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Home — Essay Samples — Law, Crime & Punishment — Criminal Justice — The Criminal Justice System in the UK

criminal justice system uk essay

The Criminal Justice System in The UK

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criminal justice system uk essay


Flaws of The British Criminal Justice System Essay

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Moral issues within law enforcement, the courts and the corrections system have made it complex and difficult to navigate fairly throughout the criminal justice system. Enforcement strategies, court practices and the incarceration rates have created discrimination towards minority groups. Carelessness and unintentional actions are moral issues. The criminal justice system has failed to account for operational procedure which creates the perception of discrimination.

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Core of Criminal Justice System

Info: 2647 words (11 pages) Essay Published: 7th Aug 2019

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Jurisdiction / Tag(s): US Law UK Law

At the core of the criminal justice system is the delivery of justice for all, by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop offending, while protecting the innocent. It is responsible for detecting crime and bringing it to justice; and carrying out the orders of the court, such as collecting fines, and supervising community and custodial punishment, therefore it involves a multitude of agencies. An ideal criminal justice system must be able to help reduce crime by bringing more offences to justice, and to raise public confidence that the system is fair and will deliver for law-abiding citizen. In short, an ideal criminal justice system must work to prevent crime from happening in the first place, to meet the wider needs of victims, and to help turn offenders away from crime. According to the academic Herbert Packer, the aims of the criminal justice system can be divided into the due process model and the crime control model. The latter places most importance on convicting the guilty, taking the risk that occasionally some innocent people will be convicted. Therefore, as stated in the question, a crime control central justice may reduce the crime rate by deterrence to the society but as a side effect miscarriage of justice is more likely to be happened.

Then we need to consider that does a crime control model necessarily reduce crime rate. Although the United Kingdom government kept emphasize on the idea of “Get rid of crime”, but the result still unsatisfactory. According to the Home Office, there were around 880,000 “Violence against the person” crimes in England and Wales in 2008-9, equivalent to 16 per thousand people in England and Wales. There were about 50,000 sexual offences during the same period, just under 1 per thousand. Other areas of crime included robbery (80,000; equivalent to around 1.5 crimes/per thousand), burglary (285,000; 5 per thousand) and vehicle theft (150,000; 3 per thousand). Based on the Government’s preferred comparison system, this marked a 7% decline in crime on the year before. However the figure is unconvinced since it includes those plead guilty before trial. Accused may want to plead guilty in return for a lesser sentence because the court will find a plea of guilty with remorse as mitigating factor (Lord Parker in R v Turner).

We should compare these circumstances with those in United State. While the crime rate had risen sharply in the late 1960s and early 1970s, bringing it to a constant all-time high during much of the 1980s, it has drastically declined ever since 1993. One possibility is the introduction of the Three Strikes Law in 1993 by state governments in the United States which require the state courts to hand down a mandatory and extended period of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of a serious criminal offense on three or more separate occasions. However, such result is not necessarily achieved by over emphasized on crime control model. As contrary, striking a balance seems to be a more justify solution. Refer back to the example in the United State, except the strict Three Strikes Law, the legalisation of abortion and increase of the due process rights (since it reduces the possibility of miscarriage of justice) also contribute to the drop in crime rate.

A crime control centred criminal justice system will necessarily deprive the accused rights. Since the police authorities are responsible for crime detection and apprehension of the wrongdoer, they should not be given inappropriate power. Section 1 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) provides the police power to search a person or vehicle in public for stolen or prohibited articles where he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that stolen or prohibited articles could be found. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 extended the power to stop and search to cover searches for articles intended to cause criminal damage. The requirement of reasonable suspicion is intended to protect individuals from being subject to stop and search on a random basis, or on grounds that the law rightly finds unacceptable, such as age or racial background. However, various statutes give specific stop and search powers regarding particular offences. For instance, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, section 23, allows police to stop and search anyone who is suspected on reasonable grounds to be in unlawful possession of a controlled drug. Under section 44 of the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, the Home Secretary can secretly authorise the police to carry out random stop and searches in the fight against terrorism without the requirement of reasonable suspicion. The power given to the police seems to be too wide since they had used the power extensively and controversially.

Powers of arrest allow people to be detained against their will. Such detention is only lawful if the arrest is carried out in accordance with the law. Under section 1 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, the police may lay written information on oath before a magistrate that he has reasonable grounds for suspecting a person had committed an offence or likely to commit an offence. This enables the magistrate to issue an arrest warrant. The police may enter and search premises to carry out the arrest by using reasonable force (section 117 PACE). As stated by Lord Woolf in Castorina v Chief Constable of Surrey, the test for “reasonable ground” is objective. It was enough if the police could show that the existence of facts or information would satisfy an objective observer that the person concerned may have committed the offence (Fox, Campbell and Hartley v United Kingdom). The requirement of a warrant and the test laid down seems to be the safeguards of the suspect’s rights.

