|Title||Crime and disorder|
This thesis investigates growing use of civil and public law orders as tools of crime control by crime prevention partnerships. This development has been little explored in criminology. The proliferation of crime prevention partnerships is viewed by many criminologists as forming part of a bifurcation in criminal policy between serious crime and anti-social behaviour, in which the 'enforcement approach' of the criminal justice system is being focused upon the former and a non-legal 'partnership
approach' advanced for the control of the latter. It is argued that the 'partnership approach' runs a risk of becoming an extension of and not an alternative to the
'enforcement approach' of the criminal justice system. In investigating this risk, it is intended that this thesis should contribute to criminology in two ways. The first contribution is an investigation of the theoretical potential for the local to become a site of authoritarian crime control. The second is an investigation of the extent this potential is being realised in England and Wales.
Empirical research centred on the development of crime prevention strategies in
implementing the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Fieldwork focused on the
development of metropolitan borough s trategies in twenty-one London boroughs, and a police sector and two social housing estate strategies in the borough of Westminster. Resort to civil and publicilaw orders was found to be significant to the approach taken by the majority of London boroughs studied, including Westminster. One of the estate strategies at Westminster was found to be as authoritarian as the borough strategy, but the other estate strategy and the police sector strategy were not. Punitive views were not encountered among local practitioners on any of the three sites. Punitive views were encountered among local residents on the police sector, but not on either of the estates. Once the peculiarities of the institutions and areas studied were taken into account, it was concluded that there is a significant risk that crime prevention partnerships will take an authoritarian approach to crime control unless they are located in areas where there is a strong sense of geographical community, and their policies are shaped by local practitioners and local residents.