Categories for Criminology

Criminal Profiling: Charles Ng Essay

Criminal Profiling: Charles Ng Essay

When you first hear the news about an offender committing numerous crimes, you assume he or she might have been abused at some point in their life or that they have had a long criminal record. Most repeat offenders come from a string of a bad life, parental abuse such as abandonment, neglect, and/ or physical abuse to name a few. At an early age they show signs of being cold hearted, fearless and possibly thrill-seeking behavior.

This wasn’t the case for Charles Ng.

Born in Hong Kong (Levin), son of a wealthy businessman, he was not exposed to poverty, thugs, to the contrary; he had it all. Access to everything he could have ever wanted, lots of money, choice to attend any school he could have ever wanted without having to worry about how it would be funded. Whatever he wanted he received. Instead he opted for a life crime. He started with just being a rebel, he would be transferred or expelled from different schools throughout his childhood due to his outstanding behavior (sarcasm), and they couldn’t kick him out fast enough.

His father couldn’t handle him anymore, he sent him to England to live with his uncle. It didn’t take long for Charles to continue his bad behavior. He upgraded to stealing from his classmates to retail stores. He just couldn’t get enough of other people’s stuff. And once again he was kicked out of school.

While back in Hong Kong, he applied a for a student visa to study in the United States, and enrolled at a college in Belmont, CA, but studies were the last thing on his mind. After just one semester he dropped out of college. Even though he wasn’t an American citizen he managed to con the system and hands over a fake Indiana birth certificate and in 1980 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was stationed in Hawaii. This act of defrauding was another devious act to add to his list. He didn’t last long in the military. Within a year he and other accomplices stole military weapons, to which they were caught and arrested. Just days after being arrested he escapes and runs to California.

In California he meets a man by the name of Leonard Lake. Lake was also in the Marine Corp where he trained as a radar operator. He lasted seven years with the Marines and was later honorably discharged with good conduct despite of his “psychological problems” being exposed during his time served. Lake had a history of mental issues within the military but they were not properly documented at the time. Unlike Ng, Lake did not have a great upbringing. He didn’t have wealthy parents. He was living with different relatives all up until the age of six. His parents were too busy fighting with each other, they neglected Leonard. Lake felt abandoned and rejected by those he thought would protect him and take care of him. The nurture part of growing was taken from him.

Ng befriends him given they have military service in common and ultimately moves in with him and Leonard’s wife. At some point Charles and Lake are arrested by the FBI for weapon charges. He is released sometime in June 1984 and moves back with Lake but this time he joins Lake at a cabin. This cabin would end up being their sanctuary, their hostage cell. It didn’t take long before Charles need for chaos would start. In July of that same year, just a month after his release Charles breaks into an apartment, robs the place and shoots 2 males living in the apartment. One of the tenants, Donald Guiletti died during the robbery but his roommate, Richard Carraza survived. But at this point Charles was not aware of Mr. Carraza’s survival until months later (A Fate Better than Death, 1991).

Charles teamed up with Lake and continued their criminal conquest. After the robbery, he went on to rape and bring to life his partners sadistic sexual fantasies. Their first group of victims came when Ng responded to an ad in the paper posted by Mr. Harvey Dubs about camera and audio equipment. They would seem as they were really interested in purchasing the merchandise advertised in the ad, they used this method of approach in order to gain access of their victims and pull off their plan. When Ng arrived at the Dubs residence, Mrs. Deborah Dubs had welcome the men into her home without knowing her life and those she loved most were about to end. Lake and Ng abducted the Dubs to include raping Mrs. Dubs. At some point Deborah begs to see her son who Ng had already killed but instead he played games and would tell her the baby is sleeping, making her believe she may have a chance to survive solely for the sake of the child. But in the end it was all lies. Just like his future female victims he tied, tortured and raped then before taking their life.

Another one of his victims was a young lady by the name of Kathleen Allen. Ng knew Kathleen through her boyfriend Mike, who had been a cellmate of Ng’s during his time in Leavenworth, for stealing military weapons. Lake phoned Kathleen and informs her that Mike had been and shot and she needed to get to his aside as soon as possible. He offers to pick her so she won’t have to drive herself given how shaken up she became with the news. Lake takes her to the cabin where he, his wife and Ng were residing. While in the cabin they take her to an outside shack with the assumption that her boyfriend was there.

Lake grabs her and ties her to a bed post they had customized by drilling holes and inserting ropes/ties in order to secure their victims. Charles positions himself on the bed with Kathy and begins to rip her shirt off with a butterfly knife. He threatens her by telling her if she didn’t act like a sex slave and do as he wishes he would take her outside and kill her. She complied with his wishes as well as others. All the while Leonard would be videotaping Kathleen’s nightmare and directing Ng. They saw this as making of a movie. Kathleen wasn’t Ng’s only female victim. He had a total of three female victims. All female victims were raped, tortured and regardless of how they responded to the attacks, whether resisted or complied they were ultimately killed.

They built a bunker style hiding place where they brought their victims and bury them. This hiding had everything they need to put their plans in motion. Weapons, lingerie for the women to do a little role play with as their sexy slave vixens, knives, digging equipment, etc. They built an incinerator, a room with a two way mirror; this was a complete hostage military style cell. Ng, would commit the sexual acts as well the murders along with Lake all the while Lake had the sick pleasure to watch and record. They would also take pictures and post them throughout their hidden bunker as a shrine to what they have done. They would look at these pics and feel good about what they had done. Aside from the pictures, Ng saved articles of their clothing and every once in a while would sniff them. By doing this it would bring him back to that moment he forced himself onto them.

What could possible gone wrong for this discovery to occur? Ng and Lake become too comfortable. As previously mentioned, Charles had a tendency to shoplift/ theft. He was at a local store where an employee spotted Charles walking out of the store with what appeared to be a bench vise. When the police arrived they did a search and found a weapon registered in someone else’s name. The officer questions Lake who does the vehicle and the weapon belong to, Lake unfortunately was not expecting the officer to follow up with information given and was arrested on the spot and Charles flees. While Lake is at the police station giving a statement, Charles manages to gather a large amount of money and flees to Chicago where he stayed a few days and then makes his way to Canada. While at the Police Station Lake swallows 2 cyanide capsules and collapses in the middle of the interrogation room. He is taken to hospital and dies. At this point the police officers are questioning what would make a man want to kill himself all for a shoplifting charge. This is where Charles world came crumbling down.

Lake’s wife leads the officers to the cabin where Lake, Charles and she were living. A search warrant was issued and the bunker along with all the other hiding places and equipment used to bring about their crime spree was revealed. At first the investigators couldn’t link the crimes between Donald G, the victim from the apartment robbery, with the rape and murder of Kathleen A. and Brenda O’C., until a picture of Lake and Ng were posted on the local news channels and Donald’s roommate, Richard came forward and identified Ng as their attacker. When neighbors were interviewed they were unaware of the different names Lake had used throughout the time he lived in the cabin. One of the neighbors had recognized him as a Charles Gunnar, not Leonard Lake, and this had itched the investigators as to who else may have been missing.

As the investigation in the U.S. moves forward, Charles is arrested by the Calgary police in Canada on charges of robbery, possession of a fire arm and attempted murder as he drew a gun at the officers while they were trying to detain him for shoplifting. Soon after news of his arrest reach the United States and California becomes aware of his whereabouts and applies for an extradition to which they were denied. During his time in a Canada jail Charles did a lot of reading, familiarizing himself with the law both in Canada and the U.S. For about six years he manipulated the both Canada and U.S. penal systems, causing delays for his extradition and finally his trial (Biography). At the end of his trial he requested to be put on the stand. He thought he was smarter than the prosecutors. During his line of questioning he indicates they didn’t have a specific type of victims. It was more or so, whoever they encountered and felt they could serve their purpose in their sexual fantasies.

Charles was found guilty and sentenced to death. An execution date is yet to be set, he is alive and well in San Quentin Prison in California (Nation, 2013).

As I watched the documentary and did research on Charles Ng and Leonard Lake, I realized they didn’t have a specific branding of how their crimes were committed. Charles chose the victims based on his comfort zone, near the cabin where he would be able to allure them to the cabin or transport them to it. One thing the woman all had in common was that they were married or had boyfriends. Charles and Leonard shared sexual fantasies and were able to put them in play. One thing is for sure, they didn’t select all their victims, it was more like first come first serve. Whoever is available will be the chosen one. Their signature aspect/ commonality was having the females as sex slaves. They thrived at the thought of sexual acts and watching each other with the victims.

Charles and Leonard came from different backgrounds. Charles being the privileged one, having his parents taking care of him, while Leonard was the
poor kid who his parents couldn’t love, managed to live the same life of crime and come together as a team destroying a total of 12 lives not including family and friends.

Catch Me if You Can Essay

Catch Me if You Can Essay

Theory q 325 Karla Pope Catch Me if You Can Catch Me if You Can is a movie based off the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr, who mpersonated a Pan Am Air pilot, a pediatric doctor, and a lawyer, and accumulated over 2. 8 million dollars through these impersonations as well as check fraud all betore his nineteenth birthday. The movie starts ott as a game snow where the contestants question three men all dressed as airline pilots, one of them being the real Frank Abagnale Jr.

Through a series of cut sceens, we see young Frank as a teenager living happily in a big house with his mother, a French woman named Paula Abagnale, and his American military veteran father, Frank Abagnale, Sr. This appiness was soon cracked, however, as the family runs into trouble with the IRS, forcing them to move out of their home and into a smaller apartment. Paula, dissatisfied with her new life, ends up cheating on her husband with his best friend and eventually filing for divorce.

When she tries to get her son to choose between the two of them, he freaks out and runs away.

While struggling to live on his own, Frank runs out of money, starting him down his path as one of the youngest con artists during his time. After getting turned down from the bank after trying to cash his very irst fake check, he decides to impersonate a Pan Am Air pilot, conning the company into giving him a uniform while forging his credentials and passport. After gaining too much publicity doing this, he ends up pretending to be a pediatric doctor in Georgia, where he falls in love with a girl named Brenda, who thinks he’s a doctor as well as a lawyer from Harvard.

He ends up resigning as a lawyer to protect his identity after a real Harvard graduate at the firm started poking around into his background. He eventually is forced to run again as he realizes that FBI Agent Carl Hanratty, who has been chasing after him this whole time, is onto him again, escaping to Europe where he is eventually found by Carl in France, printing his own checks. After spending about a year in Perpignan Prison, Carl got him deported back to America. After trying to escape upon learning that his father died, he was caught in front of his mother’s new house and went to prison.

Eventually, after helping Carl with a check fraud case, Frank is transferred from prison into FBI custody to work under Carl’s supervision. When he becomes bored, he tried to run again, but nevitably returns after a confrontation with Carl at the airport, continuing to help catch con men and check fraud with his experience. There are many theories in this movie, but the primary, main one that was obvious to me was Rational Choice theory. With Rational Choice theory is defined “the view that crime is a function of a decision- making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act. . What this means is that the criminal (or would be criminal) is faced with a choice due to the set of circumstances that he is in and weighs the ros and cons of an act that he/she knows is wrong. In this movie, Frank is faced with many choices due to different circumstances that all lead back to his first act of desperation. When his parents try and force him to choose between them, he instead runs away, staying in a hotel as he tries to get himself together. When he runs out of money, he is kicked out, leaving him with a dilemma.

How to get more money so he can live? There are many options open to him, but he chooses check fraud because not only does he see it as the easiest way to survive, but also the best way that he knows to get money. However, after his check is rejected, he turns instead to impersonating a Pan Am pilot after seeing one sign autographs to a small child outside the bank. After acquiring a uniform from the company by saying that he “lost” his, he forges his credentials and passports after he creates a fake, Pan Am Air salary check and successfully cashing it in.

His need for money to survive on his own drives these decisions to act on these illegal activities, outweighing the cost ne will end up paying for committing them. Part of the Rational Choice Theory is whatever techniques the criminal learns and perfects to avoid detection from authorities. Franks first run in with authority is when FBI Agent Carl Hanratty tracks him through his forged Pan Am bills toa hotel he was staying at. In Frank and Carl’s first meeting, Frank impersonates a Secret Service agent named Barry Allen (after The Flash) when confronted by Carl’s gun, convincing the agent long enough in order for him to escape.

After his close call, he retires to Georgia, where he impulsively convinces the hospital and town that he is a Harvard medical doctor after meeting a new, young nurse named Brenda, whom he ends up falling in love with. The branch that Frank as assigned to was chief doctor of the pediatric ward, where they don’t do much work. The motivation behind this was to get closer to Brenda, whom he had an attraction to when he first met her. His growing love for Brenda outweighs the consequences that come with impersonating a doctor, as well as the potential lives he’ll endanger under his care.

He also passes the bar exam to become a lawyer after Brenda introduces him to her parents as such. He eventually has to run again, however because both the firm and Carl are putting pressure on him. He assumes his pilot identity again. In the beginning of the film, with the game show, fake Frank 1 says that the reason he chose to pretend to be each of these professions was because he was young and needed money, and that, instead of actually trying to legally go through the training to BE a pilot, doctor, or lawyer was because it seemed easier than to go through all that trouble.

Another theory that I see present in this movie is Social Control Theory. Social Control Theory is when people commit illegal acts when the bindings of the society they live in are either weakened or broken. When we see Frank when he was ounger, he was in a good school living in a big house with his American veteran father and French mother. His father was a part of the rotary club and was inducted as a lifetime member, giving him great status in the community. However, he had problems with the IRS, and was denied a business loan. This led them to give up their house and move into a much smaller apartment.

While this isn’t considered illegal, Paula, Franks mother cheated on her husband, Frank Sr. , with his best friend and eventually filed for a divorce so she could marry his friend. This was largely due to the fact that she was used to living a larger life with Frank Sr. nd when they were forced to move because of money problems, she grew dissatisfied. When Frank Jr. finds out about the divorce, they try to get him to choose between two of them, he freaked out and ran away. This led to the decisions he would make in the future as his need for money to survive increased.

Some other elements of this, mainly the self-control portion, is also seen in this movie. There is a scene when he is pretending to be a doctor in Georgia when a little boy with an injured leg is brought in. Since he hasn’t the first clue as to how to fix the child’s leg, he talks his interns into oing it by using the language he heard off of a medical tv show before running off and throwing up in the sink of the bathroom. It was clear that he knew his boundaries in this role and, instead of making it worse and possibly endangering the child’s life, he had the people under him that actually had training in this fix the boys leg.

One thing that I could also see in the film was a form of Social Learning Theory. Social learning theory is when a criminal learns their trade by watching more experienced people’s actions. In one instance, his father was taking him to the bank and stopped by a tuxedo store. Even though the store was closed, his father managed to con the lady into opening the shop for them so that he could buy his son a suit to make him look presentable by presenting the woman with a necklace he had “found” outside in the parking lot.

Frank tried to use this same technique later, the first attempt, trying to cash his first forged check, was unsuccessful, but his second, tricking a flight while pretending to be a Pan Am pilot, was successful. Another element of this theory is when he decided to impersonate a Pan Am pilot. He studied as much as he could about the paychecks a pilot received, how much they make, even anaging to get a hold of an expired FFA license from a former pilot he was “interviewing for a school article” and the check template for their pay checks .

Elements of Neutralization Theory techniques are also in this movie. Neutralization Theory states that a criminal “must learn and master techniques that enable them to neutralize conventional values and attitudes, which enables them to drift back and forth between illegitimate and conventional behavior. ” Some of the elements of this theory include respect and admiration for honest, civilian people such as baseball layers, priests, teachers, or in this case, fathers.

Frank was always trying to make his father proud throughout the movie, sending him letters of his glamorized “accomplishments”, meeting his father for lunch in his pilot uniform, even giving his father an expensive car with the money he had “earned. ” Another person he looked up to was Carl Hanratty himself. He called Carl every Christmas, seeming to look up to him as a father fgure, even though Carl was trying to apprehend him. He even placed his complete trust in Carl when the agent finally caught up to him and placed im under arrest.

Another element of Neutralization Theory is when criminals of this nature conform to the same social obligations as the rest of society. Frank can be seen hosting a party at the house he lived in with many, many young, privileged people over, socializing with most all of them. There are also some small incidents of Social Reaction (Labeling) Theory in this movie. Social Reaction Theory “explains criminal careers in terms of stigma-producing encounters. ” One such encounter is after Frank quits being both a doctor and a lawyer and goes back to impersonating a Pan Am pilot.

He does a “follow up” interview with the former air pilot, and in this he learn that the press has found out about him and wrote about him in the paper. When he finds out they call him the Airway Man, the “James Bond of the Sky’, he goes out and watches one of the Bond movies in the theater. After this, he is inspired to go out and get an exact replica of the suit, even doing and almost exact impersonation of Bond in the film. This seems to boost his ego extremely high. In the end, however, he is caught by Carl in his mother’s hometown in France and is convinced to turn himself in.

He spends a few years in Perpignan Prison before Carl comes to get him. He is sick due to the living conditions, and fakes a faint in order to get out of the Jail cell and tries to escape. He is caught, however, and taken back to the USA, where, after two more attempted escapes, one where he is caught and the other when Carl confronts him but refuses to catch him, comes and works at the FBI in the check fraud unit under Carl’s supervision.

Gun Control Persuasive Essay

Gun Control Persuasive Essay

I believe that guns should not be banned in the US. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” I am sure most of us have heard this saying at some point in our lives. Surely, it is a statement of the obvious, but the logic behind it rings true. It may seem rational to ban guns entirely to prevent people from killing, but it is not the guns themselves that are the problem. That is just a simple solution to a complex problem.

The criminals who kill others are willing to break the law and risk going to prison for the rest of their lives to murder, yet they are expected to follow firearm laws? If a nationwide gun ban is enacted, criminals will not suddenly follow the law and reject the thought of buying a firearm on the black market.

Banning all guns in the United States would be irrational because it would not lower crime or prevent firearm-related murders.

Outlawing firearms punishes the law-abiding citizens by leaving them defenseless against criminals who obtain their firearms illegally .Protecting yourself with a legally obtained firearm should not be against the law and should me more of a necessity for the safety of your family and property. The Department of Justice’s own National Institute of Justice study titled Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms estimated that 1.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes every year. People who commit crimes are already willing to break the law to kill someone, why wouldn’t they break the law and buy a firearm off the black market.

As we’ve learned from the war on drugs, prohibiting a particular item only makes a stronger criminal enterprise. It would seem logical that the banning of firearms would lead to less firearms and less crime, but statistics show just the opposite. Washington D.C. has had a handgun ban in effect since 1976. After the ban, D.C.’s murder rate only once fell below what it was in 1976. Furthermore, Washington D.C. has been notorious for being one of the most violent cities in the country. Not only is this the case in the United States, but the trend continues in other countries around the world. For example, after firearms were banned in England and Wales in 1997, the number of deaths and injuries from gun crime increased 340 percent in the seven years from 1998 to 2005.

The claim that guns are the problem is merely a scapegoat for larger socioeconomic problems such as poverty, drugs, poor parenting, and undesirable role models. As for the mass shootings that have become a staple for the fear mongering corporate media, it should be noted that every single mass shooter since columbine had been prescribed serotonin boosting psychiatric drugs, yet the media seldomly mention this and never correlate it with the crime. Perhaps they don’t want to point the blame towards their big pharmaceutical sponsors, whose ads bombard you during every commercial break. Furthermore the media also sensationalizes these shooters making them seem like martyrs for the next potential shooter. An abundance of registered firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens acts as a deterrent against crime.

The city of Kennesaw, Georgia passed an ordinance in March of 1982 requiring each household to own and maintain a gun. Kennesaw’s crime rate dropped significantly after the ordinance, and there has not been a single murder over the twenty-six years that it has been in effect. The claims that a high gun ownership results in high amounts of violence is nothing more than a fabrication. Switzerland, a country known for having one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, also maintains one of the lowest firearm-related crime rates in the world. In areas where gun ownership is high, the threat of an armed civilian acts as a hindrance against the criminal element.

Overall, I speculate that the United States will continue to see a reduction in crime in areas of rising gun ownership. A firearm ban would not stop crime and would only hurt responsible, law-abiding citizens. As long as there is a criminal element, people will always feel the need to protect themselves against a perceived threat. The second amendment was implemented by the founding fathers of the United States as a fundamental right of the people to protect themselves from all forms of tyranny. The right to keep and bear arms is deep-rooted in American culture, and it will not be going away any time soon.

A Summary Of Women In Prison Criminology Essay

Women’s segment is one of the fastest growing segments of prison population all over the world, but especially in the United States. The increasing amounts of women are locked in prisons due to different reasons. A lot of women in prisons are drug addicts who originally took drugs to escape a life of difficulty and childhood trauma. A lot of were caught being as “mules” in drugs trades. Also the main part of women in prison has been victims of domestic violence some time in their lives. Nearly all of imprisoned women are from poor and working class families.

Here are average demographics of women in prison, presented by Anti-racist group Committee to End the Marion Lockdown. During the years 1980 and 1993, the female population of prison increased nearly 313%, at the same time men increase 182% during the same period. In 1993 the number of women was 5.8% of the total prison population and 9.3% of the whole jail population.

Women prisoners are divided like this: African American women – 46%, White women – 36%, and Hispanic Women – 14%.

The majority of incarcerated women are poor. So 53% of women in prisons and 74% of women in jails were unemployed before incarceration.

The imprisoning of women has a bad influence on her family. 67% of women in prisons are mothers of children who are under 18. 70% of these women (and only 50% of men) had custody of their dependent children before imprisonment. Statistics shows that 6% of women are pregnant at the moment when they go to prison.

