Analysis of Police Discretion

Provide a 5 pages analysis while answering the following question: Analysis of Police Discretion. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Police discretion is when policemen act more-or-less as autonomous agents separated from public scrutiny and the cumbersome due process (Wortley). This action may include decisions that represent a responsible choice in line with the understanding of what is lawful, right or wise. In the report above, the police exonerated the people on the streets who stayed within the walkways but at some point arrested those who chose to walk on the roadway. Taking all actions into account, both were causing impediments to traffic but the police, whether they deliberately “weeded out” those who were willing to cause direct obstacles to traffic, arrested only 400 people.

There two schools of thought in police discretion according to Wortley: On one hand, discretion has been praised as flexible and efficient, as when assessing the culpability of an offender one takes the contextual and mitigating factors that come with the offense. On the other hand, there exists a danger of leaving the police unchecked, with justice redefined in terms of their own priority, which may not correspond to the priorities of the wider community.

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On a practical note, the former notion seems to have more weight: In light of recent technological and social advancements, it can be largely anticipated that criminals will find more ways to avert crimes that deserve, by the “spirit of the law” punishment. It only seems reasonable then that when criminals get creative in their deeds, it must be met with equal creativity from the police. As Kelling stated, more police have found that existing practices were “out of touch” with existing practices. Discretion then would not only catch the perpetrators but also prevent the implications of the crime.&nbsp.&nbsp.

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