity in February 1999 (Brown, 2001, 3).

Metropolitan Police, it concluded that the police investigation characterized by a combination of practised incompetence, institutional racism, and a failure of leadership by senior officers. As a result, United Kingdom police forces required to overhaul their approach to the recording, investigation, and prosecution of racist crime and to ensuring that their work practices meet the requirements of communities.

Various explanations forwarded to account for problematic relations between the police and racial minorities. The regular police position tends to deny the problem of racial harassment and discrimination. Police representatives continue to argue that the real source of the problem is the over-representation of certain racial groups in the criminal ...
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