Zero Tolerance Policing Essay

2060 Words Dec 3rd, 2005 9 Pages
Crime rates and particularly the rates of violent and gun related crimes are rising in most rich countries. Targets for blame include higher drug use, higher inequality and greater availability of weapons. While Liberal politics tends to favor rehabilitation and structural improvement to combat crime the right wing has always seen criminality as a rational choice that can be combated by deterrence. Zero Tolerance policing aims to stop serious crime by clamping down on the minor crimes like graffiti that the practitioners believe lead to further crimes and using custodial sentences for first offences. It includes set responses to particular crimes by the police although the courts maintain some discretion. Zero Tolerance is not necessarily …show more content…
Zero tolerance policing is often seen to lead to the return of public transport to deprived areas because it can be protected (Ayers, page 65)
• We can afford zero tolerance. Protecting businesses and creating a reputation for low crime and sound policing attracts inward investment and immigration both to a country as a whole and to individual areas. The cost to a country of theft and vandalism per year is a significant chunk of Gross Domestic Product. Deterrence reduces the number of crimes that police are forced to investigate and although prisons are expensive the reduction in recidivism should start to empty them in time. The most important question is whether we believe it is worth spending a percentage of our tax dollars to guarantee our safety. Most electors in most countries say this is not just worthwhile but their spending priority (Ayers, page 68).
On the contrary however, there are several cons argued against Zero Tolerance Policing. Some of those can be listed as:
• Minor offenders, gang members, and the poor are extremely unlikely to be aware of the punishments for the crimes which they commit so deterrence doesn't have much effect there. Many crimes are a product of necessity (through poverty and drugs) and therefore can be reduced only by structural changes to the society, not by threatening punishment. The idea of a

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