A big amount of incarcerated women had domestic violence. 32% of imprisoned women (nearly 4,000 women) are in prisons because of murders of their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends.

http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~kastor/walking-steel-95/ws-women-in-prison.html

Women in prison suffer from violence, discrimination and other kind of injustices. It is known that 57% of imprisoned women have had severe and prolonged sexual and physical abuse. (3 Cristina Rathbone, A World Apart, Random House, May 2005, p. 22.). Being in prison, women are objects of sexual misconduct from correctional staff and other prisoners. (4 GAO report “Women in Prison: Sexual Misconduct by Correctional Staff” June 1999, p.9).

Men and women are alike subjected to imprisonment but little attention has been given to the various needs and problems of imprisoned women as opposed to those of men. This omission may reflect the fact that women prisoners are a very small minority of the overall prison population: only four percent worldwide.

Throughout the world, the regimes in prison are nearly always created for the majority male prison population and that is why they don’t provide for the women needs.

Female prisoners have different mental, physical, and emotional needs, not the same as men have. Prisons may be unable to offer adequate maternity and ante-natal care, or appropriate access to feminine hygiene products. Women can have different needs relating to problems such as substance addiction, mental health, and anger management, sexual or physical abuse.

Women in prisons have a higher level of mental diseases and are more likely to have been victims of all kinds of abuse than the general population and are at higher risk of self-harm and suicide. They may respond differently to security regimes and require less harsh forms of physical restraint. In mixedsex prisons the security regime may be disproportionately harsher for women because it is designed for men.

Most women in prison are mothers and/or the main carer for children, thus it is particularly important that ways be found of helping them to maintain family ties.

Research shows that custodial sentences are not appropriate for many women and not effective in reducing offending or reoffending. The experience of imprisonment can have damaging effects for both mothers and their children and can exacerbate mental health issues or problematic drug or alcohol addiction among women in prison.

So, here is a description of all levels of imprisonment, the description of women’s life in prison and the destiny of children of women in prison.

1. Arrest of a woman. Police officers may not ask whether the woman they are arresting has children or allow her time to explain to the children what is happening or make arrangements for their care. This increases the anxiety of both children and mothers and makes the arrest more difficult for the officer.

2. Pre-trial detention. Women may be more likely to be placed in pre-trial detention than men. This is because on the indicators used to determine a person’s likelihood of absconding before trial (such as secure employment and owning or renting property in one’s own name) women tend to come out lower. Factors such as caring responsibilities are not taken into account.

Even if a woman is acquitted at trial, she may have lost her job, her home or her place on mental health or drug rehabilitation programs in the meantime. For children, having a mother placed in pre-trial detention has many of the same effects as having a mother imprisoned following conviction.

3. Sentencing. Despite their statistically small proportion in the overall prison population, the rate of imprisonment of women is increasing rapidly. The reasons for this appear to be changes in sentencing policy and law enforcement priorities, rather than a change in the amount or severity of crime in which women are involved.

Severity of sentence. Attitudes towards ‘women criminals’ may lead to harsher sentences, including imprisonment for offences for which men would not be imprisoned. Some discrimination against women reflects the social culture rather than specifically the criminal justice system: thus contravening social mores may lead to women being criminalised.

Type of crime. In most countries, women are in prison for non-violent, property or drug offences. Generally, women have a lower involvement in serious violence, criminal damage and professional crime.

Length of sentence. In many countries, a relatively high proportion of female prisoners appear to serve fairly short prison sentences. It should be borne in mind that a short sentence, for example six months, may be just as disruptive as a longer sentence for a woman prisoner, who may lose her children, her job, and her home as a result of the sentence.

4. Prisons. The number, type, geographical location and distribution of national prisons will affect the quality of women’s imprisonment. The provision in a country is usually a practical matter of the resources available, and also reflects the penal philosophy of that country. Some factors are outlined below.

Location. Because there are fewer female prisoners there are fewer single-sex prisons for women. Women who are held in single-sex prisons are therefore more likely to be held long distances from their families and communities than men, making visiting and the maintenance of family ties more difficult. This is especially problematic for women who were the sole carers of dependent children before their imprisonment. It also affects other specific categories of female prisoners, such as juveniles, whose numbers are even smaller.

Level of security. Levels of security in prison are generally put in place to stop men escaping, which may mean that prisons are disproportionately harsher for women. In addition, the smaller number of women’s prisons compared to men’s means that there is less opportunity to provide institutions of different security classifications.

The prisons’ regimes will be determined by the maximum security requirement, meaning that many women will be held according to a security classification that is stricter than could be justified by any assessment of the risk that they pose.

Shared facilities. Women with diverse needs and a history of offending may be inappropriately held together under the same security regime. Sometimes women awaiting trial are held with women who have been sentenced, which is contrary to best practice. Women who are detained in prisons which also hold men may be required to share facilities and attend classes with male prisoners. This is not a suitable environment for women who have experienced abuse or require strict separation from men.

Overcrowding. Prisons are often overcrowded and offer reduced exercise facilities, and time spent out of cells. This pressure may also reduce the numbers of available rehabilitative programmes – educational, vocational, counselling – as well as of drug and alcohol dependency programmes.

Education, training and work. Prisons may offer a range of educational and work opportunities – compulsory work or voluntary work (either paid or unpaid). In single-sex prisons where there are few women, access to education, training and work opportunities may be severely limited. In mixed-sex prisons women may be required to attend classes or work with male prisoners. This may be unsuitable and even threatening for some women.

In some countries, women prisoners are given traditionally feminine jobs, such as catering or sewing. This is not a problem if there is a market for such skills outside the prison but jobs should not be allocated simply because of the gender of the prisoner. Women whose children live with them in prison may not be able to work or take education courses if there are no childcare facilities. Opportunities for prisoners awaiting trial and sentenced prisoners may also differ significantly.

5. Physical health & health care

General health and health care. Women prisoners suffer poor physical and mental health at rates and with a severity far exceeding those of male prisoners or of women in the general population. Some of this may be related to the reasons why they have been imprisoned, for example drug use and hence drug dependency and associated health problems. Sexual abuse and exploitation of women before and during imprisonment can lead to gynaecological problems, HIV and other sexuallytransmitted diseases, pregnancy, child-birth or abortion.

Disease in prisons. Diseases and infections associated with overcrowding and poor health and hygiene conditions such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, are additional risks for women in prisons.

Drug & alcohol addiction. Prisoners are more likely to suffer from drug/alcohol addiction than in the community at large. Existing research indicates that 75% of women who go to European prisons are already drug and alcohol users and that female prisoners are more likely to be addicted to harder drugs than male prisoners.

Health care provision. Standards of medical care within prisons vary greatly both from country to country and from prison to prison. When health care facilities are outside the prison they may offer better standards of provision, but they may create other problems such as:

€­€ The shame and discomfort for women of being taken there in prison clothing or in handcuffs, particularly if they have to wait in public areas within the hospital.

€­€ € Shortages of prison staff reducing the availability of escorts for women to attend hospital.

€­€ € Male prison staff accompanying female prisoners and being present during medical consultations and examinations.

€­€ € Perceived lack of security in civilian institutions leading to women being shackled to beds, even during child-birth.

Sexual health. Universally HIV among women prisoners is higher than in the general population.

HIV positive women risk passing the disease onto their babies and unborn children. Women’s high rates of drug addiction expose them to the risk of catching HIV through sharing needles.

Female health & hygiene. The prison may not provide for the sanitary needs of women or women may have to pay for their own sanitary provision.

Women who are menstruating or going through the menopause need regular daily showers. It is humiliating for women to have to use washing and toilet facilities in the presence of others, most particularly during menstruation. They should also be able to change their bed linen frequently.

Older women may go through the menopause while imprisoned, and their medical and/or psychological needs need to be identified and met at this time.

They may also have particular health care needs such as hormone replacement therapy or food supplements.

Pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant women in prisons need special resources and attention to diet, exercise, clothing, medication and medical care.

Prison is not an easy place to be pregnant and the inflexibility of a prison regime is incompatible with the needs and care of a pregnant body.

€­€ € It is more difficult to catch up on missed sleep and missed meals and hard to take baths or showers as often as needed.

€­€ € It may be difficult for the prison to transport prisoners to health care checks and scans, ante-natal classes and post-natal care.

€­€ € Ante-natal and post-natal care may not be seen as medical priorities by prison staff.

€­€ € It may be difficult for a prisoner to see a midwife.

€­€ € Alerting staff to a medical problem, even the onset of labour, may be difficult, particularly at night.

€­€ € The stress of imprisonment can have a deleterious impact on the development of a pregnancy.

€­€ € Restraining pregnant women in the same way as other women prisoners may endanger both the woman and the fetus.

6. Mental health. Mental health problems are more spread among women prisoners than in the prison for men or in the general prison. A lot of women have problems with lower-level of mental health, such as personality disorder, which do not qualify them for a psychiatric bed. Such women may need access to treatments and therapy designed specifically for them, and even in women-only prisons conditions may not be ideal. Women can be extremely worried about what will happen to their children, especially in the early stages of detention. Research has suggested that this can exacerbate or bring on mental health problems.

Depression, self-harm and suicide. Doctors are more likely to diagnose depression in women than in men (even when they have similar scores on standardized measures of depression) and more likely to prescribe mood altering psychotropic drugs to women than to men. Outside prison men are more likely to commit suicide than women but the position is reversed inside prison, and self-harm in prison is a huge problem and more prevalent among women in prison.

7. Violence and vulnerability. In those countries where all prisoners are vulnerable to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, women (and juvenile female) prisoners are particularly at risk, both from male prisoners and from male prison guards. The power imbalance between prisoners and guards together with the closed nature of prisons provide opportunities for harassment, exploitation, abuse, prostitution, rape and indecent assault of female prisoners by staff, both male and female.

They may also be subjected to abuse and exploitation from other prisoners, both male and female.

Even in countries where this is not the case, such as in the UK, women prisoners are vulnerable to other prisoners. A high proportion of UK women prisoners tell that they feel unsafe.

The issues about safety and security of female prisoners include:

– € Location of female cells in mixed prisons.

€­€ € Location and use of shared facilities, in particular showers and toilets.

€­€ € Whether male prison guards hold ‘contact positions’ over female prisoners (posts which permit or require them to be in physical proximity to the prisoners, sometimes unsupervised by other, female, staff).

€­€ € Strip searches: women prisoners as a group are more likely than other women generally and/or male prisoners to have experienced sexual assault: this makes strip-searching especially traumatic for them.

€­€ € The existence or lack of effective supervision and complaints mechanisms which enable prisoners to complain without exposing them to intimidation or further abuse – for example, seeing a doctor in the presence of guards means that violence towards and abuse of prisoners by guards is less likely to be reported by the prisoner.

€­€ € Women who are subject to sexual abuse or exploitation face the added problems relating to the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, the questions of pregnancy and child-birth or abortion, and all the associated physical, mental and emotional health issues.

8. Mothers in prison. Most women in prison around the world are mothers. Women are more likely to be the sole or primary carer for children and this factor makes the prison experience significantly different for women. The effects of maternal imprisonment on their families are generally more disruptive than the effects of paternal imprisonment. This is not adequately recognized by the criminal justice system.

Since the numbers of women who are sent to a prison are rather low and the tendency to send women to prison for lesser nonviolent offences is increasing, so the woman herself can not understand the possibility of imprisonment as the outcome of her deeds. That is why the woman doesn’t have the opportunity to make any preparations or provision for her kids before being taken into custody. Such fact can be a cause of additional stress for her and her kids.

Prison visits from children. Visiting prisons can be a difficult and frustrating experience for children. So, traveling for a long distance, entering a grim building, being searched, spending time in a harsh adult environment with a mother that one might not even be able to touch may be extremely distressing to a child. This in turn may make the child’s carer less inclined to undertake this arduous task, as well as leaving the mother distraught and reluctant to have further visits from the child.

Furthermore, the new carers may have their own family responsibilities, as well as financial constraints, which put strains on taking in additional children (leading to children moving from one carer to another) and in particular adding to the financial, time and emotional burdens of taking children to visit their imprisoned mother.

Evidence suggests that the children of imprisoned mothers, and particularly those who are taken into state care during the mother’s imprisonment, are at significantly greater risk of developing criminal behavior in adulthood than other children.

9. Children of imprisoned mothers. The rights and best interests of the children of women prisoners are rarely considered during criminal justice processes, even though parental imprisonment has a major impact on their lives. There are three options:

€­€ € The child has to go to prison with the mother, and the consequence of that.

€­€ € The child is separated from the mother, and the consequence of that.

€­€ € Where there is more than one child and they are treated differently; i.e. one goes to prison with the mother, the other is separated, and the consequences of that.

Within each of these, there are then a number of matters to be considered which are encapsulated in the table overleaf.

Children separated from their mother. Children left in the community may be looked after by their father, grandparents, other relatives or friends of the family, taken into state care or left without carers.

Siblings may be separated from each other in order to make the situation not to difficult, or they may be taken into State institutions.

A prisoner living in insecure or rented accommodation will usually lose this when s/he enters prison and getting accommodation when released is often difficult. A mother whose children have been placed in the care of the state or another person usually cannot reclaim custody without appropriate accommodation, so even a short prison term may lead to permanent separation of families.

Registering details of prisoners’ children is not part of the reception procedure in many countries. Some prisoners may not disclose this information voluntarily for fear that their children will be permanently taken away from them. As a result, governments do not make social provision or policies which address the problem of children with incarcerated parents.

The imprisonment of the mother has a great impact on the children; it affects every aspect of their lives and not just the relationships with their mother. It feels the same as while the bereavement, but with less support, from the new carer, teachers, and other people. Children of imprisoned parents have an increased tendency to exhibit aggressive and anti-social behaviour compared to the general population.

Researchers have found that the effects of parental imprisonment can be serious. Studies of prisoners’ children consistently report that children experience a range of psychosocial problems during the imprisonment of a parent, including: depression, hyperactivity, aggressive behaviour, withdrawal, regression, clinging behaviour, problems with sleeping and eating, running away, truancy, low school grades and delinquency. The impact on the children will, of course, vary according to their age, surrounding family and community response, environment and individual character.

Babies and children in prison. Some women may spend part or all of a pregnancy in prison and give birth while still serving their sentence. The bonding of an infant with her/his primary carer is essential for her/his long term emotional development and should be given high priority. If mothers give birth while serving their sentence, or are imprisoned when they have a baby or young child, that baby or young child may come into the prison to live with them. Special resources and facilities available to mother and babies in prison varies, but usually consist of accommodation within a specialized Mother and Baby Unit (MBU). Toys are sometimes provided for the children and the mother may have more freedom in terms of staying in an unlocked room, having access to a kitchen in which she can prepare food for the child etc.

Because of the small number of women in prison who have children living with them, the number of MBUs is low, meaning that a mother may be imprisoned a long way from the rest of her family. This creates problems regarding prison visits and maintaining contact with any older children in the family. Additional concerns about babies and children living in prison are the effect this has on their development – physical, mental and emotional.

How long babies or young children can reside in prison with their mothers – or even whether they can do so at all – varies considerably across countries. The separation of mother and child can be a very traumatic experience for them both.

Some countries try and make the separation process as gradual as possible, in order to ease the pain and trauma of separation.

Babies and young children who are living in prison with their mother also require specialized health care. Women who know that their children will be removed from them shortly after birth may exhibit mental health problems and/or reject the baby or fail to bond with it.

10. Maintaining links with family. When imprisoned mothers are the primary carer of children, separation from their mothers is usually more traumatic than if the father is incarcerated; this is of course much worse where the mother is the sole carer. Research has shown that if family ties are maintained, the chances of prisoners re-offending upon release are lowered, so it is important to take measures to try to preserve these ties. Problems in maintaining these links include:

€­€ € Doing so through letters is hard for those with low literacy skills, and self vidently problematic in relation to young children.

€­€ € Overcoming what is often a greater distance between the woman and her family.

11. Specific groups of prisoners.

Foreign nationals. Foreign national women prisoners may be either resident or non-resident in the country where they are imprisoned. Common difficulties may be faced by both male and female foreign national prisoners, such as problems relating to language and misunderstandings surrounding the customs and cultures of the host country, which may lead to isolation. In prisons where the prisoners are dependent on external assistance, whether for basics such as food, hygiene products and clothing, or for small luxuries, women without family at hand to visit not only face the direct problems of not having such items, but are vulnerable to exploitation by other prisoners or prison guards in order to receive the necessities for living.

Foreign national women who are not resident in the country of imprisonment may often be very far away from their children and families, causing them anguish and anxiety. Their children may not have the financial means to come and visit them. Telephone calls may be prohibitively expensive for both the mother and her children and difficult to arrange because of time differences. If the children are too young to read and write, then communication via letters is not an option.

Many women foreign nationals in prison are there for drug smuggling and may have left their children in the temporary care of friends or family, expecting to return in a few days. Imprisonment may put a woman’s family (children and others) in significant danger from the people who employed her to smuggle drugs. Resident foreign national women can face deportation when they have completed their sentence, which means further separation from their families, or their having to relocate as well.

Transgender prisoners. Transgender prisoners face particular difficulties and pose special challenges to the prison system precisely because of the question as to their classification as male or female prisoners.

Racial minorities/ indigenous prisoners. In many countries with indigenous populations, indigenous women represent the fastest growing segment of the prison population. Their “double minority” status within the prison system, being both indigenous and women, means that where training and other programmes exist they may have to choose between those intended for indigenous men or for non-indigenous women. They may also have different needs from other women prisoners.

12. Post-release issues. Women leaving prison receive varying degrees of support from the prison and social services. They may face many problems in addition to the pressures which may have caused them to commit their initial crime, such as: getting a job, finding accommodation, staying drug or alcohol free and regaining custody of children who have been in state care during their imprisonment. Even a short prison term may lead to the mother losing the rented accommodation in which she had been living, and it is common for a mother to be unable to regain custody of her children if she does not have anywhere to live. This makes it very difficult for women to resume normal lives outside of prison, and may be a factor which contributes to re-offending.

Although all released prisoners face issues surrounding their efforts to reintegrate into society, for parents these may be compounded by the need to reconcile with children who may have changed (as well as grown up) during their absence. These children may have taken on new roles in the family and developed close relation-ships with alternative carers, both of which can cause tension if the returning parent tries to go back to ‘the way things were’. Reoffending by parents can also have a devastating impact on their children, as they lose their parent for a second time.

As it was written above, the female population in the U.S. prison is escalating faster than the male population. According to statistics, the U.S. has 10 times more women in prison than the combined nations of Western Europe. (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/agenda/0107/womenprison.htm. Phillis Engelbert, “Women in

Prison”, Agenda, July/August 2001).

Women are sent to prison for different crimes, but there they need a specialized care and treatment. A lot of women have drug and alcohol problems and need to be treated accordingly. A lot of women in prison have children and this is one more reason for special treatment.

A Summary Of Women In Prison Criminology Essay

Women’s segment is one of the fastest growing segments of prison population all over the world, but especially in the United States. The increasing amounts of women are locked in prisons due to different reasons. A lot of women in prisons are drug addicts who originally took drugs to escape a life of difficulty and childhood trauma. A lot of were caught being as “mules” in drugs trades. Also the main part of women in prison has been victims of domestic violence some time in their lives. Nearly all of imprisoned women are from poor and working class families.

Here are average demographics of women in prison, presented by Anti-racist group Committee to End the Marion Lockdown. During the years 1980 and 1993, the female population of prison increased nearly 313%, at the same time men increase 182% during the same period. In 1993 the number of women was 5.8% of the total prison population and 9.3% of the whole jail population.

Women prisoners are divided like this: African American women – 46%, White women – 36%, and Hispanic Women – 14%.

The majority of incarcerated women are poor. So 53% of women in prisons and 74% of women in jails were unemployed before incarceration.

The imprisoning of women has a bad influence on her family. 67% of women in prisons are mothers of children who are under 18. 70% of these women (and only 50% of men) had custody of their dependent children before imprisonment. Statistics shows that 6% of women are pregnant at the moment when they go to prison.

A big amount of incarcerated women had domestic violence. 32% of imprisoned women (nearly 4,000 women) are in prisons because of murders of their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends.

http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~kastor/walking-steel-95/ws-women-in-prison.html

Women in prison suffer from violence, discrimination and other kind of injustices. It is known that 57% of imprisoned women have had severe and prolonged sexual and physical abuse. (3 Cristina Rathbone, A World Apart, Random House, May 2005, p. 22.). Being in prison, women are objects of sexual misconduct from correctional staff and other prisoners. (4 GAO report “Women in Prison: Sexual Misconduct by Correctional Staff” June 1999, p.9).

Men and women are alike subjected to imprisonment but little attention has been given to the various needs and problems of imprisoned women as opposed to those of men. This omission may reflect the fact that women prisoners are a very small minority of the overall prison population: only four percent worldwide.

Throughout the world, the regimes in prison are nearly always created for the majority male prison population and that is why they don’t provide for the women needs.

Female prisoners have different mental, physical, and emotional needs, not the same as men have. Prisons may be unable to offer adequate maternity and ante-natal care, or appropriate access to feminine hygiene products. Women can have different needs relating to problems such as substance addiction, mental health, and anger management, sexual or physical abuse.

Women in prisons have a higher level of mental diseases and are more likely to have been victims of all kinds of abuse than the general population and are at higher risk of self-harm and suicide. They may respond differently to security regimes and require less harsh forms of physical restraint. In mixedsex prisons the security regime may be disproportionately harsher for women because it is designed for men.

Most women in prison are mothers and/or the main carer for children, thus it is particularly important that ways be found of helping them to maintain family ties.

Research shows that custodial sentences are not appropriate for many women and not effective in reducing offending or reoffending. The experience of imprisonment can have damaging effects for both mothers and their children and can exacerbate mental health issues or problematic drug or alcohol addiction among women in prison.

So, here is a description of all levels of imprisonment, the description of women’s life in prison and the destiny of children of women in prison.

1. Arrest of a woman. Police officers may not ask whether the woman they are arresting has children or allow her time to explain to the children what is happening or make arrangements for their care. This increases the anxiety of both children and mothers and makes the arrest more difficult for the officer.