However, one can argue that it will be very difficult to challenge the police for wrongful arrest under this objective test. This was shown in Holgate-Mohammed v Duke which stated that the decision of the police can only be challenged if he acted improperly by taking something irrelevant into account (Wednesbury principles). Obviously, this is a low threshold test and there is a danger it will be abused by officers. Furthermore, where there is a breach of the peace or where a person is about to commit a breach of the peace, a police officer can make an arrest without warrant. These powers were increased by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which simplified the police powers of arrest, but at the same time they have given the police more powers than they need, and are open to abuse. For example, it will be necessary to carry out an arrest if the person will not give their name and address, or the police officer reasonably suspects that the name or address given is false.

Next, we need to consider the issue of police interrogation. The usual reason for detaining a suspect is so that the police can question them, in the hope of securing a confession. However, instances of miscarriages show that confession can be tampered with or falsified by the police. The suspects may also be threatened or physically abused into confessing even when they are in fact innocent. Fortunately, PACE provides important safeguard to refuse to admit evidence which has been improperly obtained. Under s76, confession evidence is inadmissible if it was obtained through oppression. But this depends on the discretion of the court whether to exclude the confession as unreliable evidence. However, is this safeguard sufficient?

Section 76(2) PACE requires the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a confession was not obtained by oppression (which defined in section 76(8) as torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or the use or threat of violence), or otherwise in circumstances likely to render the confession unreliable. These requirements seem adequate to protect the defendant, but the interpretation of the court may render the protection ineffective. For example, the Court of Appeal in R v Fulling ruled that unless the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, harsh or wrongful manner; unjust or cruel treatment of subjects, inferiors; et cetera; the imposition of unreasonable or unjust burdens, the court is unlikely to exclude the evidence. However this threshold seems to be too high for the accused to prove. This can be seen from R v Paris, Abdullahi and Miller, only the repeat shouting to the defendants about what they have to say despite the fact that they had denied involvement over 300 times can be held to be unreliable. Is this always the case? Sometimes single act may sufficient enough to force the defendant to make an incorrect confession.

Since the main propose of the crime control centred criminal system is to convict the guilty, it is understandable that improperly obtained evidence may be used to achieve their aims. Section 76 (confession cannot be obtained by oppression) and section 78 (refuse evidence of any kind if it appears that the admission would have an adverse effect on the fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it) of PACE expressly provide the court the right to exclude admissibility of evidence improperly obtained by the police. But, since there is no absolute requirement to exclude illegality obtained evidence, has the court strike an appropriate balance? In fact, the court refused to accept evidence of interviews which were not contemporaneously written up because the breach is flagrant, deliberate and cynical. However the court took a very narrow approach to section 78 in R v Latif and Shahzad. The House of Lords allowed the evidence to be admitted although it was obtained by an undercover police by trickery and deception. This seems to be unfair to the defendant since his crime may not be succeed without the help of the police. To date the decision of the court may be different since the enactment of Human Rights Act 1998. Admitting of improperly obtained evidence may result in breach of the Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights: Right to fair trial (Khan v United Kingdom).

The abolition of the right of silence under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 certainly take the balance in favour of the police and the state. Now the jury can draw adverse inferences where a suspect refuse to answer police’s question or fail to account for objects or substances on their clothing when asked to do so. An adverse inference may also be given when the suspect chooses not to give evidence without good cause during the trial itself. There is no conviction based wholly on silence. Where inferences may be drawn from silence, the court must direct the jury as to the limits to the inferences which may properly be drawn from silence. This does not apply to investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, where there is no right to silence. Under Section 49 and Section 53 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), it is an offence to fail to disclose when requested the key to encrypted data (with a penalty of two years in prison). However, we should consider the effect of the European Court of Human Rights which restrict the impact of these abrogations of the right to silence in domestic law. Although there is no express right to silence on the face of Article 6, the court found such a right to be embodied in the article 6 rights to a fair trial. European Court of Human Rights held in Murray v United Kingdom that drawing inferences from silence is a matter to be determined in the light of all the circumstances of the case. The inroads into the so-called right to silence remain controversial especially given the continuing concern over the effectiveness of safeguards for suspects at the police station and the lack of research data to support police claims that the exercise of the right to silence in a significant number of cases seriously impedes the investigation of offences.

