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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 122382 Find in a Library
Title: Police Discretion: A Comparative Perspective
Journal: Indiana Law Journal  Volume:64  Issue:4  Dated:(Fall 1989)  Pages:873-905
Author(s): G H Williams
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 33
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the issue of police discretion in arrest decisions, focusing on how the laws of England and the United States define the responsibilities of police.
Abstract: Cultural differences make it difficult for Americans to understand the law enforcement systems of other nations. A study of police discretion in the United Kingdom may help Americans define the limits of police discretion in the United States. English law is discussed in detail, with citations to relevant case law. In England, as in America, criminal statutes are overly-vague, making it difficult to determine when enforcement is expected. The English example makes clear the importance of establishing through departmental manuals and norms the proper standard of police conduct. If no established departmental standards or rules exist, there can be no censure for abuse of discretion. 144 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Police discretion
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Police decisionmaking; United Kingdom (UK); US/foreign comparisons
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