What Is Police Discretion?


What Is Police Discretion?

Police Discretion: the freedom of judgment and choices given to police officers in specified circumstances in. accordance with their governing policies. Due to police discretion, police officers have a range of choices to make when faced with certain situations.

What is the term police discretion mean?

Defining discretion in Law Enforcement. Discretion refers to an official action that is taken by a criminal justice official i.e. police officer, lawyer or judge etc. in which they use their own individual judgment, to decide the best course of action.

What are examples of police discretion?

What are examples of police discretion?
  • whether to draw his weapon.
  • whether to make an arrest.
  • whether to issue a traffic ticket or other violation.
  • whether to shoot a gun.
  • whether to perform a search.
  • whether to stop and assist someone.

What is police discretion and when can it be used?

14.21 Police discretion is an important and necessary feature of our criminal justice system. When a police officer suspects that a person has committed an offence they will exercise judgement (or discretion) as to how best to proceed.

Why is police discretion needed?

Police discretion is a constant consideration within Police services. … This makes discretion an important and inevitable part of modern policing. Discretion also gives police the ability to take alternative action with some minor matters such as public disorder offences.

How can police discretion be controlled?

Confining discretion

In the criminal justice area, the main way in which discretion can be confined is by drafting techniques in connection with the legislation of substantive criminal law. An important source of discretion is the widely-framed or vaguely-defined offence.

How is police discretion monitored and evaluated?

Law enforcement behavior is monitored and evaluated by almost every citizen. It is often displayed through the media and sometimes lodged in perpetuity on the internet. … Officer discretion is a vague locution which baffles and frustrates many citizens when it comes to the application of laws and keeping order.

What does discretion mean in criminal justice?

Discretion is the means by which actors in the criminal justice system substitute their own judgment, interests, or objectives for formally specified statutory punishments in order to influence criminal justice outcomes.

What are the benefits and consequences of the use of police discretion?

The use of police discretion provides officers with the flexibility they require to perform their job adequately. It allows each person to interpret applicable laws and then act upon them based on the choices made in that moment.

What does discretion mean?

2 : the quality of having or showing discernment or good judgment : the quality of being discreet : circumspection especially : cautious reserve in speech. 3 : ability to make responsible decisions. 4 : the result of separating or distinguishing.

Why is discretion necessary?

Discretion offers checks and balances within the system. Our law is written very clearly as to what is a crime and its related consequence. However, the judge or jury have discretion as to the final verdict and outcome. This allows individual circumstances to be considered.

Is it possible to limit police discretion?

Police are authorized only to enforce the law; their use of discretion in other areas is not authorized, but the elimination of discretion is neither possible nor desirable. … What is required is an informal authority inherent in the police role rather than in individual officers and that can use coercion.

Do police have discretion not to prosecute?

Police and prosecutors in NSW have a large amount of discretionary power: they can choose whether or not charges can be dropped or reduced, and whether a case will proceed to a defended local court hearing. In any given situation police have a large amount of discretion to exercise their power.

Who has the right to discretion?

Constitutional provisions on the discretionary power of judges. Article 136, 139A & 142 of the Indian Constitution defines the discretionary powers which are conferred on the judges of the Supreme Court.

How much discretion should police officers have?

Unlike the enforcement of laws, police officers have zero discretion in following their department policies. The state or county’s arraignment process and bond system accounts for the overnight stay in jail, not the officer. Police officers are allowed discretion, in part, because not allowing it would be unworkable.

Why is discretion important in criminal justice?

Studies in this literature generally hypothesize that discretion plays one of two roles: either it serves as the means by which changing broad social norms against crime causes changes in sentencing patterns, or it serves as the means by which internal social norms of the criminal justice system prevent the …

What are the factors that influence police discretion?

Terms in this set (6)
  • Five Factors of police discretion. nature of crime. …
  • nature of crime. the less serious crime to public, more freedom officers have to ignore it.
  • relationship between criminal/victim. …
  • relationship between police and criminal/victim. …
  • race/ethnicity, age, gender, class. …
  • departmental policy.

Why is discretion viewed as an essential feature of policing?

