skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

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: 66562 Find in a Library
Title: ARREST - THE LEGAL CONTEXT OF POLICING (FROM BRITISH POLICE, 1979, BY SIMON HOLDAWAY - SEE NCJ-66561)
Author(s): D J MCBARNET
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: BRITISH LEGAL PROCEDURE SUPPORTS AND FOSTERS POLICE ACTION TO THE DETRIMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING ARREST.
Abstract: SOCIOLOGISTS TEND TO ASSUME THAT POLICE ROUTINELY VIOLATE THE LAW AND CITIZEN'S CIVIL RIGHTS. THEY CLAIM THAT CIVIL RIGHTS WOULD BE PRESERVED IF POLICE WOULD FOLLOW EXISTING LAW. HOWEVER, THOSE MAKING POLICE POLICY CLAIM MUCH OF THE LAW ACTUALLY HINDERS LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SEEK TO WIDEN POLICE POWERS. ALTHOUGH ARREST IS THEORETICALLY PERMISSIBLE ONLY FOR A SPECIFIED OFFENSE AND WITH A SPECIFIC CHARGE, VARIOUS EXISTING LAWS (SUCH AS BREACH OF THE PEACE) AND COURT SUPPORT ALLOW POLICE TO MAKE ARRESTS ALMOST AT WILL; THE LAW DOES NOT ENCOURAGE CITIZENS TO STAND ON THEIR RIGHTS AGAINST ARBITRARY ARREST. FURTHER, SINCE COURT OFFICIALS TEND TO AUTOMATICALLY GIVE ARREST WARRANTS TO POLICE, THE SAFEGUARD OF WARRANTS IS EMPTY. MOREOVER, THE POOR OR HOMELESS ARE MORE OFTEN UNFAIRLY ARRESTED FOR TRIVIAL CAUSES AND DETAINED AFTER ARREST THAN RESPECTABLE CITIZENS. ARRESTING AND HOLDING PERSONS FOR TRIVIAL OFFENSES OR TO ENFORCE VAGUE LAWS ALSO GIVE POLICE WIDE POWERS TO ESTABLISH EVIDENCE FOR OTHER SUSPECTED OFFENSES OR TO INTERROGATE PERSONS UNTIL A CONFESSION IS FORCED. EXISTING LEGAL PROCEDURES ARE BIASED FOR PUBLIC INTEREST OVER PRIVATE INTEREST AND SUPPORT MANY QUESTIONABLE POLICE PRACTICES. BECAUSE LAWFUL ARREST AND DETENTION ARE DEFINED MORE BROADLY BY LEGAL PROCEDURE THAN THE PRINCIPLE OF LEGALITY SUGGESTS FURTHER RESEARCH IS NEEDED INTO THE RHETORIC AND PRACTICE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT TO CLARIFY FOR POLICE THE DUTIES THEY ARE EXPECTED TO PERFORM. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Arrest and apprehension; England; Judicial process; Police legal limitations; Post-arrest procedures; Pretrial procedures; Right to Due Process; Rights of the accused
Note: MODIFIED VERSION OF A PAPER FIRST GIVEN AT THE BRITISH SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE IN MARCH 1977 AS 'THE POLICE AND THE STATE - ARREST, LEGALITY AND THE LAW'
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66562

*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.