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Lecture 8

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LAWS 2301
Ronald Saunders

November 4 2011 Police: • Functions • Selective enforcement how/why? • Powers, duties and realities • Review/accountability mechanisms Functions of Police: • Maintain law and order, and to protect (persons and property) • Duty to prevent crime • Detection and arrest of criminals (focus of the media) • Charging responsibilities (often with the Crown) Brannigan summarizes these as: • Law enforcement • Maintenance of order • Social services (75% of work) Selective enforcement: how/why? • Allocation on practical grounds • Allocation on policy grounds –the attorney general “no we will no longer investigate pot” –policy grounds not to enforce a specific kind of crime – abortion (having no success therefore do not worry about it) • At individual level (not at the agency level –street level) o Dispatcher –exercising discretion (80-90% through the dispatcher) o Officer at scene  Charge or not (evoking the criminal law)  Warn or lecture  Back off right away (not a police/criminal law business(  Try to mediate  Remove person o If charged (evoking the criminal law)  Arrest vs. Summons or appearance notice  In light of two possibly conflicting principles: assume innocence vs. Safety of society  Criminal code: duty not to arrest without warrant in certain circumstances (s. 495 ss  494 (1) any one may arrest without warrant • A person whom he finds committing an indictable offence or • A person who on reasonable grounds he believes: o Has committed a criminal offence and o Is escaping from and freshly pursued by persons who
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