2. Pre-trial detention. Women may be more likely to be placed in pre-trial detention than men. This is because on the indicators used to determine a person’s likelihood of absconding before trial (such as secure employment and owning or renting property in one’s own name) women tend to come out lower. Factors such as caring responsibilities are not taken into account.

Even if a woman is acquitted at trial, she may have lost her job, her home or her place on mental health or drug rehabilitation programs in the meantime. For children, having a mother placed in pre-trial detention has many of the same effects as having a mother imprisoned following conviction.

3. Sentencing. Despite their statistically small proportion in the overall prison population, the rate of imprisonment of women is increasing rapidly. The reasons for this appear to be changes in sentencing policy and law enforcement priorities, rather than a change in the amount or severity of crime in which women are involved.

Severity of sentence. Attitudes towards ‘women criminals’ may lead to harsher sentences, including imprisonment for offences for which men would not be imprisoned. Some discrimination against women reflects the social culture rather than specifically the criminal justice system: thus contravening social mores may lead to women being criminalised.

Type of crime. In most countries, women are in prison for non-violent, property or drug offences. Generally, women have a lower involvement in serious violence, criminal damage and professional crime.

Length of sentence. In many countries, a relatively high proportion of female prisoners appear to serve fairly short prison sentences. It should be borne in mind that a short sentence, for example six months, may be just as disruptive as a longer sentence for a woman prisoner, who may lose her children, her job, and her home as a result of the sentence.

4. Prisons. The number, type, geographical location and distribution of national prisons will affect the quality of women’s imprisonment. The provision in a country is usually a practical matter of the resources available, and also reflects the penal philosophy of that country. Some factors are outlined below.

Location. Because there are fewer female prisoners there are fewer single-sex prisons for women. Women who are held in single-sex prisons are therefore more likely to be held long distances from their families and communities than men, making visiting and the maintenance of family ties more difficult. This is especially problematic for women who were the sole carers of dependent children before their imprisonment. It also affects other specific categories of female prisoners, such as juveniles, whose numbers are even smaller.

Level of security. Levels of security in prison are generally put in place to stop men escaping, which may mean that prisons are disproportionately harsher for women. In addition, the smaller number of women’s prisons compared to men’s means that there is less opportunity to provide institutions of different security classifications.

The prisons’ regimes will be determined by the maximum security requirement, meaning that many women will be held according to a security classification that is stricter than could be justified by any assessment of the risk that they pose.

Shared facilities. Women with diverse needs and a history of offending may be inappropriately held together under the same security regime. Sometimes women awaiting trial are held with women who have been sentenced, which is contrary to best practice. Women who are detained in prisons which also hold men may be required to share facilities and attend classes with male prisoners. This is not a suitable environment for women who have experienced abuse or require strict separation from men.

Overcrowding. Prisons are often overcrowded and offer reduced exercise facilities, and time spent out of cells. This pressure may also reduce the numbers of available rehabilitative programmes – educational, vocational, counselling – as well as of drug and alcohol dependency programmes.

Education, training and work. Prisons may offer a range of educational and work opportunities – compulsory work or voluntary work (either paid or unpaid). In single-sex prisons where there are few women, access to education, training and work opportunities may be severely limited. In mixed-sex prisons women may be required to attend classes or work with male prisoners. This may be unsuitable and even threatening for some women.

In some countries, women prisoners are given traditionally feminine jobs, such as catering or sewing. This is not a problem if there is a market for such skills outside the prison but jobs should not be allocated simply because of the gender of the prisoner. Women whose children live with them in prison may not be able to work or take education courses if there are no childcare facilities. Opportunities for prisoners awaiting trial and sentenced prisoners may also differ significantly.

5. Physical health & health care

General health and health care. Women prisoners suffer poor physical and mental health at rates and with a severity far exceeding those of male prisoners or of women in the general population. Some of this may be related to the reasons why they have been imprisoned, for example drug use and hence drug dependency and associated health problems. Sexual abuse and exploitation of women before and during imprisonment can lead to gynaecological problems, HIV and other sexuallytransmitted diseases, pregnancy, child-birth or abortion.

Disease in prisons. Diseases and infections associated with overcrowding and poor health and hygiene conditions such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, are additional risks for women in prisons.

Drug & alcohol addiction. Prisoners are more likely to suffer from drug/alcohol addiction than in the community at large. Existing research indicates that 75% of women who go to European prisons are already drug and alcohol users and that female prisoners are more likely to be addicted to harder drugs than male prisoners.

Health care provision. Standards of medical care within prisons vary greatly both from country to country and from prison to prison. When health care facilities are outside the prison they may offer better standards of provision, but they may create other problems such as:

€­€ The shame and discomfort for women of being taken there in prison clothing or in handcuffs, particularly if they have to wait in public areas within the hospital.

€­€ € Shortages of prison staff reducing the availability of escorts for women to attend hospital.

€­€ € Male prison staff accompanying female prisoners and being present during medical consultations and examinations.

€­€ € Perceived lack of security in civilian institutions leading to women being shackled to beds, even during child-birth.

Sexual health. Universally HIV among women prisoners is higher than in the general population.

HIV positive women risk passing the disease onto their babies and unborn children. Women’s high rates of drug addiction expose them to the risk of catching HIV through sharing needles.

Female health & hygiene. The prison may not provide for the sanitary needs of women or women may have to pay for their own sanitary provision.

Women who are menstruating or going through the menopause need regular daily showers. It is humiliating for women to have to use washing and toilet facilities in the presence of others, most particularly during menstruation. They should also be able to change their bed linen frequently.

Older women may go through the menopause while imprisoned, and their medical and/or psychological needs need to be identified and met at this time.

They may also have particular health care needs such as hormone replacement therapy or food supplements.

Pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant women in prisons need special resources and attention to diet, exercise, clothing, medication and medical care.

Prison is not an easy place to be pregnant and the inflexibility of a prison regime is incompatible with the needs and care of a pregnant body.

€­€ € It is more difficult to catch up on missed sleep and missed meals and hard to take baths or showers as often as needed.

€­€ € It may be difficult for the prison to transport prisoners to health care checks and scans, ante-natal classes and post-natal care.

€­€ € Ante-natal and post-natal care may not be seen as medical priorities by prison staff.

€­€ € It may be difficult for a prisoner to see a midwife.

€­€ € Alerting staff to a medical problem, even the onset of labour, may be difficult, particularly at night.

€­€ € The stress of imprisonment can have a deleterious impact on the development of a pregnancy.

€­€ € Restraining pregnant women in the same way as other women prisoners may endanger both the woman and the fetus.

6. Mental health. Mental health problems are more spread among women prisoners than in the prison for men or in the general prison. A lot of women have problems with lower-level of mental health, such as personality disorder, which do not qualify them for a psychiatric bed. Such women may need access to treatments and therapy designed specifically for them, and even in women-only prisons conditions may not be ideal. Women can be extremely worried about what will happen to their children, especially in the early stages of detention. Research has suggested that this can exacerbate or bring on mental health problems.

Depression, self-harm and suicide. Doctors are more likely to diagnose depression in women than in men (even when they have similar scores on standardized measures of depression) and more likely to prescribe mood altering psychotropic drugs to women than to men. Outside prison men are more likely to commit suicide than women but the position is reversed inside prison, and self-harm in prison is a huge problem and more prevalent among women in prison.

7. Violence and vulnerability. In those countries where all prisoners are vulnerable to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, women (and juvenile female) prisoners are particularly at risk, both from male prisoners and from male prison guards. The power imbalance between prisoners and guards together with the closed nature of prisons provide opportunities for harassment, exploitation, abuse, prostitution, rape and indecent assault of female prisoners by staff, both male and female.

They may also be subjected to abuse and exploitation from other prisoners, both male and female.

Even in countries where this is not the case, such as in the UK, women prisoners are vulnerable to other prisoners. A high proportion of UK women prisoners tell that they feel unsafe.

The issues about safety and security of female prisoners include:

– € Location of female cells in mixed prisons.

€­€ € Location and use of shared facilities, in particular showers and toilets.

€­€ € Whether male prison guards hold ‘contact positions’ over female prisoners (posts which permit or require them to be in physical proximity to the prisoners, sometimes unsupervised by other, female, staff).

€­€ € Strip searches: women prisoners as a group are more likely than other women generally and/or male prisoners to have experienced sexual assault: this makes strip-searching especially traumatic for them.

€­€ € The existence or lack of effective supervision and complaints mechanisms which enable prisoners to complain without exposing them to intimidation or further abuse – for example, seeing a doctor in the presence of guards means that violence towards and abuse of prisoners by guards is less likely to be reported by the prisoner.

€­€ € Women who are subject to sexual abuse or exploitation face the added problems relating to the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, the questions of pregnancy and child-birth or abortion, and all the associated physical, mental and emotional health issues.

8. Mothers in prison. Most women in prison around the world are mothers. Women are more likely to be the sole or primary carer for children and this factor makes the prison experience significantly different for women. The effects of maternal imprisonment on their families are generally more disruptive than the effects of paternal imprisonment. This is not adequately recognized by the criminal justice system.

Since the numbers of women who are sent to a prison are rather low and the tendency to send women to prison for lesser nonviolent offences is increasing, so the woman herself can not understand the possibility of imprisonment as the outcome of her deeds. That is why the woman doesn’t have the opportunity to make any preparations or provision for her kids before being taken into custody. Such fact can be a cause of additional stress for her and her kids.

Prison visits from children. Visiting prisons can be a difficult and frustrating experience for children. So, traveling for a long distance, entering a grim building, being searched, spending time in a harsh adult environment with a mother that one might not even be able to touch may be extremely distressing to a child. This in turn may make the child’s carer less inclined to undertake this arduous task, as well as leaving the mother distraught and reluctant to have further visits from the child.

Furthermore, the new carers may have their own family responsibilities, as well as financial constraints, which put strains on taking in additional children (leading to children moving from one carer to another) and in particular adding to the financial, time and emotional burdens of taking children to visit their imprisoned mother.

Evidence suggests that the children of imprisoned mothers, and particularly those who are taken into state care during the mother’s imprisonment, are at significantly greater risk of developing criminal behavior in adulthood than other children.

9. Children of imprisoned mothers. The rights and best interests of the children of women prisoners are rarely considered during criminal justice processes, even though parental imprisonment has a major impact on their lives. There are three options:

€­€ € The child has to go to prison with the mother, and the consequence of that.

€­€ € The child is separated from the mother, and the consequence of that.

€­€ € Where there is more than one child and they are treated differently; i.e. one goes to prison with the mother, the other is separated, and the consequences of that.

Within each of these, there are then a number of matters to be considered which are encapsulated in the table overleaf.

Children separated from their mother. Children left in the community may be looked after by their father, grandparents, other relatives or friends of the family, taken into state care or left without carers.

Siblings may be separated from each other in order to make the situation not to difficult, or they may be taken into State institutions.

A prisoner living in insecure or rented accommodation will usually lose this when s/he enters prison and getting accommodation when released is often difficult. A mother whose children have been placed in the care of the state or another person usually cannot reclaim custody without appropriate accommodation, so even a short prison term may lead to permanent separation of families.

Registering details of prisoners’ children is not part of the reception procedure in many countries. Some prisoners may not disclose this information voluntarily for fear that their children will be permanently taken away from them. As a result, governments do not make social provision or policies which address the problem of children with incarcerated parents.

The imprisonment of the mother has a great impact on the children; it affects every aspect of their lives and not just the relationships with their mother. It feels the same as while the bereavement, but with less support, from the new carer, teachers, and other people. Children of imprisoned parents have an increased tendency to exhibit aggressive and anti-social behaviour compared to the general population.

Researchers have found that the effects of parental imprisonment can be serious. Studies of prisoners’ children consistently report that children experience a range of psychosocial problems during the imprisonment of a parent, including: depression, hyperactivity, aggressive behaviour, withdrawal, regression, clinging behaviour, problems with sleeping and eating, running away, truancy, low school grades and delinquency. The impact on the children will, of course, vary according to their age, surrounding family and community response, environment and individual character.

Babies and children in prison. Some women may spend part or all of a pregnancy in prison and give birth while still serving their sentence. The bonding of an infant with her/his primary carer is essential for her/his long term emotional development and should be given high priority. If mothers give birth while serving their sentence, or are imprisoned when they have a baby or young child, that baby or young child may come into the prison to live with them. Special resources and facilities available to mother and babies in prison varies, but usually consist of accommodation within a specialized Mother and Baby Unit (MBU). Toys are sometimes provided for the children and the mother may have more freedom in terms of staying in an unlocked room, having access to a kitchen in which she can prepare food for the child etc.

Because of the small number of women in prison who have children living with them, the number of MBUs is low, meaning that a mother may be imprisoned a long way from the rest of her family. This creates problems regarding prison visits and maintaining contact with any older children in the family. Additional concerns about babies and children living in prison are the effect this has on their development – physical, mental and emotional.

How long babies or young children can reside in prison with their mothers – or even whether they can do so at all – varies considerably across countries. The separation of mother and child can be a very traumatic experience for them both.

Some countries try and make the separation process as gradual as possible, in order to ease the pain and trauma of separation.

Babies and young children who are living in prison with their mother also require specialized health care. Women who know that their children will be removed from them shortly after birth may exhibit mental health problems and/or reject the baby or fail to bond with it.

10. Maintaining links with family. When imprisoned mothers are the primary carer of children, separation from their mothers is usually more traumatic than if the father is incarcerated; this is of course much worse where the mother is the sole carer. Research has shown that if family ties are maintained, the chances of prisoners re-offending upon release are lowered, so it is important to take measures to try to preserve these ties. Problems in maintaining these links include:

€­€ € Doing so through letters is hard for those with low literacy skills, and self vidently problematic in relation to young children.

€­€ € Overcoming what is often a greater distance between the woman and her family.

11. Specific groups of prisoners.

Foreign nationals. Foreign national women prisoners may be either resident or non-resident in the country where they are imprisoned. Common difficulties may be faced by both male and female foreign national prisoners, such as problems relating to language and misunderstandings surrounding the customs and cultures of the host country, which may lead to isolation. In prisons where the prisoners are dependent on external assistance, whether for basics such as food, hygiene products and clothing, or for small luxuries, women without family at hand to visit not only face the direct problems of not having such items, but are vulnerable to exploitation by other prisoners or prison guards in order to receive the necessities for living.

Foreign national women who are not resident in the country of imprisonment may often be very far away from their children and families, causing them anguish and anxiety. Their children may not have the financial means to come and visit them. Telephone calls may be prohibitively expensive for both the mother and her children and difficult to arrange because of time differences. If the children are too young to read and write, then communication via letters is not an option.

Many women foreign nationals in prison are there for drug smuggling and may have left their children in the temporary care of friends or family, expecting to return in a few days. Imprisonment may put a woman’s family (children and others) in significant danger from the people who employed her to smuggle drugs. Resident foreign national women can face deportation when they have completed their sentence, which means further separation from their families, or their having to relocate as well.

Transgender prisoners. Transgender prisoners face particular difficulties and pose special challenges to the prison system precisely because of the question as to their classification as male or female prisoners.

Racial minorities/ indigenous prisoners. In many countries with indigenous populations, indigenous women represent the fastest growing segment of the prison population. Their “double minority” status within the prison system, being both indigenous and women, means that where training and other programmes exist they may have to choose between those intended for indigenous men or for non-indigenous women. They may also have different needs from other women prisoners.

12. Post-release issues. Women leaving prison receive varying degrees of support from the prison and social services. They may face many problems in addition to the pressures which may have caused them to commit their initial crime, such as: getting a job, finding accommodation, staying drug or alcohol free and regaining custody of children who have been in state care during their imprisonment. Even a short prison term may lead to the mother losing the rented accommodation in which she had been living, and it is common for a mother to be unable to regain custody of her children if she does not have anywhere to live. This makes it very difficult for women to resume normal lives outside of prison, and may be a factor which contributes to re-offending.

Although all released prisoners face issues surrounding their efforts to reintegrate into society, for parents these may be compounded by the need to reconcile with children who may have changed (as well as grown up) during their absence. These children may have taken on new roles in the family and developed close relation-ships with alternative carers, both of which can cause tension if the returning parent tries to go back to ‘the way things were’. Reoffending by parents can also have a devastating impact on their children, as they lose their parent for a second time.

As it was written above, the female population in the U.S. prison is escalating faster than the male population. According to statistics, the U.S. has 10 times more women in prison than the combined nations of Western Europe. (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/agenda/0107/womenprison.htm. Phillis Engelbert, “Women in

Prison”, Agenda, July/August 2001).

Women are sent to prison for different crimes, but there they need a specialized care and treatment. A lot of women have drug and alcohol problems and need to be treated accordingly. A lot of women in prison have children and this is one more reason for special treatment.

Impact of Police Community Support Officers

Abstract

Police forces across England and Wales in 2002 have been provided with a new member of the police force to support police officers. These Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) were introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002 to address disorder, low level crime, high visible patrols, and public reassurance. This Act gave a list of limited standard and discretionary police powers to PCSOs. The role of the PCSO as an extended member of the police family links the community to the police, without all the powers typically associated with policing. This limitation has cast doubt over their effectiveness within the local community.

This report shows how powers vested in PCSOs have evolved to address issues of public confusion around their capabilities. Then the report argues that PCSOs patrols have made an impact upon crime levels and analyses criticism made about the PCSOs. This Report uses the British Crime Survey (BCS) trends in certain crime from 1981 to 2007. The trends show that since the PCSOs introduction in 2002 the majority of crime levels have started to decrease. Finally this report critically debates remarks made by David Gilbertson about PCSOs and compares them against case studies that have been conducted to find that these remarks are not at all true.

Acronym

  • ACPO – Association of Chief Police Officers
  • ASB – Anti Social Behaviour
  • BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation
  • BCS – British Crime Survey
  • BCU – Basic Command Unit
  • CDA – Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • CSO – Community Support Officer
  • CSOs – Community Support Officers
  • FPN – Fixed Penalty Notice
  • PCSO – Police Community Support Officer
  • PCSOs – Police Community Support Officers
  • PRA – Police Reform Act 2002

Introduction

Policing in the United Kingdom (U.K) is undergoing considerable change; it is changing in profound ways, engineering the introduction of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). Ever since the introduction of PCSOs in the Police Reform Act (PRA) 2002, there has been much criticism ranging from their need in the community, to their effectiveness in their roles within society. These issues need to be addressed in order to give PCSOs the recognition they deserve. This report will show if the criticisms made are true or false in regards to PCSOs effectiveness around their roles within society. In order to do this it will seek to answer the following three aims:-

Aim one – How PCSOs powers have evolved over the course of time

Aim two – Have PCSOs impacted recorded crime whilst on patrol? This would act as statistical towards their effectiveness in society.

Aim three – Finally it aims to answer whether unpleasant claims made by Gilbertson are true or false, by comparing and contrasting studies that have been conducted.

Hypothesis – This report predicts that PCSOs are needed and are effective in their roles.

As a result the report aims to add a new dimension to resources available surrounding the PCSOs need and effectiveness.

Structure of Report

The report is presented in four chapters:

Chapter One: The Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and their Functionality
This chapter provides the history on the PCSO. In addition it explores the PCSOs roles and how their powers have evolved to address issues of public confusion.

Chapter Two: The Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) on Patrol
This chapter looks at what PCSOs do on patrol and what the main issue they would face whilst on patrol is? Finally using the British Crime Survey trends on crime it assesses if PCSOs have made an impact on crime levels, since their introduction.

Chapter Three: Gilbertson perspective on PCSOs against studies
This chapter simply critically debates a certain remarks made by David Gilbertson about PCSOs using case studies that have been conducted.

Chapter Four: Conclusion and Recommendations
Simply brings together the main points that arise from pervious chapter to answer the main aims of this report and will state all recommendations that may have been expressed in the previous chapters.

Literature Review

Over this last decade, there has been considerable change in the way in which neighborhood policing is carried out. One of these changes has been the introduction of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs); PCSOs were first introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002. Since the introduction of PCSOs in 2002 there has been much criticism ranging from their, need in the community, to their effectiveness in their roles within society.

There are limited resources surrounding the issues of need and effectiveness on PCSOs, this may be due to their relatively recent introduction. However this review will look at some available resources in order to compare and contrast the effectiveness of PCSOs. In doing so my study aims to add a new dimension to resources available surrounding the PCSOs need and effectiveness.

The literature surrounding the introduction of PCSOs, Cooper et al (2007) Paskell (2007) and Crawford et al (2004) agreed that PCSOs were introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002 and also agree on the roles and powers PCSOs posses.

However the aims of each studies vary, Cooper et al (2007) study is conducted for the Home Office. The Home Office funded this study due to the demands for a national evaluation of PCSOs. There were three key aims for Cooper et al study, these were; first to provide a national profile on PCSOs in terms of their activities, deployment, designated powers and demographics. The second was to provide indications of the impact PCSOs have on the public, in terms of their levels of reassurance, their perceptions and an understanding of their roles. The final aim was to provide indications of impact PCSOs on low level crime/disorder, incidents and anti social behavior (ASB).

The methods used by Cooper et al (2007) were both quantitative and qualitative to gain research. The variety of data collected provided a stronger reliability around their findings as the data collected was of a large capacity. Data on a national level was collected from a survey of forces and a survey of PCSOs, by means of questionnaires. This is very reliable source of research as it done national and can be used as a national piece of evidence.

On a local level three forces where chosen as case studies and from each force four areas were selected for a detailed study. Two of these areas were control areas where PCSOs had not been deployed, and the other two areas where PCSOs had been deployed for some time.

Across the four forces interviews were conducted in police forces to collect data on a wide range of issues including, PCSOs deployment, supervision, training, induction and integration. The interviews were conducted on the two areas where PCSOs were deployed. Also data was collected from the control areas, after PCSOs were deployed, on their impact on crime levels for a two week period.

