Police Discretion

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This essay aims to examine the exercise of discretion in Britain in relation to policing, and why the abuse of the discretionary power may result in dangerous to the society or citizens. Before moving on to examination, it is first necessary to consider what could reasonably meant by police discretion, what factors may taken into account when using it and why it is an inevitable tool for police to intervene in or handle a particular situation. After considering possible reasons why discretion is central to policing, the essay will then look at what kind of dangerous may occurred when police are given too much discretion, particularly discuss it with the police power: stop and search, and arrest. At the end this essay will try to find out possible…show more content…
It is difficult for the police just simply follow the laws in every single situation that they face to avoid using too much or fully control discretion. In practice, discretion cannot be eliminated, as it is needed for the purpose of fair in different circumstance and compatible with the society. Yet, dangerous associated with discretion need some controlling measures or mechanism, such as establish new policies or procedures, to put reasonable restraints or provide a clearer guideline to the use of police discretion when working, because it is unavoidable that officers use their personal judgments or decisions in discretion, and as we have discussed above, these personal views can be greatly affected by many elements, such as their background or educational level. There could also be more formal training to improve their skill of making discretionary decision so problems or dangerous result from overuse of discretion may be reduced. In conclusion, police discretion benefits the general law enforcement’s work and function in supporting and maintaining the growth of the community, as it can provide efficient way to make decision and allow officers to be more responsive to the needs and changes of the environments in the society. The police could also deal with marginal cases so as to best meet immediate needs of that circumstance when there is some vagueness in law. The benefit from the use of discretion in policing exists as long as it does not become overused or uncontrolled. However, the overused of discretion is likely to result in the violation of significant individual rights protected by the Human Right Act 1998, great influence to the criminal justice system which may lead to injustice, and the relationship between the society and the police is thus

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