Lecture 4 Criminology CRCJ 1000-C
INTRODUCTION TO POLICING STUDIES
History of policing in Canada; NWMP; Quebec Police Force; Newfoundland Constabulary;Anglo-
American policing tradition; Racial profiling and “street checks”; Legal and political issues with
I. Forcese, Dennis (1999). “Origins and Comparisons” in Policing Canadian Society, Pp. 11-39.
II. Morton, Howard (2015). “Investigative Detention and Street checks” in Putting the State on Trial, edited
by Margaret Beare, Nathalie Des Rosiers, andAbigail Deshman, Pp. 168 – 197.
III. Ontario (2016). Reg. 58/16: Collection of Identifying Information in Certain Circumstances - Prohibition
and Duties. Online: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r16058?_ga=1.261110029.1238231610.1
• Modern Policing; a definition • Transformation and Expansion of Police Work
• Origins & Evolution of Police Work in Canada • Research on Police Culture
• Five contributing historical forces • Investigative Detention and Street Checks
1. The nightwatch • What is Investigative Detention
2. Urbanization and the British urban • What are street checks
policing • Ethical / Legal concerns re: street checks
3. British policing of Ireland • Ontario’s new (draft) carding regulations
4. The frontier
5. American policing styles and
MODERN POLICING: A DEFINITION
• Egon Bittner: Policing as “non-negotiated solutions backed up by the potential use of force.”
• in ‘Aspects of Police Work’(1990); see also ‘Functions of Police in modern society’(1970).
• Tasked w/ monopoly of force
• Police studies; broad field. Use of mix-methods; archival, interviews, official crime stats, textual /
document analysis (especially reports / data explosion); ethnographies.
• Etymology: polis (greek).
• Non-negotiating solutions (police work)
THE ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF POLICE WORK IN CANADA
• Forcese:As a British colony and a neighbour of the United States, inevitably both these nations helped
shape practices and institutions of Canadian policing. In a general sense, we can identify a blend of the
administrative control achieved over policing by the British, and the more forceful and technology-driven
policing of the United States.
• Contributing historical forces:
1. The nightwatch
2. Urbanization and the British urban policing
3. British policing of Ireland
4. The frontier
5. American policing styles and technologies. Lecture 4 Criminology CRCJ 1000-C
MIDTERM QUESTION: Describe the historical forces
1. The Nightwatch
• UK, feudal societies.
• Defensive systems to protect civilian populations.
• Multiple forms of organization. But often a reflection of community self-organization, not necessarily
codified by large, bureaucratic systems of rules and laws.
• Specific designated authorities with some responsibilities and powers.
2. Urban, modern police forces and the legacy of Robert Peel
• Associated with Robert Peel
In 1829 the Metropolitan PoliceAct was enacted, establishing a full-time, unarmed police force of one
thousand men in London
• The public and many politicians were concerned about the power that would be vested in a formal police
force, and when Peel finally won acceptance of his police plan for London, he was denounced as a
• Recruits were mostly working class to mitigate concerns; established a strict code of conduct for officers
(e.g. the Pelican Principles).
First public police force
• Universal between upper-class and lower-class. There was conflict with the police force. The legislation
form this guardianship for the police.
• The Principles of Sir Robert Peel:
a) The basic missions of the police is to prevent crime and disorder.
b) The ability of the police to perform there duties depends upon public approval of their actions.
c) Police must secure the cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law in order to
secure and maintain the respect of the public.
d) The degree of public cooperation with police diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use
of physical force.
e) Police maintain public favour by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service, not by
catering to public opinion.
f) Police should use physical force only to the extend necessary to ensure compliance with the law or
to restore order only after persuasion, advice and warnings are insufficient.
g) Police should maintain a relationship with the public that is based on the fact that the police are the
public and the public are the police.
h) Police should direct their actions toward their functions and not appear to usurp the powers of the
i) The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder.
• The Development of Policing in Canada
- Primarily military that did ‘police work’in colonial Canada.
- Toronto created a police department in 1835;
- Quebec city and Montreal followed suit in 1838 and 1840.
- The Police of CanadaAct (1868) created the Dominion Police, and the NWMP began in 1873.
- NWMP became the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 1920
- Provinces and municipalities established police forces over time.
- Police forces begin to professionalize in urban areas as early as the beginning of the 19th century. Lecture 4 Criminology CRCJ 1000-C
- Police forces pre-existed but were not permanently staffed. Had power/authorities; but only with full
staff age are they considered to be public bodies.
- Reduce level of violence not to abuse power
- Toronto was first
- Dominion police: responsible for politicians (people who were in power)
• Policing and Class:
- Early policing was largely about control, particularly with regards to the “dangerous classes.”
- Like the UK, police officers were recruited from the lower classes often in order to fight with others
from the lower classes.
- Dennis Forcese: “The ability to bowl was often a requisite skill, as a good deal of policing had to do
with regulating working-class men in the bars and taverns of Canadian cities.”
- Ex. Bytowne and Garrison Hill
- Forcese: “Urban policing developed. But confidence in them grew much more slowly; as Canada
experienced massive immigration and industrial development, the evolving municipal police workers
fund themselves viewed with some suspicion by government. They were suspect as ineffective and
politically unreliable. They were themselves often immigrants. They were working class.And they
were too local.”
