Police and Crime Commissioners in the United Kingdom: A Compelling Case for Enhancing Public Participation in Crime Control Institutions?
Affiliation: University of Oxford
Keywords: Criminal Justice, Police and Crime Commissioners, Legitimacy, Accountability, Crime Control, Law, Politics, United Kingdom, Public Participation
Categories: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
The phenomenon of crime is as ancient as organized society. Crime control has traditionally been a state responsibility, managed by experts, with the public playing no substantive role. The state’s mechanism of coercive force in tackling crime derives from their mandate from the people, and the lack of public participation has caused a gradual erosion of legitimacy. This has led to criticisms of crime control institutions on accountability and effectiveness. The United Kingdom’s development of the post of Police and Crime Commissioner as a model for public participation has been seen as a step towards increased transparency but has suffered similar criticisms. This article looks at whether the case for enhanced public participation is compelling and whether the United Kingdom’s attempt towards public participation works. INSTITUTION: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford.