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Swift, simple, effective justice? Examining the use and impact of penalty notices for disorder

Grace, Sara (2014) Swift, simple, effective justice? Examining the use and impact of penalty notices for disorder. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the use and impact of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs). Introduced under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, these police-issued fines (of £60 or £90) have become part of the mainstay of the criminal justice system. Over 1.25 million PNDs have been issued, yet despite their widespread application, little is known about their use. The overarching aim of this research is therefore to shed light on this under-researched police power and examine how PNDs are used (in what circumstances and against whom). The organising structure for the research derives from an inductive analysis of the relevant parliamentary debates, consultation papers and White Papers on PNDs. This provides a thematic framework (detailing the aims of, and the concerns regarding, PNDs) to assess the use and impact of this power. The empirical research adopted a mixed-methods approach. Police observations and an analysis of PND tickets explored how PNDs were used in practice in one police force whereas surveys and interviews with PND recipients examined their perceptions and experiences of this power. The findings confirm concerns that PNDs disproportionately impact upon certain groups and offer the potential for police officers to punish people who challenge their authority. This questions the legitimacy of this power. The findings also question the adequacy of the defence that recipients’ rights are protected by their retention of the right to request a trial. A ‘right’ many view as an ineffective means to challenge (what they often saw as officers’ unfair) decisions to issue them with a PND. This research provides a much-needed insight into the use of PNDs that is of value to the police, policy makers and academics. The thesis concludes by proposing amendments to the PND system to address some of the concerns raised by this power, and indeed by this research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Policing, on-the-spot fines, penalty notice for disorder, summary justice.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Law (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.595284
Depositing User: Sara Grace
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2014 13:38
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:04
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5648

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