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This programme follows directly from the previous programme, Public Order 1. Whereas the first programme was a case-study of the use of discretion in the administration of the law, this programme c...onsiders in rather more general terms some of the issues that were raised. It considers to what extent discretion is controlled, who the decision-makers are and what situational and training factors influence their decisions. These points are discussed by Dr Richard Sparks of the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge. Inserts from the first programme are used to illustrate various points. The programme is introduced by Dr Barber of the Open University.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D203, Decision making in Britain
Item code: D203; 04
First transmission date: 27-02-1972
Published: 1972
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:30
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Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributors: James Barber; Richard Sparks
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Discretion is controlled; Training factors
Footage description: James Barber recapitulates on the preceding programme and introduces Richard Sparks. Richard Sparks outlines the intentions of the programme. Sparks describes the areas of discretion which are open to the police in the prosecution of juveniles. Sparks now discusses the guidelines which exist in various police forces to act as criteria of decision in these areas of discretion. Sergeant King from the first programme is quoted. Sparks introduces a staged discussion between Miss Cowcher and Sergeant King to illustrate other factors to be taken into account when reaching a decision as to whether to take to court or not. Sparks introduces Miss Cowcher's lengthy reply to a question on these 'other factors' which would be taken into account. Sparks describes how the idea of justice is applied in areas of discretion as a criterion at all stages of the proceedings. Mrs Martell and Mr Kemp Small talk on this subject, individually. Sparks goes on to the analysis of the nature of the organisation within which a discretionary decision is made. For the purposes of the programme concentration will be placed upon the police. An animated diagram shows the hierarchy of the police. Chief Inspector Hodson outlines the duties of his Juvenile Liaison department of which Sergeant King is a member. Sparks considers the training given to Juvenile Liaison Officers or their equivalents in other police forces. Sergeant King describes his view of his role as such as officer. This leads on to the consideration of factors by which the lower hierarchy officers arrive at a discretionary judgement, their criteria, etc. Sparks now considers briefly some of the consequences of this complicated network of decision-making. A graph shows the wide variation throughout the country in the use by the police of the caution given to first offenders (juvenile), and a map shows the distribution of the police forces pre-1966 and post-1966. James Barber sums up and closes the programme. Credits.
Master spool number: 6HT/70297
Production number: 00521_2208
Videofinder number: 3398
Available to public: no