This chapter charts some of the major developments in modern British society against which changes in criminal justice policy should be seen: the emergence of a culture of control amidst economic, technological, and social changes; the politicisation of law and order and the democratisation of criminal justice; the development of a risk society; and the emerging dominance of managerialism. It then discusses the notion of the ‘Big Society’ and considers its impact on criminal justice policy. The final section outlines some events that have driven changes in the direction of criminal justice policy.
Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki
The concluding chapter pulls together the implications of the earlier chapters of this book for an assessment of where policing is heading, and what is to be done to achieve greater effectiveness, fairness, and justice. It seeks to answer eight specific questions: What is policing? Who does it? What do police do? What are police powers? What social functions do they achieve? How does policing impact on different groups? By whom are the police themselves policed? How can policing practices be understood? It considers technological, cultural, social, political, economic changes and their implications for crime, order, and policing. It also examines the multifaceted reorientation of police thinking, especially shifts in the theory and practice of policing in the 1990s that included the rhetoric of consumerism. The chapter considers the limits of police reform and the implications of neo-liberalism for the police before concluding with a call for policing based on the principles of social democracy.