Title

The Functions of Criminal Law in Riot Control

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

9-1986

Abstract

Determining the points at which group behavior moves from legitimate activity into an unruly mob and finally into a criminal riot is difficult. In addition, labeling behavior as a 'riot' can influence the course of events. Police intervention may extend and intensify a riot. Crowd behavior and decisions regarding police responses to it reflect political and social factors. Use of the criminal justice process to control collective behavior has a long history. However, crowd control often now represents the institutionalization of confrontation between police and the working class use of public space for recreational and political purposes. The use of the criminal justice process to deal with riots is problematic because the fact criminalization focuses on individual behavior, whereas a riot represents collective behavior. Policing a riot involves crowd control, but the result of this policing is the identification of individual offenses and offenders. Thus, using the police and courts to deal with collective behavior involves basic contradictions and is often inappropriate.

Keywords

Riot control, Civil disorders, Crowd behavior, Crowd control, Riot patterns, Mass arrest procedures, Participant identification, Special events policing, Australia

Discipline

Criminal Law | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance

Research Areas

Law, Society and Governance

Publication

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology

Volume

19

Issue

3

First Page

163

Last Page

178

ISSN

0004-8658

Identifier

10.1177/000486588601900304

Publisher

SAGE Publications (UK and US) / Australian Academic Press

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1177/000486588601900304

Comments

{50% contribution}

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