This is reliable as the range of evidence collected is immense, due to the interviews carried out over four different forces. Controls were used, for the data to be compared with, as this is very important. This ensures the data collected was overall a result of the PCSOs alone, as they were not present in the control force areas. However the research should have been carried out for more than two weeks to gain more valid results, enhancing the reliability of their findings. Also the reliability of Cooper et al (2007) research can be improved if they could carry out their study again, in the same manner. This would allow the two studies to be compared and contrasted to determine if PCSOs are effective.

Cooper et al (2007) concluded from their research that there was a need for PCSOs, as they act as visible and familiar presence through foot patrol and community engagement. As this was an issue due to police officers having less time to carry out these roles. This is an important piece of literature to my study as it tells me there is a need for the PCSOs. However Cooper et al (2007) did state that there were a range of factors that limited the PCSOs effectiveness. How PCSOs are deployed, how integrated they are and staff turnover that may impinge these requirements. These factors even though will not be considered in my study, still will need to be understood. They may provide valuable insight into the roles of the PCSOs and what they encounter on patrol.

Crawford et al (2004) investigated if PCSOs and other members of the extended police family had impacted recorded crime? This study was funded by University of Leeds Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. Crawford et al compared trends in crime levels in the cities of Leeds and Bradford, also conducting a study which used a twin site public opinion survey to assess the impact of PCSOs on the public (2004).

Crawford et al (2004) research appeared to provide positive light on PCSOs and other members of the extended police family, who can have an impact in relation to recorded crime. Crawford et al (2004) study showed that overall crime rates fell in these cities where PCSOs had been deployed. However Crawford et al (2004) was cautious around the interpretation of their findings, concluding that it is difficult to attribute changes in crime to PCSOs alone.

The twin site public opinion survey found that PCSOs are a popular innovation within communities and the public perceived an increase in police patrolling. This is a valuable source of information of what the public thinks of the PCSOs, also with the comparison of crime statistics would show if PCSOs have contributed to crime reduction since the deployment. However it can not be used as a national evaluation of what the entire population thinks of the PCSOs or can show how it has impacted other communities.

Furthermore, it may only be seen as valid for the cities of Bradford and Leeds, and invalid for other cities nationwide, as opinions of PCSOs may be different in other cities. Invalid due to PCSOs powers being changed as of 1st December 2007 (Home Office 2007) and the research was conducted two years on from when PCSOs initial introduction, which may be seen as less time to assess them. This is useful to my study as it tells me there may be other factors that have impacted crime levels, something which will be touched on in my study.

Paskell (2007) on the other hand started conducting their research in 1998 to 2006, on 12 representative disadvantaged neighbourhoods, looking into key factors with neighborhood decline and renewal. Also it was documented in their research on government regeneration and housing renewal. In 2006 Paskell completed their final rounds of visits on these neighborhoods. This research was intended for another purpose but also led to their report in 2006 on ‘Plastic Police or Community Support? : The Role of Police Community Support Officer with in low-income Neighborhoods’.

Paskell (2007) research is more valid as it has been conducted over a longer period of time, from before the PCSO existence and few years after the enactment and can be used as more persuasive argument of their impact. Paskell (2007) agrees with Cooper et al (2007), that PCSOs involvement was evident to policing and beyond. However Paskell (2007) did note that the research on PCSOs was conducted shortly after they were introduced and suggests may be PCSOs need more time to make impact before they can be analyzed on their effectiveness.

All three research studies showed PCSOs in a positive light, being an asset to the community. The information provided by Cooper et al (2007) study on the effectiveness of PCSOs, roles and powers of PCSOs and overall background on PCSOS, is the beneficial for my study as it provides knowledge on PCSOs. However it is not all thumbs up for the PCSOs, as they have come across certain criticism, such as from David Gilbertson “Preventative patrolling, once the jewel in the crown of British policing, has been abandoned […] to be replaced by an imitation service delivered by semi-trained auxiliaries…”. Gilbertson claims that PCSOs are imitations of police officers, and that the funding for PCSOs should just be used to recruit more police officers, who are fully trained, unlike the PCSOs.

Just like the three research studies showed limitations, there are limitations for the study I intend to carry out. The lack of literature and valid research limits my research; also the lack of time given to conduct the study limits the possibility of gaining valid and reliable results. Even still I wish to carry out the study on PCSOs, to provide more clarity on the topic of PCSOs using the limited literature and studies around. In doing so my study aims to answer gaps overlooked by these scholars; firstly how PCSOs powers have evolved over the course of time, secondly have PCSOs impacted recorded crime whilst on patrol. Finally it aims to answer if such criticisms made by Gilbertson are true or false, by comparing and contrasting studies that have been conducted.

Research Methodology

Over this last decade, there has been considerable change in the way in which neighborhood policing is being carried out. One of these changes has been the introduction of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). PCSOs were first introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002 (PRA).

Since the introduction of PCSOs in 2002 there has been much criticism ranging from their, need in the community, to their effectiveness in their roles within society. There are limited resources surrounding the issues of need and effectiveness on PCSOs, this may be due to their relatively recent introduction.

The aims of the research to be conducted will seek to address the following issues in regards to PCSOs:

Aim one – How PCSOs powers have evolved over the course of time

Aim two – Have PCSOs impacted recorded crime whilst on patrol?

Aim three – If criticisms regarding PCSOs effectiveness around their roles within society are true or false, by analyzing the data collected from this study.

The first two aims can be found without the need to gain extra research or independent research. Aim one can be found by simply looking at the literature around on the PCSOs, and aim two will be answered by using the British Crime Survey Statistics on trends in Crime from the year 1981 to 2007.

Crime trends in overall crime will tell what crime levels were, before the PCSOs were enacted, and since their enactment if they have changed. To assess if certain criticism made about PCSOs effectiveness around their roles within society are true or false, this report will collect research surrounding the publics view on PCSOs effectiveness and if the public feel they are needed.

The methods that will be used to gain the necessary data to be analyzed will be questionnaires. The questionnaires will be carried out across the nation in ten cities were PCSOs have been deployed, with a sample size of five hundred people per city. Due to the lack of funding, questionnaires are the best option in obtaining data from the public on if they believe PCSOs are effective. Also the lack of funding would mean it will be hard to carry out a bigger sample size or carry out the questionnaires for more cities. By doing questionnaires the advantages are gaining research quick and effectively.

Disadvantages are respondents will not be able to express their views, data may take a long time to analyze, there could be the possibility of the same respondent answering the same questionnaire and some public members will not be willing to answer the questionnaire. To reduce these issues the questionnaire will have an incentive to attract people to carry out the questionnaire, for example by being put in to a prize draw for an IPod Nano.

Also the questionnaire will ask closed questions, with answers given for respondents to choose from. For example; how often do you see PCSOs on patrol- Most of the time, some of the time, do not see them at all? This will allow for easier analysis of answers and it will be easier to categorize questions onto a graph. The questionnaire will consist of a range of questions that are related to PCSOs, with the main aim to address aim three.

However, before the questionnaire could be conducted, the study hit fatal problems which terminated the possibility of carrying out the questionnaires.

The problem was time and no funding. No funding made it impossible to hire people to carry out the questionnaires and resulted to lack of time for it to carry out research across the nation. This therefore meant that there would not be any research to be analyzed.

Nonetheless this report will address this issue by looking at what studies have been done; it will bring together these studies to answer aim three. It will use the following studies that where done by Cooper et al (2007), Crawford et al (2004) and Hiley (2005).

Cooper et al (2007)

The methods used by Cooper et al (2007) were both quantitative and qualitative to gain research. With the aim; first to provide a national profile on PCSOs in terms of their activities, deployment, designated powers and demographics. The second was to provide indications of the impact PCSOs have on the public, in terms of their levels of reassurance, their perceptions and an understanding of their roles. The final aim was to provide indications of impact PCSOs on low level crime/disorder, incidents and anti social behavior (ASB)

The variety of data collected provided a stronger reliability around their findings as the data collected was of a large capacity. Data on a national level was collected from a survey of forces and a survey of PCSOs, by means of questionnaires. This is very reliable source of research as it done national and can be used as a national piece of evidence.

On a local level three forces where chosen as case studies and from each force four areas were selected for a detailed study. Two of these areas were control areas where PCSOs had not been deployed, and the other two areas were where PCSOs had been deployed for some time. Across the four forces interviews were conducted in police forces to collect data on a wide range of issues including, PCSOs deployment, supervision, training, induction and integration.

The interviews were conducted upon the PCSOs deployed two areas on similar questions. Also data was collected from the control areas after PCSOs were deployed on their impact on crime levels for a two week period. This is reliable as the range of evidence collected is immense, due to the interviews carried out over four different forces. Controls were used, for the data to be compared with, as this is very important.

Crawford et al (2004)

Crawford et al (2004) investigated if PCSOs and other members of the extended police family on how they can have impact on recorded crime. This study was funded by University of Leeds Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. Crawford et al compared trends in crime levels in the cities of Leeds and Bradford, also conducting a study which used a twin site public opinion survey to assess the impact of PCSOs on the public (2004).
Hiley (2005)

Hiley (2005) investigated if the public in the Gedling Borough of Nottingham felt PCSOs were effective. Hiley (2005) conducted its research by interviewing five hundred and one respondents. Sample size was taken at random, and respondents that declined were replaced.

In analyzing these studies the findings of the report aims to answer aim three of the report to be conducted, all three studies are conducted in different regions and collated together can become a reliable source of data. Though it must be noted that each study was carried out in different years may hinder its reliability and validity. Nevertheless these studies are still relevant as they give a picture of the effectiveness of PCSOs at that time period. Another advantage of using these case studies is that information is readily available and modern, so it may still reflect the effectiveness of PCSOs to date.

Chapter 1 – ¬The Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and their Functionality

Introduction

History of the Police Community Support Officers
Roles of Police Community Support Officers
Powers of Police Community Support Officers

Summary

Introduction

This chapter will present an overview of the history, role and powers of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). The history section will look at how and why PCSOs were developed, followed by the explanation of the role and aims of the PCSOs. This chapter finishes of with providing knowledge around the powers of the PCSOs and how they have developed over time.

History of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)

It is essential for the reader to become aware of the history behind the development of the PCSOs as it explains how and why this type of service originated.

Initially, police officers out on patrol had many different competing priorities and limited time to provide a swift response to urgent calls. The effect of this limitation of time resulted in many patrols becoming vehicle based and patrol tasks being interrupted by urgent incidents, custody requirements, paperwork, etc. The Neighbourhood Policing Programme 2007, states that there were ‘gaps in policing that bought about a combination of increasing demand and additional requirements on officers and forces’ (Neighbourhood policing programme 2007).

It can be fair to say, that at this point in time the relationship between the police force and the local community may not have been as strong as expected because the prioritisation of tasks left meant some other tasks would not be complete.

The National Evaluation of community support officers found that the public perception confirmed the need of extra support for officers, ‘there are too many calls on police officers time and long term disorder/behaviour issues are not dealt with effectively’(Home Office 2006). Therefore, it had become apparent that the police force clearly required more support in terms of man-power to tackle this time constraint.

The Police Reform Act in 2002 (PRA) revolutionized policing; chief officers across the UK now had PCSOs at their disposal to support police activities (Rogers and Lewis 2007: 125). By 2008 the government anticipated the number of PCSOs would grow substantially from 6,000 to 24,000. (Newburn 2008:156). However, at the end of April 2007, the figures showed that there were 16,000 PCSOs employed (Home Office 2007:33).

In September 2002, pilot schemes across six forces had allowed PCSOs to take to the streets, primarily to provide high visibility patrols and become the eyes and ears of the police (Greater Manchester Police 2009). PCSOs as part of the wider police family had created a significant impact by focusing upon the needs of the local community; engaging with the public and providing reassurance with their uniformed presence. The scheme was hailed a success, later became nationalised across England and Wales as well as in the British Transport Police (Greater Manchester Police 2009).

With this recognition they are now an integral part of Neighbourhood Policing and can contribute towards effective policing. ‘Effective Neighbourhood policing goes a long way to meeting the needs of communities. The role of the PCSO is a vital one as they are very much the visible accessible presence of neighbourhood policing’ (Neighbourhood policing programme 2007).

Roles of Police Community Support Officers

The aim of PCSOs as uniformed staff; was to provide support to the work of police officers and work within the local community. Their objective was to assist police in areas which may require a certain level of police presence. In doing so, they may not necessarily have the expertise of trained police officers, but were able to facilitate by freeing up the time police officers spent on tackling low-level crime and routine tasks.

In 2005, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) expressed the roles of the PCSO as follows:-

“The policing of neighbourhoods, primarily through high visible patrol with the purpose of reassuring the public, increases orderliness in public places and being accessible to communities and partner agencies working at local level. The emphasis of this role, and the powers required to fulfill it, will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and force to force” (ACPO 2005).

From this it is evident that the main priority was to provide high visibility patrols, dealing with public queries and restoring order within the local community. The West Midlands Police Force confer with these aims and outline the PCSO objectives as follows; to primarily provide high visibility patrols, secondly help reduce the fear of crime, thirdly participate in the police initiative of tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), fourthly provide support and assistance at public events and finally support the police officers in building and maintaining community relations (West Midlands police 2007).

Ideally as long as PCSOs acted in these key roles as stated by ACPO and the West Midlands Police Force, then they would become successful and effective. One can only become effective if the roles given to them are completed and carried out at high standards. ‘Effectiveness is the ability to achieve stated goals or objectives’ (Environmental Protection Agency 2007). Arguably, it can be difficult to measure effectiveness as there can be limitations which influence the success rate of a task. For example, availability of ‘resources’ and in many cases ‘time’ is a crucial element, and may become a limiting factor.

On the 17th July 2008, the Home Office issued a report regarding the activities undertaken by the PCSO. The report reviewed findings from a study on PSCO activity based on costing data in 2006/7. The results were indicative and notably equated PCSO activity with that defined by the guidance of ACPO (2005). Visible patrols were the most frequent activity carried out by PCSOs in 42 of 43 police forces.

This report also suggested that not all PCSOs across forces spent time or much time upon the remaining listed objectives, which may possibly be an outcome of limiting factors such as time. In some tasks the actual ‘time spent’ may have superseded the ‘expected time’. To conclude, this report suggests that PCSOs were also carrying out extra roles not mentioned by ACPO. The summary of this report is attached in Appendix A.

Retrospectively, it must be made clear to the reader that PCSOs are not sworn police officers as such, neither are they a replacement. They are a branch of modern day policing whose purpose is to provide that needed extra support to police officers. This can only mean that the powers allocated to PCSOs are limited to their purpose of serving the local community.

Powers of Police Community Support Officers

The functionality and effectiveness of PCSOs can be maintained with allocation of certain ‘powers’. This section will debate the powers given to PCSOs and discuss why these have evolved over the years. Initially, as outlined by PRA 2002, Chief Officers of each of the police force regions had the choice of selecting appropriate powers to implement their individual force initiatives alongside meeting the needs of the local community.

’…Section 38 of the PRA enables a Chief Officer to designate an individual employed by the police authority but under his/her authority discretion and control as a PCSO and confer upon them any powers listed in Part 1 of Schedule 4 to the PRA…’ (Clayden, 2006:40)

This suggested that there was no standardization or common ground for powers allocated to PCSOs across the United Kingdom (U.K). PCSOs in different forces would have had different powers to deal with certain incidents. Therefore, this meant PCSOs in different forces, would have powers in dealing with certain incidents whereas others would lack the powers to deal with those incidents.

For example, in 2006 the Chief Constable of Surrey police allocated different powers to PCSOs in different areas. The PCSOs in the area of Guildford Borough had the power to issue a Fixed Penalty notice (FPN) for littering. Where as the PCSOs in the area of Ash Wharf where given a different power, the power to issue a FPN for Graffiti and Fly posting (Surrey Police, 2006). It must be noted that these different powers may only help PCSOs tackle targeted crime for each area specifically.

On the other hand this can also become a problem for PCSOs, since there is a difference in the selection of powers for PCSOs in areas and regions. If a person was to commit a graffiti offence in the area of Guildford Borough then the PCSOs located there would have no power to issue FPN for this crime, since the PCSOs in that area have not been allocated that power.

Furthermore if someone was littering in the area of Ash Wharf, then the PCSOs located in this area do not have the power to issue a FPN for littering. Additionally, the difference in selection of powers can lead to confusion and debate regarding the role of the PCSO, which in turn reflects their effectiveness. The BBC news website on the 6th of December 2005 read

‘Police Community Support Officers, hailed as future of policing in London, are at the centre of a row about their role’ (BBC News, 2005)

A standard set of powers would help to understand what PCSOs can and can not do, which in turn may help clarify their roles to the local community to whom they serve.

In addition, it is crucial that the public becomes clear of the capabilities and powers of a PCSO, so that they are not overestimated. Overestimating the PCSOs powers and abilities can have devastating results, as it was in the heartbreaking case of Jordon Lyon on May the 3rd 2007 in Wigan (BBC News, 2007). This case saw two PCSOs being branded in the media for being incapable to save or attempt to save a drowning child in the pond, simply because they did not have water rescue training. The Times Newspaper on September 2007 headlined,

“Failure to save drowning boy prompts calls to scrap ‘community’ police” (Times online, 2007)

Though, unlike the PCSOs in Wigan, in Watford on 22nd October 2007 two PCSOs saved the life of a drowning woman in a canal in Watford (Watford Observer 2007). Clearly these two similar incidents raise confusion over the power of the PCSOs. Moreover these incidents could confuse people around the PCSOs capabilities, do they have water rescue training or not, what can they do? What can they not do? In one case the PCSO has the power and the capabilities to save a persons life preventing them from drowning and in another case they seem incapable and powerless in saving someone from drowning. PCSOs powers at this stage are not clear and seem to be questionable, which need to be dealt with.

Five years on from their introduction and in response to the confusion over the role of PCSOs: from 1st of December 2007 PCSOs were set 20 standard powers and an additional 22 powers accessible to them at the discretion of the chief constable(Smith 2008:17). A full list of the standard and discretionary powers is set out in Appendix B; the list was obtained from the Home Office website (Home Office 2007). The enactment of these standardised powers will mean a more consistent role for PCSOs nationwide.

It provides PCSOs with the tools to deal with low-level disorder and anti-social behaviour and to contribute effectively to local policing. However, there are still 22 powers that can be allocated by the Chief Constable which can cause a lack of consistency in PCSOs powers within different communities. Nonetheless, it is apparent from Louise Casey’

The Legality of the Police Stop and Search Powers

‘Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.’

Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting in Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)

Introduction

The Home Office reports there were 50,000 racially or religiously motivated hate crimes in the UK in 2005 alone and an estimated total of 260,000 reported and unreported incidences of such hate crime. In the recent debates over the Racial and Religious Hatred Act (RRHA) 2006attention was drawn to the fact that one of the primary purposes of the legislation was varyingly described as ‘…exhorting the communities to respect each other’s different backgrounds.’ And ‘a pragmatic response to increasing interethnic tensions, ensuring that diverse groups can cohabit peacefully’. What these dialogues highlight is the seriousness with which the legislature, reflecting at least a majority of society, views the deleterious effects of racism on social cohesion.

Undoubtedly many of the concerns about the fabric of our society are caused by concerns over recent geo-political events across the globe. In particular the publicity of the terrorist bodies that have carried outa number of attacks since the turn of the century in New York, Washington, Bali, Casablanca, Jakarta, Istanbul, Madrid and London have made certain races and religions, in particular Muslims, synonymous with violence and extremist activities. These fuel already pre-existent religious tendencies. However, in many ways the governments approach tithe issue of terrorism and its inherent links to an increase in interethnic tensions have been flawed.

A quick review of the anti-terror legislation passed since the Labour government came to power illustrates the point: The Terrorism Act 2000, Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, The Terrorism Act 2006 and Terrorism (Northern Ireland) Act2006. This doesn’t even include all the Statutory Instruments such as The Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 (Information) Order 2002, The Terrorism Act 2000 (Business in the Regulated Sector and Supervisory Authorities) Order 2003 and The Terrorism Act 2000 (Continuance of Patria) Order 2004.

There has not been a year since the turn of the century when terrorism hasn’t been on the legislative agenda and the upshot has been an exponential growth in police powers stemming from this flurry of legislative activity. There was an extension of police powers by Part V of the Terrorism Act 2000, Part 10 of taint-terrorism, Crime and Security Act (ACSA) 2001, ss.5 and 8 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and Part II of the Terrorism Act 2006. Thus what the foregoing highlights is that on the one hand the government is attempting to prevent racist attacks and incitement of such feelings through the RRHA 2006 but also widening the discretionary powers of the police.

It is exactly these kinds of ‘beneficent’ aims that Justice Brandeis was talking about that can end up causing infringements on liberty. In the recent case of A v. Secretary of State for the Home Department the courts were faced with a Human Rights challenge to the provisions under the ACSA 2001 held them in breach. It was described by Lady Justice Arden as ‘decision that will be used as a point of reference by courts all over the world for decades to come, even when the age of terrorism has passed.

It is a powerful statement by the highest court in the land of what it means to live in a society where the executive is subject tithe rule of 1aw’. These decisions which have thwarted the aims of the government to a certain extent have an undertone that liberty is at stake. In this work we attempt to look at all of the foregoing issues in respect of the stop and search powers of the police.

It is said that the ‘exercise of the police power to stop and search members of the public is one that has long excited public controversy’. There are numerous facets about the power which excite this controversy however far and away the most controversial issue has been its disproportionate use on ethnic minorities. This work is going to do thorough analysis of the police stop and search powers looking at number of issues.

Many commentators take the now infamous MacPherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence , which argued that the stop and search figures highlighted a ‘clear core conclusion of racist stereotyping’. This was placed against the overall conclusion that ‘institutional racism…exists both in the Metropolitan Police Service and in other Police Services and other institutions countrywide’. In particular it highlighted that they believed there had been a systemic ‘failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin’.

This work wants to look at the stop and search research that is currently available to see whether this problem still exists or has changed. We also carried out an empirical study ourselves which we wish to incorporate into this analysis. One item of particular interest will be to note whether the rise of what various studies have called‘Islamophobia’ , which is largely exacerbated by the recent terror attacks and underpins the need for the RRH 2006, has manifested itself in the police. The aim in assessing the empirical data is to come to conclusion on the Human Rights issues which are now Omni-present in modern society and whether the approaches of the police can be squared with traditional criminological theory.

Substantive Law on Stop and Search

The placing of a general stop and search on a statutory footing was only achieved by s.1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984(PACE). However, the power has been in existence in some manner since the nineteenth century in order to empower the police to ‘harass marginal sections of the population’. PACE gave the power to the police to stop and search anybody that they reasonably suspected of carrying prohibited articles for example a weapon or stolen goods.

Similar statutory power had also existed before then but had been limited to drugs under s.23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Again this section takes the format that where an officer ‘has reasonable grounds to suspect that any person is in possession of a controlled drug’ then they have a power to stop and search that person.

The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (CJPOA) 1994 also provided that an officer of superintendent rank or higher may authorise stop and searches where that officer reasonably believes there may be incidents of serious violence likely to occur in the police authority area. Indecent years the model in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act1994 has been extended into the Terrorism related statutory measures.

In particular The Terrorism Act (TA) 2000 s.44 extended stop and search powers so that, where authorised by an assistant chief constable or higher, then police officers could search people for anything that could be used in connection with terrorism, importantly can be exercised ‘whether or not the constable has grounds for suspecting the presence of articles of that kind’. It is worth noting that the s.60power under the CJPOA, above, also allows for the constable to stop where there is no reasonable suspicion.

However whilst the CJPOA and TA are obviously of importance to fight specific types of crime such as terrorism, football hooliganism and gang fights the powers under PACE are considered to be the more widely used and more general of the powers in that it can apply to ‘stolen or prohibited articles’ with the latter having a very general definition in s.1 (7). This naturally means that the level of discretionary power devolved on the individual constable is directly related to the judicially regulated phase ‘reasonable suspicion’. It is clear that the courts are willing to police this test – for example a ‘reasonable ‘suspicion will not include a vague assertion by another police officers per DPP v. French nor will an order from a superior officer count as per O’Hara v. Chief Constable of The Royal Ulster Constabulary.

In that case Lord Stein cited numerous authorities that uphold a position that he described as being justified because of ‘the longstanding constitutional theory of the independence and accountability of the individual constable’. Lord Stein went onto outline the general proposition which applies to reasonable suspicion: there need not be outright evidence amounting to a case, therefore a tip-off from the public may be sufficient, and hearsay information may be perfectly valid but a mere command or vague beliefs will not suffice.

Thus the above clearly illustrates that there needs to be a subjective reason in the policeman’s mind for the suspicion however there needs also to be an objective part which causes the subjective suspicion. Whilst O’Hara highlighted that an informed tip-off could suffice as objective grounds it is clear that ‘…a person’s race, age, appearance or the fact that the person is known to have previous conviction cannot be used alone or in combination with each other as a reason’. In fact Code A of the Code of Practice for the exercise of the statutory stop and search powers specifically warns police officers of using such criteria as race or ethnicity because of the prohibitions in the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.

However, clearly the courts support the reasonable suspicion test as having a low threshold for satisfaction and as long as there hasn’t been clear discrimination and the constable himself has other reasons then there is deference. This was more concisely laid out in Casoria v. Chief Constable of Surrey where Woolf, LJ highlighted the tri-partite nature of reasonable suspicion: The subjective part requiring there to be an actual suspicion on the part of the constable, whether it was reasonable which will be a matter of law for the judge and finally as long as it was reasonable was the discretion used in accordance with the famous principles laid down in Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v.Wednesbury Corporation.

It is hard to see how the Wednesbury principle of ‘unreasonableness’ fits with a judicially determined principle of reasonable suspicions: How could a constable have a reasonable suspicion and then use his discretion stop in a manner ‘so unreasonable that no reasonable authority [insert: Constable] could ever have comet it’. In any case there have been numerous cases on these issues but this appears to remain the core of the exercise of reasonable suspicion. It also seems as though the courts have been lenient towards the police in defining what was reasonable and what constitutes suspicion: ‘suspicion in its ordinary meaning is a state of conjecture or surmise where proof is lacking: ‘I suspect but I cannot prove’.’

The statutory powers are widely drawn and as the foregoing highlights the judiciary are reluctant to impinge on the discretion of ordinary constables. However discretion per se is not a bad thing, in fact it is necessary if a modern state is going to function. However, it is the empirically measured use of that discretion which is of the utmost concern to all scholars of the law. However, criminological study has long had a fascination, predominantly because of classical positivist legal thinking and pre-occupation with the rule of law, with ‘the lack of control over behaviour that is subject only to the internal constraints of the individual and that is not subject either to formal rules and sanctions or to direct supervision’. What Working called ‘Strong’ discretion.

The substantive provisions highlight this precise quality at the lowest level of the police hierarchy: the constable has discretion and it is the most visible to ordinary members of the public. It is this reason that many commentators have chosen to focus on the use of this discretion: ‘It is quintessentially a ‘low visibility’ decision…, immune to effective accountability mechanisms, for, if officers do not record stops, then they are unlikely to come to light’. Furthermore, as Waddington et al. make the point that the decision of a police officer not to stop provides opportunities for abuses of discretion which are virtually undetectable.

Thus from a very basic point such discretion is difficult to square with ‘the standards of the legal-analytical view of the decision process’ that should be applied by social actors who exercise legitimate power over members of the public. However, we wish to look at how this power is being exercised by studies however we cannot look at this from every angle; Discretion can be analysed from numerous angles such as how it isn’t applied in a uniform manner, for example discretion in sentencing , or how it disproportionately effects certain sections of society such as women or ethnic minorities.

It is the latter use of discretion that we are interested in this work because clearly stop and searches in order to meet their purpose will be applied randomly and on the vague ‘reasonable suspicion’ criteria so uniform application is not an issue. We will now look at the empirical evidence on all aspects of the stop and search debate.

Empirical Evidence on Stop and Search

There is a wealth of empirical evidence on this issue due to it having ‘been at the forefront of research into policing , in Britain and elsewhere’ and we will attempt to look at much of the statistics as possible in order to get a holistic picture of how the stop and search discretion is being used by constables. The major source of empirical information on this issue has been from the Home Office both in its Annual Report entitled ‘Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System’ and the six reports produced by the Policing and Reducing Crime Unit that did a variety of studies into different issues concerning Stop and Search. We will look at these studies initially in order to get a general overview of the situation.

The Home Office Statistics for 2005 show, one is tempted to say ‘as usual’, that there is discrimination in the outcomes of stop and search statistics. Under PACE powers it was reported that Black people were 6times more likely to be searched than White people and Asians were nearly twice as likely. In fact no ethnic group was less likely to be stopped than White people.

Under the CJPO 1994 it was noted that there had been a 5% increase in the number of Black people being stopped and 22% increase for Asian people whilst in the same period the number of White people being stopped decreased by 3%. Under the Terrorism Act however the proportions changed with the number of White people increasing and the number of Black and Asians decreasing (7% and 5%respectively). However, as we noted above PACE is by far the most commonly used with the recorded number of stops being 839, 977 as opposed to a combined 73, 363 under the other two powers.

Thus PACE gives a much more widespread and statistically accurate sample. What arises is that particularly black people seem to have been targeted more than white people. These statistics are worked out by looking at ‘the extent to which police powers are exercised on a group out of proportion to the number of that group in the general population’.What is even more striking about these statistics is that they remain relatively unchanged over the last few years thus despite increased attention on this issue there has been little substantive impact.

Unfortunately these statistics do not highlight a new problem as long-ago as the Scar man Report in 1981 there was a view that racism existed ‘in the behaviour of a few officers on the street. It may be only too easy for some officers…to lapse into an unthinking assumption that all young people are potential criminals’. Furthermore there have been reports that stop and search powers have always been used in this way for example a power to stop people under the Vagrancy Act 1824 and the Metropolitan Police act 1839 are reported to have been disproportionately used against black people

The findings of the Lord Scar man report were confirmed later by other studies such as that carried out by Norris et al. which discovered that ‘not only that young blacks were stopped very much more frequently than other racial groups, but that these stops were made on a more speculative basis’. Then in the Macpherson Report into the death of Stephen Lawrence the same concerns were voiced but they made the point that it was Institutional Racism rather than Individual Racism causing the disparity and they pointed to the causes:

‘…can arise because of lack of understanding, ignorance or mistaken beliefs. It can arise from well intentioned but patronising words orations. It can arise from unfamiliarity with the behaviour or cultural traditions of people or families from minority ethnic communities. It can arise from racist stereotyping of black people as potential criminals or troublemakers. Often this arises out of uncritical self-understanding born out of an inflexible police ethos of the “traditional” way of doing things. Furthermore such attitudes can thrive in a tightly knit community, so that there can be a collective failure to detect and to outlaw this breed of racism’

This sort of ‘unconscious racism’ has been noted by a number of studies and in particular at stop and search powers where many argue that ‘officers rely predominantly upon their own instincts, which could cause elements of race and class bias’.

Fitzgerald & Sabot also did an empirical study on this issue which similarly found that ‘…based on their presence in the population overall ethnic minorities are more than four times as likely to be searched than whites’. It was pointed out in that study that the problem was difficult to judge just on the sorts of statistics because; it doesn’t take into account the difference in the level of usage by different forces thus for example the Metropolitan Police account for approximately 46% of all stops recorded.

This meant that whilst the national average may be four times as likely, as stated above, the actual ratio in individual forces were with the exception of one lower than that. Furthermore it fails to distinguish between ‘stops as such and the searches which follow from these steps’. In their study Fitzgerald & Sabot exhort the view that there must be a clear picture of what is going on in stop and searches. In attempting to do this they divide the issue into operational and administrative factors which influence PACE searches.

The conclusion is that on the whole stop and searches are not random but tend to be lead by intelligence from crime reports relayed over radio or in the context of specific targeted operations. This leads toe skewing of patrolling constables so certain locations and individuals on the ‘Prominent Nominal’ list were more likely to attract attention and thus they concluded that ‘the numbers of stop/searches may vary quite markedly from one police beat to another for entirely legitimate reasons’.

However, they noted that official statistics were also skewed or distorted by Administrative factors such as non-recording of stops and a lack of clarity over the powers which the police actually have. In particular the failure to report stops was argued to probably be very great based on the researchers experience particularly because there was little to no incentive to report a stop which resulted in nothing being found and which contained no incidents. The results were also skewed because there was widespread disagreement about what constituted a voluntary stop.

Interestingly, haven studied this area the researchers noted that the correlation between stops and ‘intelligence’ from crime reports was in effect passing on an already inherent bias in the ethnicity of reported criminals. However, as with other studies they discovered that there was a great deal of stereotyping that occurred towards non-white groups. Overall the picture presented was one where it was incredibly difficult to see whether or not discrimination occurred and they concluded that whilst race may be a factor it may not be anymore of a factor than somesocio-economic factors. In particular because of the administrative and organisational factors there was a conclusion that racial disparity was often reflected in the factors which informed the use of discretion and when less informed or acting on their own initiative the racial disparity would be less.

Fitzgerald & Sabot are not the only ones to challenge the orthodoxy on racial discrimination in stop and searches. In particular some researchers have pointed to the fact that often that reference to statistics and traditional studies tend not to taken into account the various ethnic proportions of the population who are on the street often as opposed to a resident population. The findings of initial research into the area found that ‘…the population available to be stopped and searched tended to include a greater proportion of ethnic minority groups’

Whilst the empirical evidence has been to a degree challenged what seems to be undeniable is the deleterious effect that the perception of stop and search is having. In research done by the home office they conclude that ‘the way in which stops and searches are currently handled causes more distrust, antagonism, and resentment than any of the positive effects they can have’.

This was exacerbated by apperceived inexplicability for the reason of many stops thus there were complaints that in a large group or in a car only certain people would be searched and there was little understanding of how the police discriminated. Furthermore there was a feeling that the length of time and the embarrassment felt by those innocently stopped was contributing to severely negative attitudes.

One man had described being stopped whilst in his taxi with customers causing a complaint to be made by the customers and he perceived that his reputation at work was ‘in tatters’. Finally, there was concern over the attitude of policemen which was felt to be confrontational and unsympathetic. There were also considerable views expressed that minorities felt targeted and that there was an inability to communicate with them leaving a feeling of dissatisfaction.

These results were in no way unusual for example the British Crime Survey has found that there is a direct link between being stopped and searched and approval ratings of police, especially in ethnic minorities. These studies are backed up by others which highlight that inadequate training of police officers ‘failed to instil adequate social and interaction skills’. This is backed up by a study into the attitude of police officers towards stop and search training when a group of police officers from the same constabulary were asked whether they had received any training related to stop and search in the previous twelve months the results were that 46% said yes, 40% said no and 14% said they didn’t know.

Some commentators have argued that on the empirical evidence available there is a clear conclusion that whilst there may be a racial bias in the stops and searches this may not necessarily be due to racial prejudice, whether personal or institutional, but rather the higher proportion of ethnic minority stops may be explainable as an efficient use of the stop and search procedure this is explained in more detail by Borough :

‘The efficiency argument for injecting racial bias into stops does not imply that ethnicity per se is the cause of a higher likelihood of offending. Rather, the probability of offending may be objectively related to a number of non- ethnic factors (family background; education level; economic circumstances; housing conditions) which, given the particular circumstances of society, are relatively more concentrated among ethnic minorities.’

It is argued that because there is no outward way of determining these ‘on-ethnic factors’ that race is used as a proxy for policemen. The example given is that an equal split between old ladies and young men stopped and searched would undoubtedly display a bias against old ladies because they far less-likely to be law-breakers. Thus disproportionate concentration on young men is not necessarily a bathing.

However, this argument whilst clearly persuasive in it’s thinking has been discredited in particular because the ‘racial bias to police stops was in excess of that required by inter-ethnic differences in rates of offending’. The only conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that there has to be racial prejudice existent because of the level of excess.

In fact Borough concludes that ‘a third to a half of racial bias to stops in 1997 /98 across 10 Police Areas of England, represented prejudice…most of this prejudice was directed towards Asians and not towards Blacks’. Thus he goes onto argue that even if we are able to overcome the rather ethically dubious ‘efficiency argument’ there is still a problem with prejudice.

The latter point that Borough makes is of particular interest that taking into account intentional and justified bias there is more prejudice against Asians. The vast majority of Asians are Muslim and thus it is of interest to see whether there is a potential growth of‘Islamophobia’ in the police forces. It is worth just spending a brief period of time to understand the rise of ‘Islam phobia’ in the U.K. The immigration of Southeast Asians following World War II into the U.K.was fairly significant and created a sizeable and politically active Asian, and predominantly Muslim, population within the U.K.

In the1980’s a number of events such as Muslim protests against Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ involving mass book-burning and the fatwa declared by Ayatollah Khomeini which advocated the murder of Salmon Rushdie brought severely negative press coverage. Since the 1980’s and through the 1990’s there was a great deal of media attention on anything which might portray Muslims as ‘ant western’ or linked to Islamic fundamentalism was seized upon.

‘Islam phobia’ was coined by the Runnymede Trust in a review on the level discrimination and was defined as ‘unfounded hostility towards Islam’ and ‘unfair discrimination against Muslim individuals and communities, and to the exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political and social affairs’. We have already mentioned in the Introduction how recent legislative action has been prompted by anti-Muslim sentiments has been instituted. In the more recent past there has been studies that highlight generally that ‘receptivity towards anti-Muslim another xenophobic ideas and sentiments has, and may well continue to, become tolerated’. Particularly worrying is the growth of right-wing groups within society such as the British National Party , the National Front, ‘…the White Wolves, the Ku Klux Klan, the Third Way, White Pride, the League of St George and various fluidly defined football hooligan groups’.

There is little research on the issue of whether Islam phobia exists in the police but it seems likely that to some extent there will exist such prejudices that are apparently relatively rife within society. Again this needn’t be direct prejudice but perhaps a stereotypical view which isn’t premised on justifiable grounds. Whatever the case there is increasing worry over the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in society and the extent to which police behaviour in stop and searches, in particular, has ‘created ‘angry’ young people vulnerable to extremism’.

This was recently thrown into the spotlight with the seemingly unjustifiable actions of the police in the collapsed prosecution of O’Neil Crooks who was arrested for drug-dealing whilst on a family trip to the theatre. The actions were criticised by the National Black Police Association as alienating members of ethnic communities.Furthermore the Islamic Human Rights Commission has claimed:

‘It has been clear for a very long time that there is an institutionalIslamophobia in the implementation of stop and search. We need to get rid of a culture that exists – unfortunately it exists in our society as a whole, but it is much more damaging when mixed with the powers the police have’

Anecdotal evidence suggests that similar misperceptions exist over Muslims as do over ethnic minorities, for example research has pointed out that police view certain crimes as predominantly carried out by certain ethnic groups and there have been publicly expressed views by policemen to the effect that ‘the bottom line is that the terrorist threat is from the Muslim world.’.

However, the police are using ethnic characteristics such as dress and appearance as proxies for Muslim which belies the fact that there are many white and other ethnic groups who are Muslims. It has been reported that ‘Although figures on conversions to Islam in Western countries are difficult to nail down, it’s safe to say that Muslim converts in the U.S. and Europe number in the hundreds of thousands’.

This means that even if we were to accept the somewhat dubious claim that all types of terrorism were predominantly coming from the ‘Muslim world’ that the police might well disproportionately impact on people who present traditional ethnic characteristics, probably mostly Asian.

This is worrying from a criminological perspective but also because the police will be less effective. It is clear that new converts are at risk of becoming radicalised when first attracted to the religion; this was seen in the cases of Richard Reid the shoe-bomber, Germaine Lindsay who was involved in the 7th July bombings in London and most recently Don Stewart-Whyte’s involvement in the attempted bombing of the trans-Atlantic flights from London to New York.

In the next section we will assess the empirical evidence that we go from doing my own empirical investigation into these issues. However, at this point it is worth just summarising the empirical outcomes that have been expressed above. We have seen how institutional racism, twosome extent, is existent within the police. The figures even with alias built-in still portray a distinctly prejudicial picture however potentially not as discriminatory on black people as other studies have suggested.

What are of more interest are the findings that Asians were disproportionately prejudiced and it is of no small consequence that there is a great deal of confusion and prejudice which sees people exhibiting Asian ethnic characteristics as consequently Muslim. It is important to realise that there is a ‘fundamental difference between person’s race and his religion. You cannot change your race. Your religion, however, is your choice.’ Thus again Islam phobia in the police could have potentially disastrous consequences on both ethnic communities and encourage radicalism whilst also missing the new converts to Islam.

Empirical Outcomes from Study of Stop and Search

I carried out a study on members of the public between the ages of 18 –29 in order to discover whether or not there was an actual, or at the very least a perceived, differential impact of police stop and search powers on various ethnic groups. There were real limitations to this study but we can make some informed conclusions from the results. I gave questionnaires to thirty people with various ethnic backgrounds(ten White, ten Asian, five Chinese and five Black) and the aim of the questionnaire was to discover their pre-disposition towards police, their experiences and whether this had been changed by recent political or personal events.

Pre-disposition

The first substantive question asked by the questionnaire took the form of a straightforward scenario where individuals were asked to rate the factors which they thought had influenced the police in it:

The Relationship between Drugs and Crime

Drugs: their use, misuse and connections with crime

In this dissertation I would like to argue that the study of crime and drug use is complex. There are a number of diverse factors that lead people to misuse drugs; these are a mixture of social, psychological and economic factors. Age and gender are significant statistically but insufficient research has been carried out to explore these issues fully. In this dissertation we will consider how people acquire a physical and psychological dependence on drugs.

We will look at the pressure that can be placed upon susceptible individuals by dysfunctional families and peer pressure. Other factors that will be explored are whether personality traits or hereditary factors play a significant role in drug misuse and any consequent criminal behaviour.

It is also clear that there is a correlation between crime and drug taking but again this link is not clear-cut. It will be necessary to consider if there are factors that predispose people to deviant behaviour and drug misuse or if one factor leads to another, and if so in what direction. We will consider at some length what is being done to ‘police’ drug crime and conclude that although much is being done it is a difficult and growing area, needing the intervention of specialised crime agencies, such as the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

We will conclude by considering that a great deal more research needs to be done to help understand this complex issue but that there are a number of areas where useful investments could be made. The first is in the provision of more skilled people to act as drugs counsellors, in order to help lower demand for drugs; the second is to co-operate with international bodies in forming policy to fight the global drugs business and co-operate internationally with enforcement agencies; the third is for enforcement agencies in this country to act in partnership with each other and outside agencies to help disrupt the supply of drugs by removing its supplier and their money and reducing demand by helping drug-users to fight their addiction. Only when all these measures are acted upon will any significant headway be made in the ‘war on drugs’.

Definitions

Before we embark on our explorations, I would like to define how I will use the term drugs in this dissertation; I intend to define drugs as psychoactive drugs; this is any chemical that ‘alters perceptions and behaviour by changing conscious awareness’. However, I will exclude recreational drugs that are accepted by society, particularly alcohol. The reason for this is to enable me to achieve a tightly focused argument within the limits of the word count.

There is a great deal of research on alcohol abuse; much of it mirrors the misuse of other drugs, however, there are some significant differences, which would broaden out the argument too much. In this dissertation we will restrict ourselves to drugs that are outside of society’s approval.

