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The letter of the law? An enquiry into reasoning and formal enforcement in the industrial air pollution inspectorate

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This paper provides an empirical examination of the influences on decision-making by law enforcement agents in an independent regulatory organisation. A distinction is drawn between those external influences which relate to the qualitative aspects of unlawful behaviour in the regulated population and those internal ones which derive more from the structure, ideology, and objectives of the organisation. The paper emphsises the dynamic and contingent nature of the law enforcement process. It suggests that there are important issues raised when an area of general public concern, in this instance industrial our pollution, is subject to an essentially private regulatory strategy, albeit one which is sensitive and responsive to external scrutiny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1989

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