Discretion and Enforcement Activities

Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


This chapter critically analyses how discretionary practices affect the outcomes of occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators’ and officers’ activities in Britain and Italy, and how these can lead to the under-criminalisation of these crimes. It analyses how discretion affects active enforcement planning processes. This is important because targeting decisions influence the level of criminalisation of duty holders. It analyses the issues faced by enforcement officers when they are empowered to both enforce the law with deterrence-driven policies and compliance-driven ones. The compliance-driven enforcement traditions of the institutions in both jurisdictions create conflicts between the officers’ willingness to achieve compliance and the requirements of the legal system to achieve justice. Finally, it analyses how on-the-spot penalties and enforcement charges consist of an economical and effective strategy to achieve compliance and justice.


Occupational health and safety practices Enforcement targeting Proactive enforcement policies Enforcement strategies On-the-spot penalties Fee for intervention FFI Britain Italy Harm 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesUniversity of RoehamptonLondonUK

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