Textbook Notes (368,843)
Canada (162,200)
Sociology (1,513)
SOC209H5 (126)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4- Policing

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Jennifer Carlson

A Brief History of Policing  The history of police started with arrangements amoung groups, and then became the constables on the streets of Quebec.  As time moved on they created police forces; several of the provinces suffered poor leadership and etc.  Between 1917-1950 the RCMP assumed provincial policing responsibilities in all provinces except Ontario, Quebec, and parts of Newfoundland.  To this day, those are the only three provinces with provincial police forces.  Policing is the largest component of the justice system and gets the biggest slice of the funding pie (80%) Defining Police Work  Curtis Clarke and Chris Murphy scholars define public and private police as activities of any individual or organization acting legally on behalf of the public or private organizations or persons to maintain security or social order while empowered by either public or private contract, regulations or policies, written or verbal.  Pluralization of policing: the trend toward an increasing role in community safety and security being played by private security services and Para-police officers. Definition by Clifford Shearing and David Bayley. Police Word in A Democratic Society  There are natural tensions between power and authority of police and the values and processes that exist in a democratic society  The governments and the public rely on the police to prevent respond to crime and to apprehend offenders; on the other these governments are committed to democracy and due process.  Police officers complain that the rights of offenders are given more attention than those of the victims and law-abiding citizens. The Law of Commission of Canada has identified four key values that form the framework within which to understand police work in Canadian Society:  Justice: The requirement that the police maintain peace and security in the community while ensuring that individuals are treated fairly and human rights are respected.  Equality: All citizens are entitled to policing services that contribute to their feelings of safety and security.  Accountability: The actions of police services, and police officers, are subject to review.  The police mandate entails contradictory ends protecting both public order and individual rights. What Do Police Do?  For most police officers, the primary role is that of peacekeeper rather than enforcer: depending upon the area being policed, officers might spend most of their time maintaining order and less than 10 or 15% of the their time enforcing law.  The media of American TV programs and in print media have led many Canadians to assume policing in Canada is similar to the US. Police Duties and Activities – Ontario’s Police Services Act  Preserving the peace  Preventing crimes and other offences  Assisting victims of crime  Apprehending criminals  Laying charges and participating in prosecutions  Executing warrants  Performing the lawful duties that the chief of police assigns  And completing the prescribed training Police officers activities become divided into three major categories:  Crime control: responding to and investigating crimes, and patrolling the streets to prevent offences from occurring.  Order maintenance: preventing and controlling behaviour that disturbs the public peace, including quieting loud parties, responding to (and often mediating) domestic/neighbourhood disputes, and intervening in conflicts that arise between citizens.  Crime prevention and service: providing a wide range of services to the community, often as a consequence of the twenty-four-hour availability of the police, including responding to traffic accidents, assisting in searches for missing persons, and acting as information/referral agency for victims of crime and for the general public. Factors Influencing the Role and Activities of the Police  Legislation: new laws and amendments to existing legislation can have a sharp impact on police services set (and try to achieve) their operational priorities. Literally overnight, behaviour that was once criminal can become legal, and behaviour that was once criminal can become legal, and behaviour that was once legal can become criminalized.  Terrorism Act: for example, gives police expanded powers to deal with individuals identified as posing a threat to safety and security; it has also established a new crime—―terrorist activity.‖ The expectation is that the police have the capacity to respond to the multitude of demands placed upon them.  Geography and demographics  The ethnic cultural diversity of Canadian Society: police services are being pressured to adapt their recruitment, training, and delivering practices to reflect the diverse needs of multicultural communities and neighbourhoods.  Police funding  Economic, political, cultural trends: international crimes such as drug trafficking, Internet crime, human smuggling, sex tourism, and genocide require the police in many countries to coordinate their activities. Common Misconceptions of Modern Police Work  There are Federal, Municipal, Provincial and First Nations police levels. Police work in itself prevents crime The Mounties always get their man. Police work involves the frequent use of force.  97% of all police incidents are diffused with presence and communication skills. Police work is dangerous. Police work primarily involves pursing criminals. When you call the police, they come. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act): federal legislation that provides the framework for the operation of the RCMP. Policing Provinces and Municipalities under Contract  RCMP is a federal police force, yet about 60% of its personnel are involved in contract policing- that is, they serve as provincial/municipal police officers under agreements between the RCMP and the provinces/territories.  The RCMP does not act in isolation; it operates many specialized branches for example- the Economic Crime Branch and National Crime Intelligence Branch. Organizational Features of the RCMP  Accountability: Municipal police departments are subject to local police boards and elected municipal councils; in contrast, RCMP detachments are not legally accountable to the municipalities they police under contact. In those municipalities, which the RCMP policies under contract, there are no police boards and the local mayor and council have no mandate to oversee their work.  Nationwide recruiting and centralized training  Policing diverse task environments  Transfer policy- quite unlike their municipal police counterparts, RCMP officers have traditionally been rotated amoung detachments every two years or so.  Non-union: RCMPs are prohibited from forming a union. Rather their interests are represented through the Division Staff Relations Representative (DivRep) Program: program that provides
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