Zero tolerance policing: new authoritarianism or new liberalism?

Hopkins Burke, R.D., 2002. Zero tolerance policing: new authoritarianism or new liberalism? Nottingham Law Journal, 2 (1), pp. 20-35. ISSN 0965-0660

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The notion of “zero tolerance” policing has been widely discussed in the media in recent years and has received considerable support from politicians right across the political spectrum both in the USA and the UK. Proponents of this apparently “get-tough” crime control style of policing have used widespread public enthusiasm for such initiatives to justify their implementation. Opponents observe this policing style to be invariably targeted at poor and excluded members of society and part of a growing tendency towards authoritarianism in social policy. This paper proposes that simply dismissing public support for zero tolerance-style policing strategies as being part of a reactionary backlash against social reformist developments in policing - and wider society in general - fails to address some very legitimate public concerns about law and order. Indeed, it is the central proposition that such policing initiatives should be seen in the context of an emerging new conceptualisation of liberalism that promotes the notion of citizen responsibility in equal measure to the traditional demand for rights. The paper examines the socio-political circumstances in which different variants of zero tolerance-style policing has been introduced in the USA and the UK and the very different attempts to sustain that approach in both constituencies.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Nottingham Law Journal
Creators: Hopkins Burke, R.D.
Publisher: Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Law School
Place of Publication: Nottingham
Date: 2002
Volume: 2
Number: 1
ISSN: 0965-0660
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:40
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 14:35

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