Police decision making and the drunk

Exploring penalty notices for disorder

author Sara Grace
journal GERN (ISSN: )
volume 2013
issue 1. Crime, Violence, Justice and Social Order
section Article
publicatie datum 2 juillet 2013
langue English
pagina 111
keywords alcohol-related disorder, police decision making, night-time economy, penalty notices for disorder, police observation

Binge drinking accounts for half of all alcohol consumed in Britain, however, whilst there is much research about the policing of the night-time economy (NTE), there is little that considers the specific role of the police in dealing with alcohol-related disorder. This paper explores officers’ decisions to intervene and/or take formal action when faced with offending in the night-time economy, focusing particularly on the use (and non-use) of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) (police-issued fines). Drawing on fieldwork undertaken in one English city, this chapter presents the findings of a quantitative analysis of PND tickets, street-level police observations and a qualitative review of PND tickets. This paper provides an insight into the realities of policing alcohol-related offending and considers the influence of offence severity, offender intoxication and offender demeanour in police decision making, exploring how these factors interact with officers’ need to maintain control when policing the night-time economy.