Does it mean higher incident of miscarriages of justice is inevitable due to the lessening of the protections of the accused? Someone may argue that miscarriages of justice is a necessary evil that has to be put up with if the crime control centred criminal justice system maintains. In the high profiled case of the Birmingham Six, the appeal was only succeeded in their third attempt in 1991 because of new evidence of police fabrication and suppression of evidence, the discrediting of both the confessions and the 1975 forensic evidence. It took 16 years for the Six to get their convictions quashed. The Runciman Commission was set up following this case to look into the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and make recommendations for the reform. The Commission recommended that judge may stop any case if the prosecution evidence is demonstrably unsafe or unsatisfactory or too weak to be allowed to go to the jury. The other recommendation was made that wherever a confession has allegedly been made to the police outside the police station, whether tape-recorded or not, it should be put to the suspect at the beginning of the first tape-recorded interview at the station.

The report also led to the creation of the Criminal Cases Review Commission introduced by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. This Commission can refer possible cases of miscarriages of justice to the attention of the Court of Appeal to prevent the possibility of miscarriages of justice that had occurred in cases like the Birmingham Six and the Tottenham Three. However, the Criminal Cases Review Commission does not have main power to carry out investigation and instead they rely on the police for this purpose; this is doubtful whether the commission is fully effective. The other problem need to be addressed is the racist attitude of the police force which led to more stop and search is conducted on ethnic minorities as reported in the Macpherson Report.

As a conclusion, it is obvious that the criminal justice system should not over emphasize on the crime control model. Instead, we must also take into account of other aims of the system such as rehabilitation and protection of the accused due process rights. A criminal justice system that balances different objectives has a higher chance of producing a model acceptable to society as a whole. However, striking for a hundred percent balance between the two controversial models could be impossible. But since the Human Rights Act 1998 came into the picture, the system should be further reformed to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. For instance, in Caballero v United Kingdom, the Government accepted that the law on bail breached Article 5 of the Convention and the domestic law was reformed as a result.


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Restorative Justice As A Component Of The Criminal Justice System In England And Wales


The Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales is the major public service set up with the aim to deliver justice to all those that have been effect by crime, to achieve this effectively the CJS consist of multiple government agencies that have been tasked to “ deliver justice for all by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop reoffending, while protecting the innocent”, (Gardside,2008), other gaols of the CJS include the rehabilitation of offenders, preventing other crimes, and to provide moral support for victims.

The CJS consists of several interdependent components and is comprised in three main parts Law enforcement in the form of the police, Courts including the prosecution and defence and Agencies for detaining and supervising offenders such as prisons and probation agencies. Nevertheless, some of the services that are offered by the Criminal Justice System are available from a range of voluntary groups including victim support and Restorative Justice (RJ), (CPS, 2010).

Restorative Justice (RJ) is an approach to justice in which it brings victims, offenders and the community affected by a crime together in a meeting in an attempt to deal with the after effects of a crime or conflict and try to find a way forward and attempt to repair the harm caused, (Crown Prosecution Service, 2017 and Gov.UK, 2015).

Restorative Justice sees crimes as something more than just breaking the law and the crime causes harm to people, relationships and the community and the use of Restorative Justice is a way for the harm to be repaired by all parties involved, (Centre for Justice and Reconciliation 2020).

Restorative Justice is an approach to criminal justice that emphasises on restoring the victim and the community rather than just punishing the offender/s the principles Restorative Justice use are to work with all that are personally involved most importantly are the victim and the offender but this does also include the family’s and the wider community. The use of this process helps reduce crime, violence and bullying it improves human behaviour, strengthen civil society, provide effective leadership restore relationships and repair the harm caused by the crime.

Restorative Justice brings those harmed by crime and those responsible for causing the harm together in a controlled meeting that has been arranged and a trained mediator has worked with both parties in advance, to communicate thus allowing all involved to be part of the of the repairing of the harm caused and to find a positive way forward for all parties involved with the aim to reduce future reoffending,(Wachtel, 2013). The process of Restorative Justice is increasingly being used in Schools, Children services, Workplaces, Hospitals, Communities and the Criminal Justice System, (Gov, UK, 2015). However The use of Restorative Justice can be an extremely challenging for the offender/s as it allows them to see the impact of their crimes and the effect this has had on their victim/s, nevertheless this process can provide the victim with the vital information they need to be able to move forward as Restorative Justice empowers the victim to communicate with their offender/s in order to achieve this potential life changing opportunity.


