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Controlling State Crime in the United Kingdom (From Varieties of State Crime and Its Control, P 11-30, 2000, Jeffrey Ian Ross, ed. -- See NCJ-186517)

NCJ Number
Jeffrey Ian Ross
Date Published
20 pages
Through the actions of police, national security agencies, and military branches, the United Kingdom has often been accused of committing State crimes both at home and abroad, and several traditional and innovative controls have been advocated to prevent illegal activities from occurring.
As a democratic country, the United Kingdom has several traditional mechanisms to keep State power in check and to monitor abuses and crimes government representatives and their agencies may commit against citizens. However, over the past 30 years, a period that corresponds to what some refer to as the post-industrial era, the legitimacy of State actions has increasingly been called into question. Perhaps the most important area of military state crime has been in the context of policing the Northern Ireland conflict. Military officials have also been accused of selling weapons and technology to countries with deficient human rights records. Nonetheless, the military is probably the most contained division of government due to its political culture, decreasing size, and continuing removal from formal political decisions and public debate. Difficulties are inherent in learning about State crimes committed by national security agencies, but security leaks, media articles, and revelations of former national security personnel paint a picture of a national security establishment that sometimes commits State crimes. Since the early 1960's, the United Kingdom has experienced many well-publicized police-citizen confrontations that resulted in police use of excessive force. Ways of controlling State crimes by the military, national security agencies, and the police are examined. 19 notes