The usual suspects and usual spaces? People and place in complaints about Irish police

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Title: The usual suspects and usual spaces? People and place in complaints about Irish police
Authors: Moss, Brian
Advisor: Mulcahy, Aogán
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Date: 2016
Abstract: Research literature suggests that deviance is a feature of agencies and their agents, tends to be hidden, generally passes unpunished and consequently re-occurs. Taking the particular case of police deviance, this paper seeks to explain how police deviance is reported and treated in the Irish context. Noting the absence of a general theory of complaining in existing research studies, the paper also examines whether geographic area attributes can be isolated as a determining factor in complaint emergence and processing. The spur for this is the long-standing association between areas marked by deprivation and high crime and intensive policing practice. To that end, principal use is made of Shaw and McKay’s theory of social disorganisation. Drawing on survey, documentary analysis and GIS mapping techniques, it is found that among those grievances formalised as complaints, proven police deviance is a minor feature in Ireland, it is largely dealt with at the lowest level and is more likely to be confirmed by the police themselves than by the overseer. As to complainants, the Irish police complaint load is not dominated by the most resource deficient individuals but their presence is higher than expected. The most resource deficient complainants also tend not to fare any worse than others in the complaint process. Finally, while perpetrator and place have been well documented in research to date about crime, they have been overlooked in examination of police complaints. Addressing this it is found that while largely about policing within complainants’ local station areas, complaints do not emerge mostly from nor do they occur mostly in complainants’ immediate environs or in areas of greatest resource deficiency.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Sociology
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2016 the author
Keywords: DisorganisationLocationOversightPoliceVoice
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Sociology Theses

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