The Criminal Justice system has the overwhelming task of dealing with the constant and ever growing challenges of lowering the crime rates while enduring to uphold and maintain the public’s confidence in the criminal system (Brooks, 2017,). Restorative Justice could just be the answer the system is looking for as Brooks (2017) states that Restorative justice can lower offender rates by up to 25 percent. However, although this process is popular with the political process in Britain, it comes with its disadvantages as it is primarily only directed at the less serious crimes and youth offenders. On other hand, Marshall (1999) suggests that by using Restorative Justice with the more serious crimes there can be a lot of advantages in terms of the victim benefits, this process should only be used hand in hand with the criminal justice system and not as a substitute.

For many of the victims of crime seeing the offender held answerable for their offences by the use of the judicial system providing the victims with a level of closure thus allowing them to be able to move on from the crimes they have been a victim of is often enough. However, this is not the case with all victims of crime and the judicial process is not enough by itself, (Wright 2012). Restorative Justice is a process that provides the victims a voice that the Criminal Justice system often denies them, (Robb,2012).

Restorative Justice is a process by way of offering victims the opportunity to have their say in the outcome of the offence/s and to have an input into the punishment of the offender providing ways to improve and transform the way the victim’s needs are met, this process also allows the offender to face up to the consequences of their actions and the impact these have had on others, (Ministry of Justice, 2012).

Restorative Justice is a process set up to address some of the failings including the limits and failures of the criminal justice system, (Zehr, 1990).

“Crime is a violation of people and relationships. It creates obligations to make things right. Justice involves the victim, the offender, and the community in a search for solutions which promote repair, reconciliation and reassurance. (Zehr, 1990: 118).

Victim satisfaction plays a critical and substantial part in police-victim encounters and this can play a primary and essential role in the willingness of victims to co-operate. With this in mind the victim’s willingness plays an extremely significant part of the process that allows Restorative Justice to continue to work successfully on behalf of the victim/s, (Aihio, 2017). It was suggested by Camp and Wemmers, (2013) that victimology studies have revealed that procedural justice such as Restorative Justice does continue to make a difference to the victims of crime in the terms of how the criminal justice system deals with the cases as they go through the system.

For the purpose of this research project the definition of satisfaction that will be used is “the Fulfilment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure” (English Oxford Living Dictionary’s, 2019). The Restorative Justice movement is a societal programme that is looking to work with and alongside the current punitive measures that are used by the Criminal Justice system, (Johnstone and Van Ness, 2007).

Restorative Justice (RJ) is as defined by the Ministry of Justice is “The process that brings those harmed by crime, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward” (Ministry of Justice, 2014 p3). However, the term Restorative Justice has been used as a way to reference the fact Restorative Justice has a large range of approaches and not one single practice (Brooks, 2017). Although a jointly recognised and concise definition of the term has yet to be established T, F Marshall’s (1996) definition appears to encompass the main principles of Restorative Justice and is perhaps one of the most used, “Restorative justice is a process whereby all parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future” (p. 37; cf Braithwaite, 1999, p. 5). However, this quote suggests that the topic possibly becomes problematic to debate due to the large range and variety restorative Justice has to offer, (Brooks, 2017). For the purpose of this dissertation this is the definition for Restorative Justice that will be used.

Restorative Justice was a fairly fresh idea in the field of criminology in the 1980’s nevertheless it was also a recent, new concept that has not been seen and used in the United Kingdom (Daniels, 2013). Crawford and Newburn (2002) likewise states that Restorative Justice has been renowned as maybe one of the most extremely influential developments in crime control in today’s society. Restorative Justice is a process that was introduced to concentre mainly on the victim and the process of the Criminal Justice System as Christie (1977) states that the objective of Restorative Justice is for the offence to belong to the victim just as equally as it does to the offender Christie, (1977), cited that, “Not only has he or she suffered, lost materially or become hurt, physically or otherwise …but above all he has lost participation in his own case. It is the Crown that comes into the spotlight, not the victim. It is the Crown that describes the losses, not the victim. It is the Crown that gets the chance to talk to the offender, and neither the Crown nor the offender is particularly interested in carrying on that conversation. The prosecutor is fed up long since. The victim would not have been. He might have been scared to death, panic-stricken, or furious. But he would not have been involved. It would have been one of the most important days in his life. Something that belonged to him has been taken away from the victim. (1977: p7-8).