The drugs we will consider in this work fall into four categories: depressants, stimulants, opiates and hallucinogens. The depressants include alcohol, barbiturates and solvents. Stimulants work by increasing the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain; they include cocaine, MDMA (better known as ‘ecstasy’), and amphetamines. The next group of drugs, opiates have been known since the time of the ancient Sumerians; in 4000BC they named the plant that produced resin from its unripe seedpods, the poppy. From this resin come the opiate drugs.

These depress neural functioning, suppress physical sensation and responses to stimulation, which is why the codeine and morphine versions of this drug are used as substantial painkillers. Hallucinogens are the final group and contain LSD, PCP and cannabis.

In this dissertation, once we have considered what leads initially to drug use and misuse, we will look at the link between drugs and crime. I have defined above what I mean by drugs, I’d now like to define what mean by crime. Such a definition is not easy to establish.

There is perceivable difference between the definition made by a research psychologist and a lawyer; one has a highly conceptualised definition, the other a legal one. In this dissertation, I will use Glen Walters definition of crime. In his book Drugs and Crime in Lifestyle Perspective, he defines it as ‘a rule breaking behaviour that, if known to legal authorities, would result in the rule breaker’s being charged with a criminal offence punishable by law’.

Size of drug problem

It is not an easy task to accurately record how many people take these forms of drugs on a regular basis. A National Survey on Drug Use and Health, undertaken in the United States in 2003, revealed that an estimated 3.7 million people had used heroin at some point in their life. It also revealed that 119,000 had used heroin in the month before the survey. It is perhaps encouraging that the British Crime Survey reveals that drug taking in this country amongst 16 to 24 years olds has decreased since 1998, although it has increased in people form 16to 59.

A United Nations report, published in 2005, estimated that 200million people, or approximately 5% of the world’s population, aged15-64, have used drugs in the last year. Whichever figure is correct, the number of people who abuse drugs is large.

In terms of the criminal side of crime, this is an increasingly difficult problem to deal with. The illegal market for drugs is immense, which attracts the attention of large organised crime groups. It is likely that dealing with this problem will be a major part of the work done by the new Serious and Organised Crime Agency. A major area that will need to be looked at is how to disrupt the flow of drugs into the country; this will be a complex undertaking. Using Cocaine as an example, the drug originates in Latin America, principally Columbia.

Its then taken first to a secondary country such as Spain, Portugal or West Africa, and finally funnelled into the UK via France, Belgium or the Netherlands. Although, Jamaica, the Caribbean Island closest to Latin America, which also has a significant immigrant community in England, provides a more direct route into this country for drugs. Clearly, this means that the Immigration and Customs and Excise departments also have an important part to play in policing this ‘industry’.

The structure of the argument

In chapter one we will look at the physical, psychological and environmental factors that lead to addiction of abusive substances. In chapter two I will consider whether there is a link between addiction and crime; we will also consider the implications of the illegal drugs market on policing. In chapter three I will discuss the prevention strategies that exist. Finally, I will conclude by explaining that although it is possible to come to some conclusions in our study, it is difficult to come to a definitive conclusion due to the amount of research material and its complex and often contradictory nature.

Chapter 1: The road to drug use and misuse

Introduction

In this chapter we will consider the factors that lead to drug use and misuse. We will consider how attitudes in general concerning drug use have changed and how this has led to a greater acceptance of taking medication. We will also consider the psychological factors that could contribute to a person first falling prey to drug use.

There is evidence that socioeconomic factors may be significant and we will explore this idea; we will include a consideration of the increasingly sophisticated ‘marketing’ methods used by the sellers of illegal drugs. Finally, we will conclude that although there is a great deal of information on the subject of why people begin taking drugs we will see that it is very difficult to draw a conclusion from the information available. We cannot offer conclusions only suppositions.

Changing attitudes to drugs

People have been using drugs for a great deal longer than it has been considered a problem. Tammy Salah suggests that drug use has been prevalent since ancient times (Salah, p6). However, significant major changes have occurred in the pattern of drug taking in the last four decades. In the 1950s very few people indulged in any form of drug, other than alcohol or cigarettes, however, this situation has gradually changed until we have become a drug using culture.

A number of reasons have been suggested for this change. Some have suggested that the increase in taking drugs for medicinal purposes altered people’s general attitude towards taking drugs; as they acquired the perception that a pill could cure physical problems and mental illness, they accepted the possibility that a pill could be used to counter other problems; others advocated the idea that in the 1960sand 70s people, particularly Americans, were exploring new life-styles, many had an increased amount of leisure time and looked for new activities to fill them, one of those ways to fill the extra hours waste recreational use of drugs.

Roads to addiction

This increase in drug abuse led to problems with addiction as people acquired a physical dependence on these substances. Gradually, after taking the drug for some time, a person acquired a tolerance, so needed more and more of it to achieve the same effect. They also reached a stage where cessation of the drug in the system led to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. At this stage they are said to have acquired physical dependency on the drug.

However, this is not the only form of dependence that can arise; it is also possible to acquire a psychological dependence. This can occur particularly if a drug is used to reduce anxiety; even though no physical dependence occurs, the feeling of being without anxiety is addictive, which makes the drug addictive for psychological reasons.

Dependence on alcohol can begin this way, the drink can acquire appositive reinforcement if it used to reduce stress, however, the more it is used the more the dependence becomes a physiological one. This is one of the most popular contemporary views of why humans self-administer potentially lethal drugs. It is believed that these chemicals activate the reinforcement system in the brain. Other natural-enforcers such as food, water, sex etc. also activate this system.

It is possible to place drug users into at least two categories. One group of drug users take drugs for the effects they have on the senses; this group has been described as ‘novelty seekers’; the other group uses drugs to help them cope with other problems, they use drugs ‘as if they are anti-anxiety or anti-depressant substances’. One could conclude that this is the explanation for the apparent plethora of contradictory information as it would be counterintuitive to suggest that the same factors lead to these two models.

Bio psychologists have done some of the most recent research into the development of an addiction. Their work is interesting because it is admix of physical and psychological scientific methods. It is important to consider their work, as it could have a significant effect on treatment and preventative programmes for the misuse of drugs. An article that appeared in the journal, Addiction, in 2001 suggests that addicts are not motivated to take drugs for the pleasure they provide, or the desire to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, but because once drugs have been used the person develops changes in the part of the brain that render the ‘rewards systems’ and it becomes hypersensitive.

These are not the parts of the brain that deal with pleasure or the euphoric effects of drugs but a subcomponent of reward; the study renamed them incentive salience or ‘wanting’. This leads the drug addict to develop compulsive behaviours in relation to drug-seeking. The researchers suggest that this sensitization leaves addicts susceptible to relapse long after they discontinue their drug use. It is also clear that some people become sensitised very quickly but others much more slowly. Another interesting aspect of this research is that the self-administration experience plays a significant part in the process, so that if the context is repeated in the future, even after drug misuse has ceased, the person will experience the compulsion to take the drug. This can happen years after the person has ceased to take drugs.

A number of interesting facts resulted from this study that could affect our understanding and treatment of drug misuse. One interesting factor is that it is not saying that drug addiction is caused by chemical changes in the brain, what it is saying is that environmental factors have an equally significant effect as pharmacological ones. This factor is important as it has an effect on how to treat addiction. Another interesting factor revealed is that the brain processes involved in addiction are those that determine wanting not pleasure.

This makes nonsense of the theory that the reinforcing factor connected to drugs is pleasure; drugs can become addictive in the absence of pleasure at taking them. This means that an unconscious motivational process can promote the act of taking a drug; this would explain why addicts, who report they are ‘miserable, that [their] life is in ruins, and that even the drug is not that great anymore’ are still ‘bewildered by the intensity of their compulsive behaviour’. However, it is interesting to note that even the authors of this study recommend caution; they accept that studies carried out on animals may not give the same results in human addicts.

A great deal of interest has been shown by researchers concerning what, if any, personality characteristics make an individual more susceptible to become addicted to drugs. No individual personality type has been shown to predispose a person to drug misuse; however, people who score highly in tests for social conformity are less apt to misuse drugs. On the other hand, those who as children were rated by their class-mates as being impulsive, inconsiderate, lacking in ambition, with poor work habits, as adults were more likely to smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs than children not described as having those characteristics.

Glen Walters concurs with this conclusion. He suggests the only positive evidence he has seen relates to some forms of early anti-social behaviour that affect a person’s future chance of abusing drugs and that this isn’t enough to provide a conclusive link. However, as already mentioned one must exercise caution concerning the conclusions reached from these studies as most of this research has been conducted on people with pre-existing problems, so one cannot be entirely certain that the characteristic did not result from the addiction rather tamper-date it.

An obvious area to consider, particularly bearing in mind that the majority of drug misuse is done by the young, is the influence of, and relationship with parents. A study by Baer and Corridor in 1974suggested that children whose parents had showed little interest in them, or had used excessive physical punishment during their early childhood, were more likely to misuse drugs. Glen Walters confirms this when he quotes studies that reveal children who suffered parental rejection, either physical or mental, are more likely to indulge in deviant behaviour, including drug abuse.

He suggests that a lack of attachment leads to an inability to fully ‘empathize with and relate to others’. Another study undertaken in 1972 revealed that people from home with conservative, traditional values were less likely to misuse drugs, than those from a more permissive and liberal home. However, it is not necessarily the parent’s values that contributed to the misuse of drugs but the potentially easier access to them. Ironically, coming from a ‘disrupted’ family (one where divorce or death has interrupted ‘traditional’ family life) does not seem to be factor in drug abuse in individuals.

Parents are not the only group to have a significant influence, person’s peers can be equally important as an encouragement to misuse. The more substances a person misuses, the more friends they are likely to have who misuse substances themselves. However, again, interpretation of this can be problematic. It is difficult to know if these people have more friends who misuse because they have influenced them, or that the explanation is that they prefer to socialise with people with ‘pastimes’ most like their own.

Walters concurs that although it appears that people are strongly influenced by their peers, it is difficult to provide evidence to confirm this conclusion. It is also important to bear in mind that although some people may be affected by the relationship with their parents (or lack of it) and influenced by their peers to act in a delinquent manner, the majority of people, under these circumstances, do not become delinquent or drug abusers, so these reasons are not sufficient in themselves to explain this anomaly.

There are many links between deprivation, social exclusion and drug misuse. Amongst the factors that predispose someone to misuse drugs: the use of legal drugs in early life, school non-attendance, unemployment, history of public care, parent criminality and substance misuse, use of illegal recreational drugs. It is difficult to ignore the fact that ‘impoverished urban areas’ have higher rates of crime and drug abuse than more affluent areas.

It almost certainly comes as no surprise that drug abuse rates are higher in areas where drugs are easily available, generally run-down urban areas. It is not difficult to believe that bleak circumstances can lead people to seek ‘escape ‘through drugs. Crime is also highest in these areas and it is easy to jump to the conclusion that these are linked; however, this link cannot be directly proved.

The age of drug users is statistically significant, they are predominantly young and male, and may be getting younger. In the Home Office survey referred to above, arrestees who were drug users were more likely to be 25 and over, however, amongst men the numbers testing positive in the 20-24 age group was seen to be increasing significantly over the period of the research. This finding is repeated in the British Crime Survey.

This demographic trend is also seen in the USA. Survey in 2003 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse recorded that in the previous year 314,000 people had used heroin; of that number the largest group were over 26, however, the same report recorded that from1995 to 2002 the number of new users varied each year from 121,000 to164,000 and of these 75% were 18 or over. More worryingly, the American survey recorded significant and stable levels of heroin abuse amongst school age children. The However, drug use seems to ‘peak’ at the age of 20.

As we have seen, most of the users of heroin in the American survey were young men. The gender balance amongst drug users in England is also predominantly male, however, things could be changing, a Home Office crime survey showed a higher proportion of women testing positive for opiates than men – 43% of women arrestees compared to 34% of men. Although the British Crime Survey suggests that the number of women taking drugs has stabilised. Tam Stewart suggests that their partners often introduce women drug users to drugs; they take them to ‘please’ their man.

It has been argued that drugs have been ‘radicalized’ and that the perception is that black men are more likely to be offenders, and, therefore, more likely to be stopped by the police, than white men. It’s true that cannabis is widely used by the Caribbean community. However, much lower proportions of black men take heroin.

The question that hasn’t been raised thus far is the question of hereditary. Glen Walters reports that a number of research papers, using data from family, twin and adoption studies, have been studied that seem to suggest that there is a genetic link in drug abuse. However, he concedes that these studies are difficult to interpret because it is difficult to take into account whether environmental influences have made a bigger impact than genetics. Salah also concludes that genetics may be a factor but that external and internal stimuli are more likely to account for drug use and abuse.

Tam Stewart challenges all these explanations of what makes someone abuse drugs. She claims, ‘Heroin respects no barriers of class, race, religion or profession. There are junkies of 14 and 40’. She concedes that the majority of drug users come from poor and inadequate backgrounds; however, the fact that there are abusers from all categories suggests that poverty and inadequate family background cannot be the whole explanation. She suggests that one of the initial factors for people who take drugs is curiosity.

Another factor that must be taken into account is that drug sellers are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing techniques and use disturbing methods of introducing people to the misuse of drugs. A ‘traditional’ method, bearing in mind drugs addictive qualities, was for street sellers to give ‘free samples’ to people who had previously never used illegal drugs. They soon became addicted to the substances and the seller had created a new buyer for his goods. However, with the increasing use of the Internet new ways of selling and marketing products have arisen. Buying a drug over the net is a much ‘easier ‘route into the drug scene, particularly for the socially shy and/or conservative middle-class teenager; the drugs are just as addictive but seem almost ‘legitimate’ when bought in the same way they buy their books and music CDs.

However, a person acquires an addiction to drugs, it is clear that when they do it is not just a personal problem but also a societal one. We’ve looked at some of the reasons that may predispose someone to use and misuse drugs. In the next chapter we will consider what, if any, links there are between drug misuse and crime.

Chapter 2: The links between drugs and crime

Introduction

Numerous studies have shown a link between drug abuse and crime; there are high crime rates amongst drug abusers and high drug-use rates among offenders. In this chapter we will consider the evidence that suggests link between drug misuse and crime. We will see how there is a great deal of evidence that shows a correlation but a link showing exactly how the two factors are related is much harder to find. We will also consider the types of crime most related to this problem and consider ways that have been used to tackle the problem.

Causal links

Earlier in this dissertation we have discussed how drugs are addictive and it has been suggested that it is this addiction that leads to crime. Drug use leads to ‘compulsive drug seeking’ and use. This compulsion fuels three types of drug related crime: crimes of supply, crimes committed to obtain money to buy drugs, or where the effects of drugs lead the user to act in a criminal way, for example dangerous driving or acts of aggression.

The suggested theories to understand why people take drugs also falls into three categories: the moral model; the disease model and the behavioural model. There is statistical evidence of a link between drug use and crime. An on-going survey financed by the Home Office records the link between the misuse of drugs and offending. During the study 3,064 arrestees were interviewed and tested for drug use at eight police custody suites in England and Wales. This was repeated at the same sites two years later.

Approximately 50% of those arrested were included in the study; juveniles and those arrested for alcohol related offences were excluded. The majority of those interviewed were white males and 90% of these agreed to undergo urinalysis. Urinalysis can detect drug use over the previous few days; in this study they were tested for six types of drugs were tested: Cannabis, opiates (including heroin), cocaine(including crack), benzodiazepines, amphetamines and methadone. Clearly these percentages are significant.

A major finding of the research was that 65% of those arrested tested positive for drugs, around a third tested positive for opiates and/or Cocaine; less than 10% were positive for amphetamines and just under50% had injected heroin. Clearly this reveals a link between drugs and crime but on this alone they cannot be said to cause crime. During the interviews, however, around 90% of those who tested positive for class ‘A’ drugs reported they had committed property crimes as a result of their addiction in the last twelve months.

Research carried out in other countries show similar findings. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the US, 50% of the inmates in US prisons in 1991divulged that they had used illegal drugs in the month prior to their arrest and 30% admitted that they were under the influence of an illicit drug when they committed their offence. An interesting finding is that offenders who abuse both illegal drugs and alcohol commit more criminal activities that those who only abuse an illegal drug. It is hard not to conclude that criminal activity is linked to drug taking.

There are no clear causal links, however, between drugs and crime, despite much research on the subject that has shown that there are links between drugs and offending. A briefing paper for the Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre for Scotland argues that ‘hanging around’ with those that do risky things, may ‘encourage or require the passage into various forms of crime to generate funds for purchasing drugs’. The paper argues that a further problem is that drug misuse leads to further financial and social difficulties; these in themselves generate more crime. A survey done amongst a Scottish young offender’s institution revealed that 95% of its inhabitants admitted taking illegal drugs. Yet again this Scottish survey does not give satisfactory explanation for this result.

It has been suggested that there are two explanations for this apparent correlation between crime and drug abuse. The first suggests that drug use adversely affects a person’s ‘mood, judgement and self-control’; the second we’ve already mentioned, that is that the high cost of drugs leads the user to commit ‘economically oriented crime’. However, even these explanations are not entirely satisfactory.

In the case of the first it is true that drugs can affect people in the way mentioned, however, not all people who take drugs experience these effects uniformly; second not everyone who takes drugs and experiences these symptoms commit crimes; therefore it is not unreasonable to argue that another factor must be involved. The second argument also holds true for the idea that the need to keep oneself supplied with drugs leads to crime.

Glenn Walters tries to resolve this conundrum with his ‘lifestyle theory of human decision’. The three ‘Cs’ defines life styles: conditions, choice and cognition. In this theory he concludes that drug abuse and criminal activity are interrelated lifestyles.

Walters believes that conditions do not cause drug abuse or crime directly but they influence behaviour by increasing or decreasing a person’s options in life. Walters concludes that choice is a very important explanation of the link between drugs and crime; criminal drug users behave in the way they do because they have made a rational choice that it is in their best interest to do so. Although he does not conclude that thesis the only explanation.

It is clear from current research that young offenders have particularly high risk for developing ‘problematic drug use’, this is partly due to their use of class ‘A’ substances and to taking drugs intravenously. A Home Office survey, published in 2004, records that injecting drugs escalates both the health risks to the user and the social problems that go along with it. Amongst the arrestees studied for this report, around 65% used heroin and these were the most persistent offenders.

Interestingly, one study in the US has suggested that there is no real correlation between drugs and crime. It is argued that because drug abuse and crime are not evenly spread across age groups, it is possible that they are not directly connected. There are a number of potential arguments for this.

Firstly, is that it is possible drugs and crime follow a similar but coincidental age progression; secondly, it is possible that that these problems arise because of an underlying pattern of general deviancy; a final explanation is that the statistics show that the supposed link is actually a manifestation of low self-control making the person more liable to contravene social norms. However, none of these explanations are verified by research. Michael Hough in his review of drug related literature for the Home Office suggests that a distinction should be made between drug users and people with a heavy dependency, it is the latter group that is most likely to be involved in crime.

Policing the problem

Regardless of the causal links between drugs and crime, it undoubtedly causes major problems for the police service, enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. A Home Office report published in 2003 on the subject of ‘Crack’ begins by pointing out that ‘uncontrolled crack markets have a propensity for violence and intimidation that affects whole communities’. The report goes on to suggest that this problem haste be dealt with on two fronts: the supply of drugs to the drug addict has to be cut off and the demand for them reduced.

During the last decade much work has been done in partnerships between the police another agencies, as these are considered the most successful ways to deal with the problem. These strategies aimed at reducing the demand for drugs will be discussed in the next chapter; in this section we will consider the response of law enforcement agencies.

It is necessary at this point to consider in more detail what types of crime is committed by people misusing drugs. Much drug-connected crimes non-violent, more concerned with acquiring the money to fund the misuser’s addiction; these would include crimes such as theft, forgery or prostitution. However, CJSW’s briefing paper suggests that drug’s misuse can lead to violent crime in one of two ways; these are, (1) the effects of the drug can lead to aggressive behaviour, and, (2) violence can be used when committing the acquisitive crimes mentioned above.

The paper makes it clear that these links are very much dependent on what type of drug is being abused. A study from the United States suggests that cocaine, particularly in the form of crack, can lead to violence, as can the use of barbiturates and amphetamines. However, overwhelming evidence suggests that the mostly likely addictive substance that will lead to violent outbursts from the abuser is alcohol.

The area that would produce the best ‘return for money’ would be to stop the arrival of drugs into the country in the first place. The raw ingredients for most traditional drugs are not produced in this country; therefore, they have to be imported from abroad. Increasingly, the enforcement agencies in this country are assisting the international fight against drugs. Government is also helping address these issues, offering to help disrupt the opium harvest in countries like Afghanistan.

The new SOCA has announced plans to have agents stationed abroad to assist in this disruption. Clearly, this is a major issue that requires serious measures. Much of the response to drug motivated crime has been met with moral outrage and dealt with accordingly; we will look at this in more depth later in the dissertation.

The drugs industry is large and profitable, which is what makes it necessary to respond to this problem from a number of different appropriate directions. An article in the Economist published in 2001,states that ‘if only it were legitimate, there would be much to admire

Domestic Violence toward Asian Women

Hypothesis Dissertation

Based on research and statistics, it is known that domestic violence toward Asian women is pervasive. “Twelve percent of Asian and Pacific Islander women reported experiencing physical assault by an intimate partner at least once during their lifetime (Jaden & Tonnes, 2000)”. Unfortunately, documented reports of abuse most likely under-represent the number of abused women due to the secretive and victimizing nature of domestic violence.

Asian women may come from various cultural backgrounds, including Philippines, India, China, Korea, Thailand, and Japan to name few. Domestic violence is a devastating social ill that occurs much too frequently, particularly more so in cultures that emphasize the importance of upholding the family name.

