Advantages and disadvantages of police discretion

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There are a number of advantages and disadvantages involved in the current system that provides the police with a wide discretion to issue a warning, PND or to arrest the suspects. This paper will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the use of discretion.

Discretion gives the police the ability of taking alternative action when it comes to minor matters like public disorder offences. When the police look at the circumstances, which surround the offences, discretion should be considered in these cases. This will allow police officers to humanely treat people. Through this they also give the people a second chance and results in the improvement of the perception of the public of the police. If all the police were to follow all the laws, the society will see them as unfair and result to them being rejected.

Discretion in the police department promotes goals, which are realistic. The police are presented with situations that are unique on the ground. The situations require the police to make personal judgments depending on the existing situation. This will also bring autonomy because the society and police will not be enslaved by the rules, which are written.  Through discretion, the police will have job satisfaction because of being allowed to exercise some powers.

One of the disadvantages of discretion is that the police can lie in the abuse of the advantages they have when it comes to exercising power discretion. This is at times seen as a potential tool for abuse and may result to death or injury. The choice of a police may be influenced by factors, which are personal when making a decision.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Dai M, The Ways That Police Deal With People (Edwin Mellen Press 2010).
  2. Kargin V, Peer Reporting Of Unethical Police Behavior (LFB Scholarly Pub 2011).
  3. Parker A and Sarre R, ‘Policing Young Offenders: What Role Discretion?’ (2008) 10 International Journal of Police Science & Management.
  4. Schulenberg J and Warren D, ‘Police Discretion With Apprehended Youth: Assessing The Impact Of Juvenile Specialization’ (2009) 10 Police Practice and Research.
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