Christie (1977) states that the victim is the one that constantly misses out twice once as the victim of the original offence but then furthermore as a victim of the Criminal Justice System as there is an extremely improbable chance of being paid compensation for their loss. Furthermore, they play a very small role in whatever legal proceedings that follow nevertheless the use of Restorative Justice hands back this right and power back to the victims of crime.

criminal justice system uk essay

Restorative Justice was originally introduced during the 1970s to manage low level crimes including burglary and other property crimes, however there was a confusion by the victims that Restorative Justice was about forgiveness, (Zehr, 2014). Zehr, (2014) also suggests that some victims do not have any understanding or belief in Restorative Justice as they are of the opinion that the fundamental destination of this process was to encourage or to persuade them to forgive their offenders.


Restorative Justice practices does in large rely on voluntary cooperation of all parties involved this limits the options available as if one or all parties involved are unwilling to take part than the matter must be dealt with by the formalities of the Criminal Justice system. Restorative Justice is largely centred around the restoration of both the victim/s and offender/s of crime this is achieved by returning the offender back in the community as a law abiding citizen and for the victim providing them with the closure they need to move on with their life after the crime, and to help the wider community as a whole, (Marshall,1999).

Newburn (2017) states that Restorative Justice measures are primarily aimed at just the youth offender/s rather than the adult offender/s also that Restorative Justice is only primarily used for the less severe crimes. Notwithstanding there are cases of successful Restorative Justice outcomes in relation to the more severe crimes, conversely if this is the case why is Restorative Justice not being offered on a larger scale and across all levels of crime. However, the reason for holding back Restorative Justice is solely put done to just two types of crime these are corporate crime and Domestic Violence, it is considered that these crimes are inappropriate to work with Restorative Justice.

The definition of Domestic Violence as stated by Victim Support is ‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners, or intimately related within a family or domestic setting, regardless of gender or sexuality. Domestic violence involves abuse of power and control by one person over another and typically escalates in frequency and severity over time”, (Victim Support 2003, p.2).

Liebmann (2007) p. 268 states that nevertheless, many victims of domestic violence end up not taking the matter further and returning to their abusive situations, so prosecution does not deliver a resolution for everyone. However, Collins (2017) points out that the primary concern for domestic violence cases and the use of Restorative Justice is intimate partner violence this is a crime in which violence is caused by a partner against their current or former partner.

Despite these concerns raised by Collins (2017), the Restorative Justice Council states that Restorative Justice can have many major benefits for victims that have been affected by all crime types in certain circumstances. However, the council must ensure that the victims safety is maintained throughout the criminal process if indeed this is the cases and Restorative Justices is suitable for all crime types why is it not used in more cases of all crimes that a victim/s has been affected, this is the aim of the questions put forward in this dissertation.

Restorative Justice can be accessed at any point of the Criminal Justice System there are currently five identified points where the offender/s may be referred to a Restorative Justice Programme there are as follows, Police (Pre-charge), Crown (Post-charged), Courts (pre-sentence), Corrections (post-sentence) and Parole (pre-revocation).

Victim support states that for Restorative Justice to work effectively with offenders and victims. RJ can only take place with the agreement of all those involved mainly the victim/s and the offender/s, conversely there are many things that must be taken into account before any such meeting can be held. One of the most significant considerations to take in terms of RJ is the offender must have taken responsibility for their actions and the harm they have inflicted, even if this has taken place the individual in charge of the case may feel that Restorative Justice is not safe or suitable for all stakeholders involved, and finally Restorative Justice still may go ahead even if a direct meeting is not acceptable this can take place for example by communication by letter.

Gaudreault, (2005) indicates that many studies have shown that victims would be prepared to take part in Restorative Justice programmes if they had been given the opportunity to do so as seen in Gavrielides, (2018) found in his study that amongst the victims they surveyed 85 percent had never been offered the chance to take part in any such programme.


“Restorative Justice can be a real force for good both for the person harmed and the offender”, (Rt Hon Lord Justice Fulford, Senior Presiding Judge, 2015-16). Government research indicates that Restorative Justice provides an 85 percent of victim satisfaction rate and a further 78 percent said they would recommend Restorative Justice to others in the same situation and a 14 percent reduction in reoffending rates after Restorative Justice. An advantage of Restorative Justice could lead to savings to our courts and the criminal justice system of £185 over two years, (Restorative Council, 2016).

The house of commons Justice committee states that Restorative Justice should be made available at any point of the criminal justice system, however despite the Crime and Courts Act 2013 allowing pre-sentence Restorative Justice to take place the victims commissioner found that this was not the case and it was only being offered at certain stages of the criminal justice system, (The House of Commons, 2016,).

