These deal with much less serious crimes (you can sit and watch trials that go on here at the age of 16). The magistrates in these courts are volunteers and have the power to send someone to prison for a maximum of 6 months and to give a fine of up to £5000
These are the courts that deal with the much more serious crimes. The judge is assisted by a jury of 12 people made up of members of the public. It is the jury who decide's if the accused is guilty or innocent and the judge who chooses their sentence.
It is the police's job is to enforce the law.
The police have to consider public relations and the style of policing that they adopt, these are the two types of policing used:
- Community policing requires the police to make links with the local community and is good for when they have to deal with ethnic minorities.
- Zero tolerance policing is much harsher (began in New York) and sees the police being hash on even the smallest crimes and is very successful in making people feel safer in dangerous ares.
These are records of the crime that has been commited.
There are issues with the accuracy of crime statistics
- Cuffing - where the police delibratley hide crime
- Chivalry thesis - women are likely to get away with crime by flirting
- Dark figure of crime (iceberg theory) - The idea that only a small amount of crime is recorded and the rest is hidden
- Some police may record two seprate crimes as one if they are linked.
Functionalists - They believe crime statistics give a true representation of crime.
Marxists - They believe that the police focus more on blue collar crime and street crime and hide white collar crime to support the bourgeoisie (the rich) and keep them in power.