This ideation may often lead to enmeshed families who emphasize positive family attributes while minimizing or even denying negative aspects of the family environment. Further, stigmatizing issues such as domestic violence are most likely minimized or overlooked by other family members. In result, it may also be true that Asian women are discouraged from relying on friends outside of the family for support and assistance.

Views of women in Asian countries may also contribute to the rate of domestic violence in Asian communities. Women have historically been looked upon as less valuable, able and intelligent in comparison to me. This view of women, although somewhat altered within most recent years, continues to be a global obstacle in the advancement of women. This view is particularly held strong in Asian communities, where it continues to be more widely accepted. Additionally, based on the views of the Asian population, women’s advocate programs may be scarce ornonexistent. In areas where programs do exist, it may be extremely disloyal to the family to report instances of abuse or any other negative occurrence within the family home.

Based on what is already known about victims of stranger violence, the effects of domestic violence appear to be dually devastating. An environment that is first assumed to be safe and comfortable is instead replaced by one that is tainted, ever threatening and without solace. Possibly the only support system the victim may have assumed to have is now stripped from her and replaced with fear and loneliness.

The effects of this type of isolation usually lead to decreased self-esteem and increased feelings of shame and guilt; which may cause a ripple effect in many other areas of the victim’s life. Due to abuse, she may feel she cannot achieve her educational and/or career goals. She may be isolated from family and friends due to the perpetrator’s fear that they may find out she is being abused. The victim may feel tremendous shame and guilt for staying in an abusive relationship and thus, subjecting her children to such a volatile environment. Lastly, and most critically, the abuse can lead to the victim’s severe harm and many times even death.

Literature Review

In order to best understand the nature of domestic violence, it is vital to mention that the population being addressed is not homogenous one. Rather, when describing abused women, this description includes women who are physically and/or mentally disabled; it includes women who can and cannot read; and it includes women who do and do not speak the language of the country they are living in.

It also includes women who come from any gamut of financially impoverished to very affluent backgrounds; and women who may be homemakers caring for young children to extremely successful career women. Additionally, although the focus of this piece of research relates to Asian women, it is valuable to note that women of all ethnicities are at risk of becoming victims of domestic violence (Yoshioka, 2001).

Domestic violence advocates have investigated abusers’ patterns so that victims and advocates can better comprehend abusers’ pathological behaviors. The cycle of violence is a portrayal of the cyclical behaviors of abusers. It is described as three main phases. The first phase describes how the abuser becomes increasingly angry, which may include antagonizing the victim, calling her names and demeaning her.

Avery large part of abuse is in the form of verbal and emotional attack. The abuser may tell the victim that she deserves the abuse and even state that she likes the abuse. He may tell her that no one else would want her. In the second phase, the abuser hurts his victim by inflicting physical and/or sexual acts toward her. Soon after violent episodes, the abuser will apologize for hurting his partner and may make promises he does not intend to keep, such as never hurting her again or promising to seek help. The abuser may also attempt to smooth over the situation by lavishing his partner with gifts. Unfortunately, the abuse does not stop there and instead, he will continue to repeat the cycle (Domestic Violence Awareness Project, 2005).

Knowing that the abuser’s behaviours are part of a maladaptive cycle is useful in informing victims of this cycle. In this way, they do not begin to internalize the abuse and do not learn to believe that the abuser’s verbal, physical and sexual abuse is granted. Instead, understanding the abuser’s dysfunctional method of relating allows victims to attribute the abuse to the abuser instead of their own shortcomings. With this knowledge, victims are able to heal from the abuse and regain a feeling of self-worth (Yoshiaka, 2001).

It is widely believed that Asian women of many regions are highly susceptible to lives of subjugation and servitude to their partners. This belief is attributed to a variety of cultural factors. It is hypothesized that women remain in abusive relationships due to the stigma that is placed on them if they leave their partner. In order to preserve family dignity, respect and honour, women many times do not speak out against abusive situations. In fact, due to the powerful traditional practices enforced within Asian communities, extended family members who do have knowledge of the abuse encourage women to tolerate the abuse.

In a study by How (1990), she sought to examine the impact of domestic violence within the Asian population, specifically within Southeast Asians including Laotians, Khmer, Vietnamese, and Chinese. The researcher found that the impact of traditional Asian values such as close family ties, harmony and order do not necessarily send the message that abuse is unacceptable. Instead, women are expected to play a submissive role that includes values of fatalism, perseverance and self-restraint. Victims feel that if these qualities are maintained, they are showing respect to their families and bringing them great honour. Ultimately, victims feel they are honourable women who are fulfilling their spousal duties (How, 1990).

Within the Asian-Indian population, the definition of relationship is nearly synonymous with marriage due to the culture’s belief in arranged marriage. Arranged marriage is the practice in which parents select their children’s future husband or wife. Potential mates are then allowed to provide their input about his or her potential husband or wife. A lasting marriage is a symbolism of honour and respect, which in turn reflects upon the entire family. This is especially important for other siblings within the family, whose chances of being arranged depend greatly on their female siblings’ compliance to their husbands. Additionally, for couples who have female children, women may endure the abuse in order to protect their daughters’ “name”, or reputation.

Otherwise, if the family secret is exposed or the woman leaves the relationship, a victim’s daughter may never have a chance of getting married because her family name is now tainted. Some Indian brides suffer dowry related abuse. A dowry is a material exchange given to the groom’s family by the bride’s family in exchange for the groom’s family inviting the bride into their family. Sometimes, the groom’s family will demand more dowry money or other assets such as livestock, cars or jewelry. If the demands are not fulfilled, the bride may be severely mistreated physically, verbally and sexually by her new groom and in-laws (BBC Network, 2006).

The article Domestic Violence and Asian Immigrant Women by M. Yoshioka(2001), explores the Asian community’s attitudes toward domestic violence. The researcher also desires to understand psychosocial factors regarding domestic violence within this population. Specifically, the study was developed to look at three areas that involved abuser approval of abuse: situation-specific approval of violence; endorsement of male privilege; and perceived alternatives to abuse.

The setting of the study takes place in New York, which compels the researcher to pose questions regarding Asian families’ views and struggles with domestic violence in the context of an immigrant country. Yoshiaka also implemented an assessment tool that was specifically created to gather information about attitudes regarding abuse titled, the Revised Attitudes toward Wife Abuse Scale (RAWA),which was developed by Yoshiaka and Dania (1999). In order to develop this assessment tool, 650 surveys of Chinese, Cambodian, Korean, Vietnamese, and South Asian adults were gathered.

Immigrant families contend with many obstacles. Abusive environments further complicate the hurdles that exist for women who are taken out of their familiar homeland elements. Based on these dynamics, victims of abuse in this type of environment are further isolated due to possible separation from family of origin, language barrier, and lack of knowledge about the host country’s view of abuse and provision of supportive services.

Researchers found that it is a “complex interweaving of cultural, environmental, and interpersonal factors” that contribute to the possibility for domestic violence within the immigrant population. They identify values such as privacy, honour, self-restraint, harmony, and order (Hosted, 1984; Hu & Chen, 1999; Kerkrade, Tang, &Westwood, 1991; McLaughlin & Braun, 1998) as factors that may minimize the severity of domestic violence within the culture (Ho,1990).

Additionally, immigrants’ support system is usually left behind in their homeland, which strips them of supportive family and friends who could otherwise support and advice victims. Further, they may not be knowledgeable of the support services available in their host country. Another factor that contributes to isolation is a possible language barrier (Das Dasgupota & Warrier, 1996). Lack of command of the host country’s language could be absolutely devastating and fearful for a victim who is already isolated from a support system and familiar environment.

Results from the study showed that gender, ethnicity and witness to parental abuse were factors contributing to greater acceptance of wife abuse. Males were more likely to endorse abuse, particularly Cambodian men when compared with Chinese men. Additionally, children who witnessed their mothers being abused were more likely to view abuse as acceptable. Researchers made a final and significant point, stating that although Asian immigrants are categorized within one category, there are apparent differences in Asians’ views of spousal abuse.

Methodology

In describing domestic violence toward Asian women and its effects, it was first necessary to describe what a victim is like. Unfortunately, the general public assumes that a battered woman is most likely quite vulnerable in that she is uneducated, passive and weak. Some even believe that a victim enjoys the abuse. Many people wonder why an abused woman does not simply leave her relationship. The reality is that anyone could be a victim, regardless of age, race, disability status, financial status, and education. This is why it was important to describe the profile of a victim at the beginning – to emphasize that there is no typical profile. Anyone could become victim to abuse by simply trusting that her partner will care for her with respect.

Victims could also be boys and men, however, for the purpose of this research, this population was not addressed to any capacity. Additionally, cultural norms of other ethnicities were not explored duet the focus of this research being solely on Asian women. However, some of the studies included in this research included comparative data between Asian women and women of other nationalities.

The cycle of violence was also explained. It is a critical factor in understanding abusers’ behaviours for the purpose of providing services to abusers and especially to provide victims with an understanding of what they are experiencing and why. Many sufferers of domestic violence are told what is deficient in them. Over time, they begin to believe these untruths.

In investigating the intricacies of domestic violence and how it affects the Asian population specifically, it was important to provide examples of various cultures’ norms regarding the views and treatment of women. Although all Asian countries’ cultural norms and sub-cultural idiosyncrasies were not described within the context of this research, some cultures’ customs were explored. Although it is important to obtain an exhaustive understanding about various Asian cultures it is vital to acknowledge that several idiosyncrasies exist within each country, every city and even every subculture. Thus, it was important to explore research that explained this factor of culture.

Further, it’s difficult to generalize that one particular culture or sub-culture has a set template of norms, therefore, descriptions of cultural norms were described with care and consideration. It should be noted that when speaking of any given culture, it is not to be assumed that the description exclusively applies to each and every person within particular culture. Therefore, application of cultural norms should be understood with the idea that no one culture is completely homogenous. All in all, it is important to have a balanced understanding of cultural norms that do not over-generalize a culture and yet do take into consideration that there is a majority view about most issues.

General data on domestic violence was quite accessible. Many forms of information exist that assists in understanding the nature of abuse and its effects. There is also a wealth of information about the type of support available to victims of abuse and perpetrators. The Internet Isa plentiful source for finding local agencies and support groups relating to domestic violence. Information was also discovered through various modes of literature – books, journal articles and magazines. Visual media can also be accessed via Internet, videotape, DVD and television programming that advocates for victims’ rights and disseminates other information for advocates, victims and perpetrators.

Due to the directed nature of this piece, it was necessary to not only search for general information about domestic violence, but instead, there was a need for materials about domestic violence within the Asian population. With this need came the task of finding out as much as possible about the many categories of Asians that exist and to also find the most amount of information about each category and sub-category.

This was found to be a gruelling task, because contrary to belief, there are several classifications within the category known as Asian. Compounding this point was the lack of abundant information regarding domestic violence in various Asian cultural contexts. Additionally, little information was found about supportive services within many Asian communities, most probably due to the cultural views regarding keeping personal information within the family and also duet the accepting views toward abuse.

Fortunately, much of the information found did include the many facets of violence within the Asian population, such as provision of statistical data of how many women of various cultures reported spousal abuse; perpetrators’ views about abuse; perpetuation of these views duet cultural beliefs about abuse; long-term effects on abused women and children; availability of treatment; treatment modalities; and laws that now protect women against violence.

Discussion

The devastating effects of domestic violence have been brought into the forefront of popular culture only within the past twenty years ago. Since then, and probably long before on a smaller scale, advocates have been working vigorously to service domestic violence victims and expose the horrific nature of its effects.

This has included conducting research with women, children and perpetrators; attempting various forms of therapeutic modalities to address the after-effects; provision of abuser services; and exposure of domestic violence through written and visual media. Through these efforts, victim advocates have provided support to thousands of women who otherwise would either continue to live a life of isolating despair or alternatively, lose their lives to domestic violence.

Unfortunately, the amount of information and support services that are available vary widely based on victims’ geographical location, largely due to the level of tolerance toward domestic violence. Naturally, the more a society believes an act is a crime, the more intensive the work toward ending it. However, other factors exist that inhibit further research toward ending violence against Asian women. Many Asian countries are horribly impoverished and do not have the means to either conduct necessary research nor provide protection and services to women and their children. Victim advocates contend with many hurdles under these types of conditions.

Funding is not available to do the necessary work involved. In supporting women who are or have suffered domestic violence, the need for many levels of support is needed. Women who are currently in an abusive relationship are most likely stripped of many basic needs and resources. For instance, abused women may not have access to finances, a car or other transportation, food supply, proper clothing and medical care. In order for domestic violence advocates to provide for these needs, they must have the proper financial backing. With financial resources, food pantries could be created, medical care could be made available, shelters could be built and transportation could be provided to important locations such as homes of supportive family, friends, and religious institutions.

For women who decide to leave abusive relationships, services such as transitional living could be made available. Providing a safe living environment would be paramount for Asian women, particularly due to the lack of support received by family members, immediate family included. If a woman were to leave her husband to seek out the support of immediate family, the victim would be turned away in most cases and encouraged to return to the abuser’s home. This suggestion is based on the family’s unwillingness to dishonour the family name by having daughter who left her husband. Further, they do not want to offend the groom’s family by displaying their disapproval toward the abuse. Women who decide to leave their partner also require additional support services such as referrals for educational and vocational services. If they have children, they may need childcare services so that the women can seek employment to support themselves and their children.

Education related to cultural views about abuse is also necessary. It’s important to debunk societal norms that accept abuse. For an Asian woman, leaving her spouse is directly contradictory to everything she learned about achievement of life goals since she was a child. From childhood, many Asian parents clearly define their daughters’ role in society as children, as adolescents, and ultimately, as adults. The ultimate goal is to marry into a distinguished, successful family that is willing to accept a deserving woman into their lives. Being trained in this way for essentially all of their lives, it is often complicated task for an abused woman to understand why she is worthy of making her own choices and living her life in the way she chooses, which includes being free of any level of abuse.

As stated earlier in the Method section, it was mentioned that there was not ample research in the area of domestic violence in the Asian community. This is not to say that there is not enough to support those who would like to know more about domestic violence. However, there seems to be a great need for extensive research and investigation into the many cultures within the Asian population and the effects of domestic violence in these communities. By further understanding the nature of abuse in this context, service providers are able to more effectively provide the type of services needed by Asian women.

Conclusion

Domestic violence research in the Asian population is still in its infancy. Considering that fact that domestic violence has not been intended to for so long provides a time frame that suggests that although there is not an abundance of work toward attending to Asian victims, there have been some concrete efforts in its progression.

Delving into the intricacies of domestic violence within this population is no easy task, and will not be going forward. There are many hindrances to gaining swift and accurate information about Asian women’s suffering, although it is urgently needed. One of the biggest hurdles that have been discussed within this research is Asians ‘cultural views regarding secrecy of family troubles. A woman is not only betraying her husband if she discloses abuse, but she is also shaming both her in-laws and her family of origin by disturbing the family structure and name. Although some parents would provide their support in a situation such as this, most would not. Therefore, the victim knows she has nowhere to go.

Not only is family name at stake. Compounding this pressure is the fact that women are not highly regarded within most Asian cultures. Therefore, no one considers her desires and needs. Instead, she must does she is commanded, which usually involves fulfilling caretaking responsibilities for other members of the family. A woman in Asian society is considered similarly as a child. She does not have many skills that would be useful other than household responsibilities, she must be watched, and she is not knowledgeable about many subjects. Based on this outlook, how is it possible to fathom that she may need to be attended to properly? For any social change to occur towards the treatment of Asian women, it is a necessity that views of women themselves also change.

In speaking of women who suffer from spousal abuse, it is vital to discuss the effects of abuse of others in the home that are also experiencing the abuse. Children are particularly susceptible to inaccurate methods of dealing with life circumstances due to inexperience. Therefore, those who are also experiencing abuse or even witnessing it learn that violence is the answer to life’s obstacles. Further, children of abused women do not have high regard for their mothers due to their observation that she is being mistreated by their father. Thus, they too learn to become abusive toward their mothers, and in turn continue to repeat the cycle of abuse. In essence, they inherit this devastating method of dealing with life throughout childhood and on into adulthood. Children who were once victims and/or witnesses of domestic abuse now become the perpetrators, simply due tithe lack of knowledge that alternatives exist.

Intervention is absolutely necessary to protect abused women. However, for long-term gain, intervention is also essential. Without an outlook toward the future, there will be no end to violence, but instead only bandaging of pain and suffering that has already occurred. There is no guarantee that prevention work will decrease the prevalence of domestic violence in Asian families, particularly due to strong views opposing the idea of regarding women equally. However, there is great possibility that given time, views will change and progress will be made.

It is a difficult yet courageous and commendable feat to attempt to eradicate abuse from the lives of Asian women. However, as seen within this research, the reality currently remains that leaving relationship may not appear to be the most appealing option for women who have received life-long training to dedicate their lives to servitude to their spouses. Additionally, they also know that there are few positive alternatives to leaving their spouse. They may be destitute with no support from their families of origin. They have no source of financial or emotional support.

They may risk ever seeing their children again. And most regrettably, they are endangering their lives by attempting to leave. Thousands of cases are reported in the United States and United Kingdom stating that women have lost their lives to spousal abuse. In these countries, most people agree that thesis a horrible tragedy and work toward changing the occurrence of such heinous crimes. Alternatively, Asian communities have very high tolerance and indeed acceptance of domestic violence to the extent that very few people openly show their disgust against it. In fact, it is encouraged and applauded. It is seen as being a well-deserved and appropriate punishment. Women can well expect being burned to death on account of their parents’ inability to pay off the groom’s family. Adwoman can be openly beaten without neither family nor strangers attempting to put an end to it. How then can it be stopped?

Ending an evil such as this without a sense of social responsibility is extremely difficult. Further, work with abusers is nearly impossible, knowing that this method of relating to partners has been cultivated and accepted in the minds of Asian men. Moreover, because the Asian community believes in resolving familial issues amongst each other, many abusers would not be receptive to counselling. Even in the case that an abuser agreed to seek counselling, other family members may not be supportive of this type of resolution, instead viewing it as disloyalty and abandonment of the family.

Due to the abundance of obstacles to ending violence in the Asian community, it becomes clear that abuse toward women within the Asian population will surely be maintained for now. However, it is also hopeful to state that progress will be made, based on the progress that has already been achieved. Although progress is very slow and despite the many fears that they are contending with, it is encouraging to know that women have begun speaking out against abuse.

References

BBC Asian Network (2005). Asian women and domestic violence. www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/features/hh/awadv. .

Das Dasgupota & Warrier. (1996). Domestic Violence in the South Asian Immigrant Community. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless,9:3. 173-185.

Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, USA.

Domestic Violence Awareness Project of the National Resource Centre on Domestic Violence (2005). Domestic Violence Awareness: Action for Social Change. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

How, C. K. (1990). An analysis of domestic violence in Asian American communities: A multicultural approach to counselling. Women &Therapy, 9(1-2), 129-150.

Hosted, G. (1984). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work related values, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Kahlo, L. R. (1983). Social values and social change: Adaptation to life in America. New York: Pager.

Kerkrade, Tang, & Westwood. (1991).

McLaughlin, L.A. & Braun, K.L. (1998). Asian and Pacific Islander Cultural Values: Considerations for Health Care Decision Making, 23.Health and Social Work.

Millender, A. Rethinking Domestic Violence: The Social Work and Probation Response London: Rutledge. 1996.

Rodriguez, M; Quahog, S; and Bauer, H.M. (1996). Breaking the silence: Battered women’s perspectives on medical care, 5, 3.

Yoshioka, M.R. Domestic Violence and Asian Immigrant Women. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/csswp/research/desriptions/Yosh.htm. .

Yoshioka, M.R., & Shibusawa, T. (2004). Psychosocial Measures for Asian Pacific Americans. In A. Roberts & K Yeager (Eds.),Evidence-based practice manual (pp. 488-495). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Yoshioka, M.R., Dania, J., & Ulla, K. (2001). Attitudes toward marital violence: An examination of four Asian communities. Violence against women, 7(8), 900-926.

Jaden, P., & Tonnes, N. (2000). Extent, nature and consequences of intimate partner violence: Research Report. Washington, Declinational Institute of Justice and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Impact of Police Community Support Officers

Abstract

Police forces across England and Wales in 2002 have been provided with a new member of the police force to support police officers. These Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) were introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002 to address disorder, low level crime, high visible patrols, and public reassurance. This Act gave a list of limited standard and discretionary police powers to PCSOs. The role of the PCSO as an extended member of the police family links the community to the police, without all the powers typically associated with policing. This limitation has cast doubt over their effectiveness within the local community.

This report shows how powers vested in PCSOs have evolved to address issues of public confusion around their capabilities. Then the report argues that PCSOs patrols have made an impact upon crime levels and analyses criticism made about the PCSOs. This Report uses the British Crime Survey (BCS) trends in certain crime from 1981 to 2007. The trends show that since the PCSOs introduction in 2002 the majority of crime levels have started to decrease. Finally this report critically debates remarks made by David Gilbertson about PCSOs and compares them against case studies that have been conducted to find that these remarks are not at all true.

Acronym

  • ACPO – Association of Chief Police Officers
  • ASB – Anti Social Behaviour
  • BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation
  • BCS – British Crime Survey
  • BCU – Basic Command Unit
  • CDA – Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • CSO – Community Support Officer
  • CSOs – Community Support Officers
  • FPN – Fixed Penalty Notice
  • PCSO – Police Community Support Officer
  • PCSOs – Police Community Support Officers
  • PRA – Police Reform Act 2002

Introduction

Policing in the United Kingdom (U.K) is undergoing considerable change; it is changing in profound ways, engineering the introduction of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). Ever since the introduction of PCSOs in the Police Reform Act (PRA) 2002, there has been much criticism ranging from their need in the community, to their effectiveness in their roles within society. These issues need to be addressed in order to give PCSOs the recognition they deserve. This report will show if the criticisms made are true or false in regards to PCSOs effectiveness around their roles within society. In order to do this it will seek to answer the following three aims:-

Aim one – How PCSOs powers have evolved over the course of time

Aim two – Have PCSOs impacted recorded crime whilst on patrol? This would act as statistical towards their effectiveness in society.