The 14 percent in the reduction of offender rates proves beneficial as the Home Office and Ministry of Justice 2015 states that the cost of re-offending is to cost the UK taxpayer an estimated £9.5 Million to £13 billion per year.

Restorative Justice can be highly successful in servicing the needs of both the victim and the offender. Nevertheless, this is limited as such programmes are scattered and in turn are isolated from the mainstream Criminal Justice System this means that the actions of both are pulling in opposite directions, (Marshall,1999).

One limitation of victim offender mediation is the commitment on behalf of the offender to change their ways and to stop committing crime this can be seen in the lack of follow up support provided to the offender, (Marshall,1999).

Umbreit, Coates, and Kalanj, (1994), suggests however that victims and offenders who took part in Restorative Justice programs received better outcomes than those who did not participate.

Hill (2002) suggests however, that one of the main reasons for the small amount of victims taking part in Restorative Justice was that victims refused to use Restorative Justice this was mainly for two reasons one was due to a lack of interest and the other was due to misunderstanding of what the process entailed

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The Use of Social Crime Prevention Techniques in the UK Essay

Introduction, situational crime prevention (scp) technique, social crime prevention, “role of crime & disorder reduction partnerships”.

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In the United Kingdom, the crime prevention texture has changed significantly over time. Beginning from the year 1980, prevention of crime has shifted from “being of trivial intellectual interest to become a major concern of governments” (Bajpai, 2003, p.11). The trend that can be clearly seen is that the U.K government is making efforts to promote the policies that contribute towards the realization of the safety of the community as well as crime reduction and not “essentially launching ‘crackdown on crime’ type approach” (Bajpai, 2003, p.11). Looking at the history of the U.K’s crime prevention, a clear picture is seen of shifting agenda of main concerns on this subject (O’Malley & Hutchinson, 2007). Both the situational and social crime prevention techniques have been applied in the whole range of the crime reduction and prevention initiatives that were carried out by law enforcement agencies. This paper is going to look at how both situational and social crime prevention techniques are used within the U.K and also at how different agencies within the community safety partnerships have helped to facilitate such projects.

The SCP is typically defined as “involving the management, design or manipulation of the immediate environment” (Hough, et al, 1980, p.1). This results from a thinking pattern and taking action about the crime problem which is different from the traditional responses of criminal justice. It focuses on the offense rather than on the offender. It is based on the notion that the opportunities that promote committing crimes are built in the immediate environment within which crimes take place. The measures or techniques used in situational crime prevention are intended to pass across a message to the potential criminals that the efforts needed to carry out crime and the associated dangers have been magnified, and also that the benefits which can be realized by engaging in crime have diminished to a significant level. Situational crime prevention undertakes the application of greatly specific techniques “in the opportunity reduction for offending behavior” (Bajpai, 2003, p.20). In the U.K. various such managerial, as well as technological measures, have indicated promising results. These measures’ performance was revealed in a number of evaluation researches that were conducted in the United Kingdom. Clarke (1997) has engaged in developing a “16-techniques model” for the opportunity lessening which is being employed in all places with suitable modifications. These include; target hardening, defecting offenders, entry and exit screening, and formal surveillance among other measures. One of the best examples of measures related to SCP that has been used in the United Kingdom is CCTV. It is estimated that, in the U.K., there are more than four million cameras. Beginning from the mid-1990s, the U.K government has engaged in investing a large amount of money in the local schemes which are operated by the local authorities as well as crime prevention partnership and there is widespread utilization of CCTV in public places such as the shopping centers, hospitals and schools among other places. Having such wide usage, a conclusion can be drawn that CCTV is an effective measure for preventing crime. Those who support the use of CCTV present an argument that these cameras serve as a warning, while its ability to facilitate storing of images and “to track perpetrators of crime in real-time means that it also assists in crime detection, and gathering evidence for court cases” (Gilling, n.d, p.21). The supporters also present an argument that in an era where there is a lack of security, it plays a reassurance role, enabling people to have a complete feeling of safety in their day-to-day life. Certainly, the role played by CCTV is of great significance to a level that it is increasingly being considered as very essential for public facilities as well as residential space. The evidence for the clear success of the CCTV is very easy to come across. It is pointed out that “crime-related CCTV footage, and the resultant ‘catch’, make up a significant proportion of the ‘infotainment’ diet that currently occupies television programming schedules” (Gilling, n.d, p.21), while the news broadcasts have clearly given an illustration of the CCTV virtues in “piecing together the movements of suspects in high profile cases as the 7 July London bombings” (Gilling, n.d, p.21). Research also exists which has given an indication of, for instance, a remarkable decrease in the levels of crime as a result of bringing in the implementation of the CCTV schemes in certain areas (Welsh & Farrington, 2002).