Discretion increases as one moves down the policing organizational hierarchy. Because patrol officers are the lowest-ranking employees, they make the decisions that produce actual police policy as it affects citizens. Through their discretion, police officers are the gatekeepers of the criminal justice system.

What are the ingredients of discretion?

Discretion is your judgement based on Policy, Procedure, Training, Education, Experience, and Totality of the Circumstance.

Which of the following should have the greatest influence on a police officer’s use of discretion?

Suspect demeanor is one of the most important influences on officer discretion. Research shows that problem behavior among the police is widespread, with a large percentage of officers engaging in violence and aggression.

What is a discretion in court?

Discretion is the power of officials to act according to the dictates of their own judgment and conscience. Discretion is abused when the judicial action is arbitrary, fanciful, or unreasonable. If the plaintiff or the defendant thinks that the trial court judge has abused the discretion, the party can appeal the case.

What is a discretion in law?

the authority to decide. Courts, judges, and legal scholars often use the. term discretion in this sense, referring simply to authority to decide, or. unconstrained choice.

What is police discretion cons?

A concern with police discretion is the doubts of the proper use of discretion. Some Cons of discretion were community distrust, police using their own beliefs and views to determine what’s serious and not, and leniencies for one person versus another, consistency.

What is police discretion How does the practice of discretion by today’s officers reflect on their departments and on the policing profession as a whole?

The practice of discretion by today’s officers affect their departments and the policing profession by the police make policy about what law to enforce, how much to enforce it, against whom, and on what occasions.

What are examples of discretion?

Discretion is defined as the right of someone to make choices or the quality of someone who is careful about what they do or say. An example of discretion is the ability of a juror to determine a verdict. An example of discretion is not talking about politics at family dinners.

What does professional discretion mean?

Professional discretion means the company expects them to be able to source and evaluate the information necessary to decide on a specific course of action. The company also expects them to be able to take the decision that they feel is the right one, which is called acting according to their discretion.

How do you use discretion?

Discretion sentence example
  1. The boss, at his/her discretion , may rotate the crew. …
  2. It will be at the discretion of the moderators. …
  3. In exceptional circumstances then this rule may be waived at the admin’s discretion .

What is the relationship between police discretion and police ethics?

Officers’ personal ethics are important, too. Police discretion means the police have freedom to decide what should be done in any particular policing situation. Discretion must be used to produce fair and just results. Any perception of discrimination or unfair treatment will result in a lack of police integrity.

How does discretion work in criminal justice system?

Discretion is the latitude granted officials to act under a formal set of rules and in a public capacity. The rules themselves are usually the result of discretion by other actors in the criminal justice system, such as the legislature, which has created the criminal code for the jurisdiction.

What is police discretion how do the police abuse it?

In the context of policing, discretion means that officers are given some leeway on which they can rely as they make choices that impact the people they are policing. … It is also not advisable for officers to do so. This means they must decide whether the person breaking the law is posing some threat to public safety.

Why is discretion such an important concern?

The use of discretion allows the police officer the flexibility necessary to perform his job. It also allows the police officer to quickly interpret the applicable statutory law and then act upon the determination. … For instance, the officer could misinterpret a statute and make an erroneous arrest.

What is discretionary decision making?

Discretionary decision means a decision requiring the exercise of judgment, with or without deliberation, on the part of the decision-making authority in the process of approving or disapproving a particular activity, as distinguished from situations where the decision-making authority merely has to determine whether …

How do you tell if police are investigating you?

Signs of Being Under Investigation
  1. The police call you or come to your home. …
  2. The police contact your relatives, friends, romantic partners, or co-workers. …
  3. You notice police vehicles or unmarked cars near your home or business. …
  4. You receive friend or connection requests on social media.

Can the police charge you if the victim doesn t?

The short answer is, yes, the police can make arrest you and refer the matter to the state for charges despite the alleged victim’s wishes. …

What is the function of discretion?

Discretion exists when the decision maker has the power to make a choice about whether to act or not act, to approve or not approve, or to approve with conditions. The role of the decision maker is to make a judgement taking into account all relevant information.

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