Aim three – Finally it aims to answer whether unpleasant claims made by Gilbertson are true or false, by comparing and contrasting studies that have been conducted.

Hypothesis – This report predicts that PCSOs are needed and are effective in their roles.

As a result the report aims to add a new dimension to resources available surrounding the PCSOs need and effectiveness.

Structure of Report

The report is presented in four chapters:

Chapter One: The Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and their Functionality
This chapter provides the history on the PCSO. In addition it explores the PCSOs roles and how their powers have evolved to address issues of public confusion.

Chapter Two: The Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) on Patrol
This chapter looks at what PCSOs do on patrol and what the main issue they would face whilst on patrol is? Finally using the British Crime Survey trends on crime it assesses if PCSOs have made an impact on crime levels, since their introduction.

Chapter Three: Gilbertson perspective on PCSOs against studies
This chapter simply critically debates a certain remarks made by David Gilbertson about PCSOs using case studies that have been conducted.

Chapter Four: Conclusion and Recommendations
Simply brings together the main points that arise from pervious chapter to answer the main aims of this report and will state all recommendations that may have been expressed in the previous chapters.

Literature Review

Over this last decade, there has been considerable change in the way in which neighborhood policing is carried out. One of these changes has been the introduction of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs); PCSOs were first introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002. Since the introduction of PCSOs in 2002 there has been much criticism ranging from their, need in the community, to their effectiveness in their roles within society.

There are limited resources surrounding the issues of need and effectiveness on PCSOs, this may be due to their relatively recent introduction. However this review will look at some available resources in order to compare and contrast the effectiveness of PCSOs. In doing so my study aims to add a new dimension to resources available surrounding the PCSOs need and effectiveness.

The literature surrounding the introduction of PCSOs, Cooper et al (2007) Paskell (2007) and Crawford et al (2004) agreed that PCSOs were introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002 and also agree on the roles and powers PCSOs posses.

However the aims of each studies vary, Cooper et al (2007) study is conducted for the Home Office. The Home Office funded this study due to the demands for a national evaluation of PCSOs. There were three key aims for Cooper et al study, these were; first to provide a national profile on PCSOs in terms of their activities, deployment, designated powers and demographics. The second was to provide indications of the impact PCSOs have on the public, in terms of their levels of reassurance, their perceptions and an understanding of their roles. The final aim was to provide indications of impact PCSOs on low level crime/disorder, incidents and anti social behavior (ASB).

The methods used by Cooper et al (2007) were both quantitative and qualitative to gain research. The variety of data collected provided a stronger reliability around their findings as the data collected was of a large capacity. Data on a national level was collected from a survey of forces and a survey of PCSOs, by means of questionnaires. This is very reliable source of research as it done national and can be used as a national piece of evidence.

On a local level three forces where chosen as case studies and from each force four areas were selected for a detailed study. Two of these areas were control areas where PCSOs had not been deployed, and the other two areas where PCSOs had been deployed for some time.

Across the four forces interviews were conducted in police forces to collect data on a wide range of issues including, PCSOs deployment, supervision, training, induction and integration. The interviews were conducted on the two areas where PCSOs were deployed. Also data was collected from the control areas, after PCSOs were deployed, on their impact on crime levels for a two week period.

This is reliable as the range of evidence collected is immense, due to the interviews carried out over four different forces. Controls were used, for the data to be compared with, as this is very important. This ensures the data collected was overall a result of the PCSOs alone, as they were not present in the control force areas. However the research should have been carried out for more than two weeks to gain more valid results, enhancing the reliability of their findings. Also the reliability of Cooper et al (2007) research can be improved if they could carry out their study again, in the same manner. This would allow the two studies to be compared and contrasted to determine if PCSOs are effective.

Cooper et al (2007) concluded from their research that there was a need for PCSOs, as they act as visible and familiar presence through foot patrol and community engagement. As this was an issue due to police officers having less time to carry out these roles. This is an important piece of literature to my study as it tells me there is a need for the PCSOs. However Cooper et al (2007) did state that there were a range of factors that limited the PCSOs effectiveness. How PCSOs are deployed, how integrated they are and staff turnover that may impinge these requirements. These factors even though will not be considered in my study, still will need to be understood. They may provide valuable insight into the roles of the PCSOs and what they encounter on patrol.

Crawford et al (2004) investigated if PCSOs and other members of the extended police family had impacted recorded crime? This study was funded by University of Leeds Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. Crawford et al compared trends in crime levels in the cities of Leeds and Bradford, also conducting a study which used a twin site public opinion survey to assess the impact of PCSOs on the public (2004).

Crawford et al (2004) research appeared to provide positive light on PCSOs and other members of the extended police family, who can have an impact in relation to recorded crime. Crawford et al (2004) study showed that overall crime rates fell in these cities where PCSOs had been deployed. However Crawford et al (2004) was cautious around the interpretation of their findings, concluding that it is difficult to attribute changes in crime to PCSOs alone.

The twin site public opinion survey found that PCSOs are a popular innovation within communities and the public perceived an increase in police patrolling. This is a valuable source of information of what the public thinks of the PCSOs, also with the comparison of crime statistics would show if PCSOs have contributed to crime reduction since the deployment. However it can not be used as a national evaluation of what the entire population thinks of the PCSOs or can show how it has impacted other communities.

Furthermore, it may only be seen as valid for the cities of Bradford and Leeds, and invalid for other cities nationwide, as opinions of PCSOs may be different in other cities. Invalid due to PCSOs powers being changed as of 1st December 2007 (Home Office 2007) and the research was conducted two years on from when PCSOs initial introduction, which may be seen as less time to assess them. This is useful to my study as it tells me there may be other factors that have impacted crime levels, something which will be touched on in my study.

Paskell (2007) on the other hand started conducting their research in 1998 to 2006, on 12 representative disadvantaged neighbourhoods, looking into key factors with neighborhood decline and renewal. Also it was documented in their research on government regeneration and housing renewal. In 2006 Paskell completed their final rounds of visits on these neighborhoods. This research was intended for another purpose but also led to their report in 2006 on ‘Plastic Police or Community Support? : The Role of Police Community Support Officer with in low-income Neighborhoods’.

Paskell (2007) research is more valid as it has been conducted over a longer period of time, from before the PCSO existence and few years after the enactment and can be used as more persuasive argument of their impact. Paskell (2007) agrees with Cooper et al (2007), that PCSOs involvement was evident to policing and beyond. However Paskell (2007) did note that the research on PCSOs was conducted shortly after they were introduced and suggests may be PCSOs need more time to make impact before they can be analyzed on their effectiveness.

All three research studies showed PCSOs in a positive light, being an asset to the community. The information provided by Cooper et al (2007) study on the effectiveness of PCSOs, roles and powers of PCSOs and overall background on PCSOS, is the beneficial for my study as it provides knowledge on PCSOs. However it is not all thumbs up for the PCSOs, as they have come across certain criticism, such as from David Gilbertson “Preventative patrolling, once the jewel in the crown of British policing, has been abandoned […] to be replaced by an imitation service delivered by semi-trained auxiliaries…”. Gilbertson claims that PCSOs are imitations of police officers, and that the funding for PCSOs should just be used to recruit more police officers, who are fully trained, unlike the PCSOs.

Just like the three research studies showed limitations, there are limitations for the study I intend to carry out. The lack of literature and valid research limits my research; also the lack of time given to conduct the study limits the possibility of gaining valid and reliable results. Even still I wish to carry out the study on PCSOs, to provide more clarity on the topic of PCSOs using the limited literature and studies around. In doing so my study aims to answer gaps overlooked by these scholars; firstly how PCSOs powers have evolved over the course of time, secondly have PCSOs impacted recorded crime whilst on patrol. Finally it aims to answer if such criticisms made by Gilbertson are true or false, by comparing and contrasting studies that have been conducted.

Research Methodology

Over this last decade, there has been considerable change in the way in which neighborhood policing is being carried out. One of these changes has been the introduction of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). PCSOs were first introduced in the Police Reform Act 2002 (PRA).

Since the introduction of PCSOs in 2002 there has been much criticism ranging from their, need in the community, to their effectiveness in their roles within society. There are limited resources surrounding the issues of need and effectiveness on PCSOs, this may be due to their relatively recent introduction.

The aims of the research to be conducted will seek to address the following issues in regards to PCSOs:

Aim one – How PCSOs powers have evolved over the course of time

Aim two – Have PCSOs impacted recorded crime whilst on patrol?

Aim three – If criticisms regarding PCSOs effectiveness around their roles within society are true or false, by analyzing the data collected from this study.

The first two aims can be found without the need to gain extra research or independent research. Aim one can be found by simply looking at the literature around on the PCSOs, and aim two will be answered by using the British Crime Survey Statistics on trends in Crime from the year 1981 to 2007.

Crime trends in overall crime will tell what crime levels were, before the PCSOs were enacted, and since their enactment if they have changed. To assess if certain criticism made about PCSOs effectiveness around their roles within society are true or false, this report will collect research surrounding the publics view on PCSOs effectiveness and if the public feel they are needed.

The methods that will be used to gain the necessary data to be analyzed will be questionnaires. The questionnaires will be carried out across the nation in ten cities were PCSOs have been deployed, with a sample size of five hundred people per city. Due to the lack of funding, questionnaires are the best option in obtaining data from the public on if they believe PCSOs are effective. Also the lack of funding would mean it will be hard to carry out a bigger sample size or carry out the questionnaires for more cities. By doing questionnaires the advantages are gaining research quick and effectively.

Disadvantages are respondents will not be able to express their views, data may take a long time to analyze, there could be the possibility of the same respondent answering the same questionnaire and some public members will not be willing to answer the questionnaire. To reduce these issues the questionnaire will have an incentive to attract people to carry out the questionnaire, for example by being put in to a prize draw for an IPod Nano.

Also the questionnaire will ask closed questions, with answers given for respondents to choose from. For example; how often do you see PCSOs on patrol- Most of the time, some of the time, do not see them at all? This will allow for easier analysis of answers and it will be easier to categorize questions onto a graph. The questionnaire will consist of a range of questions that are related to PCSOs, with the main aim to address aim three.

However, before the questionnaire could be conducted, the study hit fatal problems which terminated the possibility of carrying out the questionnaires.

The problem was time and no funding. No funding made it impossible to hire people to carry out the questionnaires and resulted to lack of time for it to carry out research across the nation. This therefore meant that there would not be any research to be analyzed.

Nonetheless this report will address this issue by looking at what studies have been done; it will bring together these studies to answer aim three. It will use the following studies that where done by Cooper et al (2007), Crawford et al (2004) and Hiley (2005).

Cooper et al (2007)

The methods used by Cooper et al (2007) were both quantitative and qualitative to gain research. With the aim; first to provide a national profile on PCSOs in terms of their activities, deployment, designated powers and demographics. The second was to provide indications of the impact PCSOs have on the public, in terms of their levels of reassurance, their perceptions and an understanding of their roles. The final aim was to provide indications of impact PCSOs on low level crime/disorder, incidents and anti social behavior (ASB)

The variety of data collected provided a stronger reliability around their findings as the data collected was of a large capacity. Data on a national level was collected from a survey of forces and a survey of PCSOs, by means of questionnaires. This is very reliable source of research as it done national and can be used as a national piece of evidence.

On a local level three forces where chosen as case studies and from each force four areas were selected for a detailed study. Two of these areas were control areas where PCSOs had not been deployed, and the other two areas were where PCSOs had been deployed for some time. Across the four forces interviews were conducted in police forces to collect data on a wide range of issues including, PCSOs deployment, supervision, training, induction and integration.

The interviews were conducted upon the PCSOs deployed two areas on similar questions. Also data was collected from the control areas after PCSOs were deployed on their impact on crime levels for a two week period. This is reliable as the range of evidence collected is immense, due to the interviews carried out over four different forces. Controls were used, for the data to be compared with, as this is very important.

Crawford et al (2004)

Crawford et al (2004) investigated if PCSOs and other members of the extended police family on how they can have impact on recorded crime. This study was funded by University of Leeds Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. Crawford et al compared trends in crime levels in the cities of Leeds and Bradford, also conducting a study which used a twin site public opinion survey to assess the impact of PCSOs on the public (2004).
Hiley (2005)

Hiley (2005) investigated if the public in the Gedling Borough of Nottingham felt PCSOs were effective. Hiley (2005) conducted its research by interviewing five hundred and one respondents. Sample size was taken at random, and respondents that declined were replaced.

In analyzing these studies the findings of the report aims to answer aim three of the report to be conducted, all three studies are conducted in different regions and collated together can become a reliable source of data. Though it must be noted that each study was carried out in different years may hinder its reliability and validity. Nevertheless these studies are still relevant as they give a picture of the effectiveness of PCSOs at that time period. Another advantage of using these case studies is that information is readily available and modern, so it may still reflect the effectiveness of PCSOs to date.

Chapter 1 – ¬The Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and their Functionality

Introduction

History of the Police Community Support Officers
Roles of Police Community Support Officers
Powers of Police Community Support Officers

Summary

Introduction

This chapter will present an overview of the history, role and powers of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). The history section will look at how and why PCSOs were developed, followed by the explanation of the role and aims of the PCSOs. This chapter finishes of with providing knowledge around the powers of the PCSOs and how they have developed over time.

History of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)

It is essential for the reader to become aware of the history behind the development of the PCSOs as it explains how and why this type of service originated.

Initially, police officers out on patrol had many different competing priorities and limited time to provide a swift response to urgent calls. The effect of this limitation of time resulted in many patrols becoming vehicle based and patrol tasks being interrupted by urgent incidents, custody requirements, paperwork, etc. The Neighbourhood Policing Programme 2007, states that there were ‘gaps in policing that bought about a combination of increasing demand and additional requirements on officers and forces’ (Neighbourhood policing programme 2007).

It can be fair to say, that at this point in time the relationship between the police force and the local community may not have been as strong as expected because the prioritisation of tasks left meant some other tasks would not be complete.

The National Evaluation of community support officers found that the public perception confirmed the need of extra support for officers, ‘there are too many calls on police officers time and long term disorder/behaviour issues are not dealt with effectively’(Home Office 2006). Therefore, it had become apparent that the police force clearly required more support in terms of man-power to tackle this time constraint.

The Police Reform Act in 2002 (PRA) revolutionized policing; chief officers across the UK now had PCSOs at their disposal to support police activities (Rogers and Lewis 2007: 125). By 2008 the government anticipated the number of PCSOs would grow substantially from 6,000 to 24,000. (Newburn 2008:156). However, at the end of April 2007, the figures showed that there were 16,000 PCSOs employed (Home Office 2007:33).

In September 2002, pilot schemes across six forces had allowed PCSOs to take to the streets, primarily to provide high visibility patrols and become the eyes and ears of the police (Greater Manchester Police 2009). PCSOs as part of the wider police family had created a significant impact by focusing upon the needs of the local community; engaging with the public and providing reassurance with their uniformed presence. The scheme was hailed a success, later became nationalised across England and Wales as well as in the British Transport Police (Greater Manchester Police 2009).

With this recognition they are now an integral part of Neighbourhood Policing and can contribute towards effective policing. ‘Effective Neighbourhood policing goes a long way to meeting the needs of communities. The role of the PCSO is a vital one as they are very much the visible accessible presence of neighbourhood policing’ (Neighbourhood policing programme 2007).

Roles of Police Community Support Officers

The aim of PCSOs as uniformed staff; was to provide support to the work of police officers and work within the local community. Their objective was to assist police in areas which may require a certain level of police presence. In doing so, they may not necessarily have the expertise of trained police officers, but were able to facilitate by freeing up the time police officers spent on tackling low-level crime and routine tasks.

In 2005, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) expressed the roles of the PCSO as follows:-

“The policing of neighbourhoods, primarily through high visible patrol with the purpose of reassuring the public, increases orderliness in public places and being accessible to communities and partner agencies working at local level. The emphasis of this role, and the powers required to fulfill it, will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and force to force” (ACPO 2005).

From this it is evident that the main priority was to provide high visibility patrols, dealing with public queries and restoring order within the local community. The West Midlands Police Force confer with these aims and outline the PCSO objectives as follows; to primarily provide high visibility patrols, secondly help reduce the fear of crime, thirdly participate in the police initiative of tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), fourthly provide support and assistance at public events and finally support the police officers in building and maintaining community relations (West Midlands police 2007).

Ideally as long as PCSOs acted in these key roles as stated by ACPO and the West Midlands Police Force, then they would become successful and effective. One can only become effective if the roles given to them are completed and carried out at high standards. ‘Effectiveness is the ability to achieve stated goals or objectives’ (Environmental Protection Agency 2007). Arguably, it can be difficult to measure effectiveness as there can be limitations which influence the success rate of a task. For example, availability of ‘resources’ and in many cases ‘time’ is a crucial element, and may become a limiting factor.

On the 17th July 2008, the Home Office issued a report regarding the activities undertaken by the PCSO. The report reviewed findings from a study on PSCO activity based on costing data in 2006/7. The results were indicative and notably equated PCSO activity with that defined by the guidance of ACPO (2005). Visible patrols were the most frequent activity carried out by PCSOs in 42 of 43 police forces.

This report also suggested that not all PCSOs across forces spent time or much time upon the remaining listed objectives, which may possibly be an outcome of limiting factors such as time. In some tasks the actual ‘time spent’ may have superseded the ‘expected time’. To conclude, this report suggests that PCSOs were also carrying out extra roles not mentioned by ACPO. The summary of this report is attached in Appendix A.

Retrospectively, it must be made clear to the reader that PCSOs are not sworn police officers as such, neither are they a replacement. They are a branch of modern day policing whose purpose is to provide that needed extra support to police officers. This can only mean that the powers allocated to PCSOs are limited to their purpose of serving the local community.

Powers of Police Community Support Officers

The functionality and effectiveness of PCSOs can be maintained with allocation of certain ‘powers’. This section will debate the powers given to PCSOs and discuss why these have evolved over the years. Initially, as outlined by PRA 2002, Chief Officers of each of the police force regions had the choice of selecting appropriate powers to implement their individual force initiatives alongside meeting the needs of the local community.

’…Section 38 of the PRA enables a Chief Officer to designate an individual employed by the police authority but under his/her authority discretion and control as a PCSO and confer upon them any powers listed in Part 1 of Schedule 4 to the PRA…’ (Clayden, 2006:40)

This suggested that there was no standardization or common ground for powers allocated to PCSOs across the United Kingdom (U.K). PCSOs in different forces would have had different powers to deal with certain incidents. Therefore, this meant PCSOs in different forces, would have powers in dealing with certain incidents whereas others would lack the powers to deal with those incidents.

For example, in 2006 the Chief Constable of Surrey police allocated different powers to PCSOs in different areas. The PCSOs in the area of Guildford Borough had the power to issue a Fixed Penalty notice (FPN) for littering. Where as the PCSOs in the area of Ash Wharf where given a different power, the power to issue a FPN for Graffiti and Fly posting (Surrey Police, 2006). It must be noted that these different powers may only help PCSOs tackle targeted crime for each area specifically.

On the other hand this can also become a problem for PCSOs, since there is a difference in the selection of powers for PCSOs in areas and regions. If a person was to commit a graffiti offence in the area of Guildford Borough then the PCSOs located there would have no power to issue FPN for this crime, since the PCSOs in that area have not been allocated that power.

Furthermore if someone was littering in the area of Ash Wharf, then the PCSOs located in this area do not have the power to issue a FPN for littering. Additionally, the difference in selection of powers can lead to confusion and debate regarding the role of the PCSO, which in turn reflects their effectiveness. The BBC news website on the 6th of December 2005 read

‘Police Community Support Officers, hailed as future of policing in London, are at the centre of a row about their role’ (BBC News, 2005)

A standard set of powers would help to understand what PCSOs can and can not do, which in turn may help clarify their roles to the local community to whom they serve.

In addition, it is crucial that the public becomes clear of the capabilities and powers of a PCSO, so that they are not overestimated. Overestimating the PCSOs powers and abilities can have devastating results, as it was in the heartbreaking case of Jordon Lyon on May the 3rd 2007 in Wigan (BBC News, 2007). This case saw two PCSOs being branded in the media for being incapable to save or attempt to save a drowning child in the pond, simply because they did not have water rescue training. The Times Newspaper on September 2007 headlined,

“Failure to save drowning boy prompts calls to scrap ‘community’ police” (Times online, 2007)

Though, unlike the PCSOs in Wigan, in Watford on 22nd October 2007 two PCSOs saved the life of a drowning woman in a canal in Watford (Watford Observer 2007). Clearly these two similar incidents raise confusion over the power of the PCSOs. Moreover these incidents could confuse people around the PCSOs capabilities, do they have water rescue training or not, what can they do? What can they not do? In one case the PCSO has the power and the capabilities to save a persons life preventing them from drowning and in another case they seem incapable and powerless in saving someone from drowning. PCSOs powers at this stage are not clear and seem to be questionable, which need to be dealt with.

Five years on from their introduction and in response to the confusion over the role of PCSOs: from 1st of December 2007 PCSOs were set 20 standard powers and an additional 22 powers accessible to them at the discretion of the chief constable(Smith 2008:17). A full list of the standard and discretionary powers is set out in Appendix B; the list was obtained from the Home Office website (Home Office 2007). The enactment of these standardised powers will mean a more consistent role for PCSOs nationwide.

It provides PCSOs with the tools to deal with low-level disorder and anti-social behaviour and to contribute effectively to local policing. However, there are still 22 powers that can be allocated by the Chief Constable which can cause a lack of consistency in PCSOs powers within different communities. Nonetheless, it is apparent from Louise Casey’