This is a label that covers a wide range of interventions and ideas that are geared towards preventing criminality. It is referred to as “social” since its focus is on people and not on situations and on the motivating or disposing of factors for people to commit criminal activities. While prevention of crime as a distinctive policy area external to the ‘criminal justice system’ has shifted to the front, “it would be fair to say that compared to situational approach, the social approach has played much more of a back-seat role” (Gilling, n.d, p.24). However, a large number of the interventions for social crime prevention have been there for a while, as either components of social policy, instead of ‘criminal justice policy, or for the reason that “they have resonated with criminology orthodoxies that have moved in and out of political fashion” (Gilling, n.d, p.24). However, according to Gilling (2007), among the people who have engaged in promoting community safety, social crime prevention has gone through a smaller revival. It is pointed out that there is the interpreting of social crime prevention as undertaking reinforcement of social bonds as well as social controls; this implies making it possible for the social units to have self-regulation in a more effective way ( The growth of crime prevention, n.d). This contributes directly to the idea of “community-based crime prevention” that has as well been promoted in the years that have just passed ( The growth of crime prevention, n.d). The programs for crime prevention which are community-based have made attempts to involve several agencies in the U.K and they have also been trying to utilize both the situational as well as social techniques in promoting crime prevention, reducing fear and ensuring the safety of the community ( The growth of crime prevention, n.d). Certainly, efforts have been made by the U.K government to engage in stimulating this form of activity. For instance, in the year 1984, there was a circular that put emphasis on the need to employ a partnership approach between the local government and police in order to make sure that there was an all-inclusive “crime prevention strategy” to have a safe United Kingdom ( The growth of crime prevention, n.d). In the process of promoting the “community-based” crime prevention measures, the U.K government emphasized the significance of making the responsibility to be wider to a level where “preventing crime is a task for a whole community” ( The growth of crime prevention, n.d, p.58). That which was referred to as “the multi-agency approach” turned out to be the official principle “underlying a wide range of new projects” ( The growth of crime prevention, n.d, p.58). In general terms, there were targets to include both the social and situational crime prevention measures ( The growth of crime prevention, n.d).

“Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships” consist of the local authorities, police, and other businesses and organizations which have come together with an aim of developing and undertaking the implementation of strategies put in place to deal with disorder and crime at a local level (Bajpai, 2003). It is reported that, in England and wales, there exist three hundred and seventy-six partnerships (Bajpai, 2003, p.15). The “Crime and Disorder Act, 1998” puts the responsibility on the police, probation committees as well as local authorities among other relevant parties to offer cooperation in developing and also in implementing a strategy aimed at dealing with disorder and crime within their region. These parties have to put into consideration the transformed working practices, inner priorities as well partnerships they have with the larger community and with other agencies. The partnerships are undertaking their operations to bring down the level of crime and disorder within their area through various ways. One of the ways is by establishing the levels of the problems of crime and disorder within their zone and engaging in broader consultations with the local people in order to ensure the perception that the partnerships have goes in line with that of the local population and particularly the minority groups like homosexuals and ethnic minority members. Another way is by coming up with a strategy that carries with it measures that are aimed at dealing with the priority issues. The duration of the strategy is three years; however, the partnerships have to keep on reviewing it.

In the U.K, there has been the use of both situational and social crime prevention techniques. Among the best example of understanding how situational crime prevention in the U.K has been carried out is by considering the use of CCTV in this country. Estimates have been made that in the U.K., there are more than four million CCTV cameras in use. It has also been found out that in the course of boosting the “community-based” crime prevention techniques, the U.K government has been stressing the significance of making the responsibility to be wider to a level where crime prevention is the responsibility of the entire community. It has also been found out that in the U.K, partnerships are working to bring down the level of crime and disorder within their area through various ways. Among these ways is by establishing the levels of the problems of crime and disorder within their zone and engaging in broader consultations with the local people with an aim of making sure that the perception that the partnerships have are in conformity with that of the local population and mostly the minority groups.

