Space, place and policing in Scotland's night-time economy

  • Neil Davidson

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    There is a growing political discourse in Scotland acknowledging alcohol to be a significant contributor to crime. A significant portion of this is directly related to the evening and night-time drinking based leisure industry i.e. the night-time economy (NTE). The NTE is often characterised by violent and disorderly behaviour concentrated in and around pubs and nightclubs (‘hotspots’) on weekend nights presenting considerable public health, criminal justice and urban management issues. Recently the political rhetoric has been backed up by new legislation in an attempt to counterbalance what was previously a market-driven economy. There now exists various crime reduction partnerships and situational crime prevention technologies to restrict and control certain behaviours and the presence and movements of persons and groups. This research project has specifically focussed on the role of police in this rapidly changing regulatory NTE context. Combining data gathered from participant observation sessions with front-line police and in-depth interviews with multiple NTE stakeholders in a multi-site comparison study across Scotland, this research project provides a robust evidential base from which to analyse and interpret policing of the NTE at the national and local scales using various conceptual frameworks of contemporary policing in western societies. What my findings have shown is that front-line officers have adapted their police work in order to suit the specific context within which they are operating. I have termed this specific variation on traditional understandings of ‘cop culture’ as being the ‘street craft of policing the NTE’. Furthermore, while this street craft was evident across all three case study areas, the extremely tangled and convoluted nature of local security provision at the local scale necessitates that front-line officers adapt this street craft to meet the local specificities of their respective NTEs.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorNicholas Fyfe (Supervisor) & Martin Elvins (Supervisor)


    • Police
    • Policing
    • Night-time economy
    • Alcohol
    • Normative Orders of Police Work

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