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NCJ Number: 200753 Find in a Library
Title: Policing Unauthorized Camping
Journal: Journal of Law and Society  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:June 2003  Pages:283-308
Author(s): Dave Cowan; Delia Lomax
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 26
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines the relationships between the welfare state and issues of societal conformity and control through an exploration of how Gypsies and Travellers are policed.
Abstract: Drawing on the work of Foucault, the authors explore the links between welfare, policing, and exclusion. The authors argue that the relationship between policing and welfare is made clear through hierarchical regulatory techniques, local initiatives, financial control, and discretionary decisionmaking. After detailing their main thesis, the authors illustrate their point by examining the way in which society seeks to control unauthorized camping. The way in which Travellers and Gypsies are policed speaks to issues of social surveillance and monitoring in order to assure conformity and compliance with the dominant, or middle- and upper-class, culture. The authors explore the construction of legislation, especially the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994, and its legal implications. It is argued that a shift occurred from the 1960’s concern with appropriate camping places for Gypsies and Travellers to the 1990’s concern for the Gypsies and the Travellers themselves. Public policy and law followed suit, with legislation increasingly aimed at the population themselves rather than at where they should camp. The authors then present a case study of policing in England. Data were drawn from telephone interviews with police officers and from case studies of 12 localities throughout England. The data support their thesis that the welfare state strives to control, and force into conformity, those people who are perceived as living outside of societal norms.
Main Term(s): Police differential response; Theory
Index Term(s): Loitering; Social service agencies; Welfare services
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