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Title: Policy change and the street level policing of children and young people in a Home Counties police force
Author: Mortimore, Judith Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 2545
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2011
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New Labour's youth justice legislation and the "Every Child Matters" programme contained contradictory imperatives. This research examines how Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in a community policing setting operationalised those imperatives in order to reach decisions when dealing with children and young people. The review of literature focusses firstly on New Labour policy relating to children and young people, and secondly describes previous research into the practice of policing juveniles, the resilience of police culture and the key factors identified relating to police officer decision making. No recent British research in this area was located. Four overlapping hypotheses were identified, which were: officers will be more responsive to the "Every Child Matters" policy imperatives; officers will be more responsive to the criminal justice imperatives; managerialism will trump both sets of policy imperatives because it is in the officer‟s interests to respond to the demands of management; and both sets of policy imperatives and managerialism notwithstanding, officers will resort to "common sense" responses informed by their own lay criminologies, scales of values, police culture, and police "practice wisdom". These hypotheses were tested using quantitative and qualitative data from 198 self-reporting postal questionnaires and eight follow-up interviews. The research population comprised Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers engaged in Neighbourhood Policing. The research found that the majority of officers operated according to their own lay methodologies (hypothesis four) within the constraints of managerialism (hypothesis three), which led to officers and PCSOs taking actions which they did not always believe to be the most appropriate. Additionally, ambiguities in the legislation and lack of guidance led to the space for the exercise of officer discretion expanding when they were dealing with children and young people, whilst at the same time there was a lack of training on how they should best engage with this age group.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: M110 UK Legal Systems