Zero Tolerance Policing

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The past two decades have seen a shift in policing practices, in many countries policing has transformed from a reactive force into a proactive force (Fabricant, 2012; Lum, 2009). The shift from a reactive force to a proactive force occurred in response to the rising levels of crime which came with the development of the modern world (Fabricant, 2012). The establishment of the non-discretionary approach of zero-tolerance policing hoped to see a decrease in crimes committed and recidivism (Innes, 1999; Palmer, 2012). The somewhat fundamentally oppressive regime poses a plethora of benefits and negative outcomes, many of which are influenced by a variety of social factors (Burke, 1998). However, there is limited evidence supporting the effectiveness…show more content…
Zero tolerance policing (ZTP) is a style of non-discretionary policing which has been employed in some select jurisdictions of Australian society in order to maintain a high level of order within society (Grabosky, 1999). The term ‘Zero tolerance policing’ lacks a uniform definition, however it has been attributed to the crackdown on lower level crimes in order to prevent the occurrence of more serious ones (Marshall, 1999). This policing practice aims to reduce the pressure placed on police and create a consistent approach to the law by reducing their individual decision making (Palmer, 2012). During the initial inception of this concept, it was believed that ZTP could be responsible for shaping society into a place which boasted minimal criminal disruption and maximal safety of the individuals within the relevant communities (Bratton, et al., 1998). ZTP is a complex concept which has the potential to cause a range of positive and negative impacts on society (Dixon, 2000; Palmer, 2012). Literature suggests that the creation of a highly organised police culture has the ability to reduce crime, disorder and fear on a short term basis (Marshall, 1999). However, the potential benefits which ZTP can have can be overshadowed by the negatives which are attributed by this strategy of policing (Grabosky, 1999). A large amount of distrust between the community and the police force, the elevated cost and long-term disadvantages for individuals who have been arrested for minor offences (Grabosky,
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