- Mostly men who were lower-class who would brawl with other lower-class men.
- Police came from lower-class background. Upper-class did not trust them.
- Did not see police work as a certified occupation.
3. British Policing of Ireland
• Influence of the Royal Irish Constabular (RIC) and the colonial occupation of Ireland.
• RIC differed from Pelican police in that 1) they were often armed; 2) they were mot locals (for the most
• Emphasis on ‘law and order,’less so on community legitimacy.
• Nonetheless had a dual, contradictory character: the RIC resembled a military force in an occupation, but
also tried to establish itself as a civilian entity.Anumber of scholars have pointed to the RIC as one of the
first examples of counter-insurgencies strategies (e.g. hearts and minds campaigns run by military-style
• RIC influence in the establishment of the NWMP.
• Major influence in Canada
• The RIC that MacDonald took
• Wanted to be a civilian force (did not trust the Irish)
• Have notion of civilian workers building of legitimacy.Abalance of legitimacy and power.
4. The Frontier
• Re: Frontier as dynamic area of law.
• Amixture of policies influenced by British, French, indigenous and ‘Canadian’practices.Additional
influence from HBC (Hudson’s Bay Company) as a sovereign entity as well as US influence along
western border zones.
• Griffiths: "As late as 1861, the presiding judicial officer of the HBC served as coroner, jailer, sheriff, and
chief medical officer." (Pg. 35)
• All of the north (Hudson bay area) sold the land of the dominion of Canada. Hudson bay company had its
own systems of law and order. Had to be incorporated with policing.
• Established by NWMP (North West Mounted Police)ACT 1873. Lecture 4 Criminology CRCJ 1000-C
The Frontier and the National Policy:
- National Policy of J.A. MacDonald
- Economic protectionism; migration; railways
- Fourth (unofficial) pillar was the Morris Treaties and the NWMP
- NWMP aimed to bring ‘law and order’to the NWT
- The NWMP’s efforts to establish relationships of trust withAboriginal peoples were constantly being
undermined by Ottawa, which ignored the commitments hit had made in its treaties with indigenous
- Manitoba police force job was to bring law and order to the prairies
• 1885 Rebellion:
- The Rebellion trials and executions were designed to kill the momentum for re-opening treaty
negotiations. The broader political motives were expressed in a letter by Prime Minister MacDonald to
Dewdney, one week before the hangings: “the executions… ought to convince the Red Man that the
White Man governs.”
- Mixed legacy of the NWMP post-1885
- Establishment of CC in 1891; federal authorities brought together through policing
- NWMP becomes RCMP in 1920
5. Militarization of police — the rise of ‘warrior cop’
• Canadian criminologist Robert Gordon has observed that there has been a “creeping militarization” in
Monkey see, monkey do
• Amajor concern is that rather than making communities safer and more secure, militarization dives a
wedge between the police and the community and undermines the original principles of Sir Robert Peel.
TRANSFORMATION AND EXPANSION OF POLICE WORK
- Police diversification: expansion vs. downloading
- Transformation of policing in the 60s/70s
- Increase in crime
- Dramatic increase in concerns about crime
- Changing dynamics of crime and policing
- Increase in scrutiny of police
- Police are most in the front line to issues in our society
• Contested Publics and Police Legitimacy
- It is impossible for the police to avoid becoming involved in and affected by politics and other outside
influences.Akey issue is the extent to which this involvement, or influence, affects the ability of the
police to carry out their mandate in a fair and impartial manner.
- Recurrent themes; criticism of policing agencies:
- Race and discrimination
- Labour / protest and the suppression of legal dissent
- US-influences; over-aggression, use of force
- Costs of policing, mission expansion
- …Far more temperate (moderate) in our society than when they were years ago
RESEARCH ON POLICE CULTURE(S) Lecture 4 Criminology CRCJ 1000-C
• 1960s/70s: significant growth in policing studies; police ethnographers. Richard Ericsson a key figure in
Canadian research on police culture.
• 7 core characteristics of cop culture; according to Reiner (1985):
a) Mission — action — cynicism — pessimism
c) Isolation / Solidarity
d) Police conservatism
f) Racial prejudice
• Reiner point out that the ‘culture’is not monolithic, there is nevertheless remarkable and undoubted
consistency in ‘cop talk’across jurisdictions and over time.
• Police scholars generally agree that the traditional police culture has been transformed in recent
decades. Variety of factors: community policing requirements, higher levels of training, more public
scrutiny, more gender and cultural diversity within police services, and a much more diverse number of
• Some of the elements of police culture appear to have transformed while others remain intact.
Stolnick (1966) on “symbolic assailants”: The best way to describe Skolnick’s symbolic assailant theory
was: how officers associate a minority as a criminal. Lecture 4 Criminology CRCJ 1000-C
• Non-white population are most crime-prone
INVESTIGATIVE DETENTION AND STREET CHECKS
• Two strategies are engaged in by police services across Canada countless times each day: investigative
detention and street checks, otherwise known as “carding.”
• Morton: reviewing the case law on the question and suggesting that while police questioning of members
of the public may at times be legal and appropriate, often it is not because it fails to comply with minimum
constitutional guarantees or it amounts to racial profiling.
• Focus on carding in Toronto — however these practices now happen everywhere in Canada
• These strategies are deployed and justified under the rubric of community policing or “community
engagement” by officers on general pat