'Well-kent faces': policing persistent offenders and the possibilities for desistance

Schinkel, M. , Atkinson, C. and Anderson, S. (2019) 'Well-kent faces': policing persistent offenders and the possibilities for desistance. British Journal of Criminology, 59(3), pp. 634-652. (doi: 10.1093/bjc/azy050)

170468.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



This article focuses on the policing of adult persistent offenders and its implications for desistance. It integrates the findings from two qualitative studies undertaken in Scotland on the experiences of those considered ‘persistent offenders’ and the police. The article’s contribution lies in its close analysis of how adult persistent offenders and the police interact, examining factors before, during and after their encounter. We show that the police’s enforcement focus is a significant obstacle to desistance, especially as enacted through intelligence-led policing and the lack of positive discretion towards ‘well-kent faces’. However, we also note that frustration with this approach is emerging within Scottish policing and argue for a relatively modest re-orientation of police practice towards a recognition of signals of desistance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schinkel, Dr Marguerite
Authors: Schinkel, M., Atkinson, C., and Anderson, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:British Journal of Criminology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1464-3529
Published Online:30 October 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Journal of Criminology 59(3): 634-652
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
619601Lives sentenced: the punishment careers of persistent offendersMarguerite Lucile SchinkelEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K009389/1SPS - SOCIOLOGY
591547ESRC Doctoral Training Centre 2011...Mary Beth KneafseyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/J500136/1VPO VICE PRINCIPAL RESEARCH & ENTERPRISE