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The 'death' of Dixon?: policing gun crime and the end of the generalist police constable in England and Wales

Roberts, Colin ORCID: and Innes, Martin ORCID: 2009. The 'death' of Dixon?: policing gun crime and the end of the generalist police constable in England and Wales. Criminology and Criminal Justice 9 (3) , pp. 337-357. 10.1177/1748895809336383

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Informed by qualitative data from a study of formal and informal social control responses to gun crime in Lambeth, South London, this article seeks to map the contours of some of the key aspects of the policing of firearms offending in England and Wales. It is proposed that policing responses can be distinguished between a `preventative' disposition in areas where gun-related offending is rare, and a pragmatic `manage and suppress' reaction that is implemented in the small number of areas of the country where gun crime is comparatively more common. Focusing in particular upon the work of Operation Trident in London, the discussion seeks to identify some of the complex social forces at work within communities where gun violence is comparatively prevalent and how police seek to engage with such situations. This focus is utilized to construct an argument about a broader and deeper nascent trend in British policing that is exemplified by the response to gun crime. It is suggested that key components of the police function are increasingly being cast as requiring specialist expertise and skills if they are to be performed effectively. As such, the internal social organization of policing is coming to be organized around an increasingly complex architecture and division of labour.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: gun violence; informal social control; Operation Trident; policing
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 1748-8958
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 08:50

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