Bajpai, G.S 2003, Crime reduction through situational crime prevention: a study in the United Kingdom. Web. Clarke, R 1997, Situational Crime Prevention: Successful Case Studies , Harrow and Heston, New York. Gilling, D 2007, Crime Reduction and Community Safety: Labor and the Politics of Local Crime Control , Willan, Cullompton. Gilling, D n.d, Crime prevention. Web. Hough, M, Clarke, R, & Mayhew, P. 1980, Designing Out Crime , HMSO, London. O’Malley, P, & Hutchinson, S 2007, ‘Reinventing prevention: why did ‘crime prevention’ develop so late?’ British Journal of Criminology , Vol. 47, no.3, pp.373–89. The growth of crime prevention, n.d. Web. Welsh, B. & Farrington, D 2002, Crime Prevention Effects of Closed Circuit Television: a Systematic Review . Home Office Research Study 252 Home Office, London.

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The UK Criminal Justice System

criminal justice system uk essay

Show More Furthermore, the United Kingdom law enforcement consists of a force with nation-wide authorities and regional units. In this format it is quite similar to the system in the United States. Still the UK police are more closely interlocked by statutory regulations, which bind the country together through exposure and deterrence of crime (Dixon, 1929, p. 178). The regional UK crime unit is composed of territorial police forces and National Law Enforcement bodies. They have a Chief Constable who resembles a U.S. sheriff and a National Crime Agency that performs the same tasks as the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the States. The largest compilation of police lies in the British Transport sector due to thousands of miles of railways in Britain. …show more content… 5). Once the juvenile is in the custody of the local police they start an investigation into the amount of evidence to prove if they are guilty. As the UK process continues the facts of the case are passed to the district lawyers from the probation office. If the petition passes then the young offender can be released on bail to the parents or a shelter until the hearing takes place. Most of the time these juveniles are released on first time offense or with a minor charge (Dunkel, 2014, p. 34). If they are charged with a crime the next part is an arraignment, which starts the cycle of adjudication. Making a plea is now an option when in the past only parents had the right to decide what was best for their child. The following route through youth court is similar to the adult procedure except there is typically no jury present. Only a judge will make the final decision. In some situations with serious delinquency the youth court might send the investigation to the Crown Court where there are more adult-like proceedings. The juvenile is soon convicted and the reports are conducted by the probation officers and various representatives to either conclude in numerous fines or the occasional youth detention center. For the latter, it depends on if the juvenile is between fifteen and eighteen years old. Over the past couple of decades Britain has focused more on diverting the youth from adjudication, while trying to legislate strategies like the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act in 1994, the Crime and Disorder Act in 1998, and the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act in 1999 (Terrill, 2010, p.

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Argumentative Criminal Justice Essay Topics

Published by Ellie Cross at May 18th, 2022 , Revised On December 23, 2022

Are you looking for some interesting and compelling criminology and argumentative criminal justice essay topics ?

Well, sit back and read! Because this article lists many argumentative criminal justice essay topics that are sure to inspire you. Student engagement with criminology and criminal justice has been rising in recent years.

One can observe this emerging practice in European countries, the US, and other countries worldwide. As the number of violent incidents and crimes increases, most students want to learn about criminology and criminal justice to play their part in improving their respective communities. 

The term “criminal justice” refers to a combination of customs and practices to regulate social behaviour, reduce crime, and restrain those who refuse to obey the law. It is a sub-category of law. It is an area of law that many students struggle with because of the involvement of complex concepts. A criminal justice essay needs to demonstrate thorough research and knowledge of the subject. It puts you in a position where you present a solution to address a moral problem. 

This blog post looks at some topics for argumentative criminal justice essays to help you write your essay on a fascinating subject and hook the readers. One well-known fact about criminal justice essays is that they need you to delve into more depth and find entities to refer to, judicial findings to rely on, and provide substantial evidence to back up your arguments.

Writing an argumentative essay begins with a topic, as with every paper you’ve ever had to write. If you have not yet decided on a topic for your criminal law essay, or if you are finding it difficult to choose an appropriate argumentative criminal justice essay topic, we have listed some very interesting topics for you. Let’s scroll down to check them out! 

Many people ask whether or not the justice system is equitable and accountable since some people have faith in the justice system. In contrast, others occasionally suffer from its repercussions.

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Argumentative Criminal Justice Essay Topics about Jail and Prisons

Criminal justice essays’ most common arguable areas are prisons and detention centres. We have picked out the most controversial topics for you;

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Argumentative Criminal Justice and Society Essay Topics

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Miscellaneous Criminal Justice Essay Topics

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Justice System and Criminal Justice Essay Topics

Of course, these are not all the topics for argumentative essays on criminal justice devised by our experienced writers to aid you with your challenging essay submissions. But we have strived to cover a wide range of criminal justice essay topics for our students. It is important to follow ethical guidelines while writing any law or criminal law paper. Even if you choose to write about controversial topics, always try to be courteous and civil!

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