skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 113299 Find in a Library
Title: Police Powers and Public Prosecutions: Winning by Appearing To Lose?
Journal: International Journal of the Sociology of Law  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1988)  Pages:339-357
Author(s): K De Gama
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 19
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English; Ukrainian
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The British Government's decision to set up a nationwide system of prosecution independent of the police represents a retreat from traditional conceptions of crime and criminal justice and the police role.
Abstract: Proposals for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) were based on arguments for a need to separate the investigatory and prosecutorial functions and to find a fundamental balance between the interests of the community and the rights and liberties of individual citizens. The CPS was conceived as a system of checks and balances in which the wider police powers perceived necessary to combat crimes were to be offset by increased safeguards against abuse. Not surprisingly, police powers were spelled out in uncompromising detail, while safeguards, including the CPS, were left vague and ambiguous. From this perspective the establishment of the CPS can be viewed in terms of a crude trade off for increased police authority. The CPS also represents a transformation of the conception of policing as concerned with combatting crime to a concern with preserving public order. Within this conception, police are cast in the role of repressive social workers. The distinctive character of community policing strategies is proactive, preventive, and pre-emptive. Community policing is not an alternative, but a compliment to reactive modes of policing in that it is an attempt at surveillance and control that centralizes the function of different agencies of the State under overarching police supervision. 14 notes and 44 references.
Main Term(s): Police responsibilities
Index Term(s): Community control of police; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Police legal limitations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.