The year, 1984 saw the introduction of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, also known as the PACE codes. The PACE codes were an act of parliment, the introduction of these codes was to standardise and proffessionalise police work. It basically provides a core framework of police powers and safeguards around stop and search, arrest, detention, investigation, identification and interviewing suspects. Official dissatisfaction with the rules of the criminal process goes back to the mid 1960's when the Home Office asked the Crimial Law Revision Committee to look into the rules of evidence in criminal cases. After their ill fated 11th Report the Home Office shelved the issue until 1977 when the labour government announced that it was to set
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It was this discretion that disguised the disproportionate use of police power against the unpopular and powerless minorities also known as "Police Property". This discretion came from the law that was inplace during this era known as the "SUS" law, this was the informal name given to a stop-and-search law that permitted a police officer to act on suspicion, or 'sus', alone. This law was based upon the Vargency Act of 1824 which made it "illegal for a suspected person or reputed thief to frequent or loiter in a public place with intent to commit an arrestable offence" thus effectively allowed the police to stop and search and arrest anyone they choose, purely on the basis of using suspicion as a crime-prevention tactic. It was this disproportionate use of these stop and search powers against minority communities which led to a mixture of negative effects such as the publics willing support to help with investigations, their willingness to join the criminal justice system due to the way the police conveyed it worked, and contributes to the criminalisation of minority communities. Consequently this can lead to one of the sociological explainations for crime the labelling theory by howard becker.
It was the missuse of the "SUS" laws that lead to the breakout of the Brixton Riots. South London was an area of deep social and economic problems for examle a high unemployment rate, crime, poor housing, no changes in a