Heightened crime rates across Europe have led to increased workloads for police, prosecution and courts systems and resources have not risen in line. Each country has coped with this mismatch of workload and resources in its own way and in most cases the practices and powers of each of the agencies involved have needed to be changed as a reaction to this. This book describes the results of a six-nation study of how criminal justice agencies in England and Wales, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden have reacted to high crime rates and punitiveness. It shows how various solutions have been found, involving diversion of cases from courts, increases in financial penalties imposed by police or prosecutors without full court hearings and the introduction in some countries of 'administrative offences'. The book reveals the fast-moving and far reaching changes that are now in process involving wide-scale changes to the way justice is being delivered throughout the EU.

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