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Journal Article

Coercion and Accommodation: Policing Public Order after the Public Order Act

P. A. J. Waddington
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 45, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 367-385
DOI: 10.2307/591654
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/591654
Page Count: 19
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Coercion and Accommodation: Policing Public Order after the Public Order Act
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Abstract

The policing of the anti-poll tax campaign allows an insight into how protest is incorporated. Protestors were both accommodated and coerced as police sought to balance various threats of 'trouble'. Concessions and overt assistance were offered as a means of 'winning over' the protest organizers, whilst legal conditions were imposed to ensure that any threat of disorder was contained. This analysis suggests that notions of an ubridled shift towards a more confrontational style of policing in the wake of the Public Order Act are unfounded. It illustrates the relationship between institutional and interactional social processes, for institutional considerations limit the police's room for manoeuvre, whilst low-level decisions by police officers themselves have implications for those institutions.

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