What do Police Do and How Effective are They

Length: 8 Pages 2037 Words

What do police do and how effective are they? The police force constitutes a very influential and active part of the criminal justice system and social cohesion as a whole. In any common law country, they stand as the “most visible and critically viewed component of the criminal justice system.” In order to address the question at hand and fully examine the role and effectiveness of the police force, we must look at two factors. Firstly, examine the face, which the police represent – that is their styles, philosophies, ethics, attitudes and conduct. And secondly, examine their performance – their roles, practices, duties and achievements. This essay will attempt to address various aspects of policing, both traditional and modern day policing, thus including community policing, women in policing and police powers and accountability. There are many facets to the roles and functions of policing, for example whether or not they stand as a force or service, this essay will explore some of these, and ultimately the police forces detrimental and imperative impact on any democratic society. To fully understand the question at hand, it is necessary, that we firstly address the history of policing. The history of po Continue...


" The pro-active approach of community based policing differs from traditional as "it allows officers freedom to expand their jobs" whilst "requires police officers to learn a host of new skills. These include issues such as technological innovations, specialist groups, population, but most importantly its name change - changing from force to service. One of the most notable factors raised when evaluating modern day policing, is whether the police stand as a force or service. " Traditional policing primary role is a broad aspect relating to crime fighting, whilst community policing seeks to keep the peace. This includes such things as "detection, investigation, apprehension and prosecution of offenders. Examples of this are "surveillance of public order and intervention and monitoring of specific group"tms in particular locations. Another important aspect of modern day policing is women in policing, also the first appointed woman Chief Commissioner (Christine Nixon) in Australia. There are mechanisms involved in police accountability such as, internal investigation units within police departments, Ministerial and Departmental Review and Special Enquires such as the Royal Commission. "When anybody has the freedom to exercise discretion in such matters to public administration, it is quite possible that impartial and objective judgement may fall. " Yet "most of us " are disturbed to see police wearing riot gear and using batons at demonstrations. Despite gender roles and philosophies having had significant impacts on modern day policing, there are also other factors, which contribute to the evolution of policing. However how effective are they There are many inadequacies with the mechanisms that the police are accountable to. For the purpose of this essay however, I will make most reference to the history and functions of Victoria Police. Policing in Australia has emerged from traditional philosophies, to a face of policing that is "inextricably linked with leadership. " However within any modern society, "prevention is better than cure" , thus any police force which employees community policing will "generate confidence, goodwill and good practices" , ultimately making them successful.