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SOC209H5 (126)
Chapter 3

SOC209 Chapter 3 Notes.docx
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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC209H5
Professor
Nathan Innocente
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 3 The Police ABrief History of Policing • North-West Mounted Police (now RCMP) was founded in 1873 to maintain law and order in the previously unpoliced and sparsely settled North-West Territories (Alberta and Saskatchewan) • Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland are the only provinces with provincial police forces  Ontario Provincial Police, Sureté du Quebec, Newfoundland Constabulary Defining Police Work • Difference between police as an institution and policing as an activity • Public police no longer have a monopoly on policing • Pluralization of policing: an increased role in safety and security in the community is being played by private security services and para-police officers Police Work in a Democratic Society • Tensions between the power and authority of the police and their legal mandate to maintain order, and the values and processes that exist in a democratic society • Gov’ts rely on the police to prevent and respond to crime and to apprehend offenders, while they are committed to the principles of democracy and due process • This results in conflicts between the police and the courts • Police officers often complain that the rights of offenders are given more attention than those of victims and law-abiding citizens • Law of Commission of Canada: i. Justice – police maintaining peace and security while ensuring that individuals are treated fairly and human rights are respected ii. Equality – all citizens are entitled to policing services iii. Accountability – the actions of police services are subject to review iv. Efficiency – policing services must be cost-effective What do Police do? • Primary role is that of peacekeeper rather than enforcer • Most incidents to which police officers respond involve property crimes Page 1 of 6 • Another large portion of the work involves restoring order in conflicts without the use of criminal law 1. Police Duties andActivities i. Preserving the peace ii. Preventing crimes and other offences iii. Assisting victims of crime iv. Apprehending criminals v. Laying charges and participating in prosecutions vi. Executing warrants vii. Performing the lawful duties that the chief of police assigns viii. Completing the prescribed training • Centralization – responsibility of maintaining order, preventing crime, and responding to crime has been increasingly centralized on the police - It’s accompanied by a reduction in community involvement to the point where Canadians has come to rely too heavily on the police to solve a variety of problems and situations - The disorders and crimes to which police respond are often only symptoms of deeper personal and societal ills, and it’s unrealistic to expect the police to have either the resources or the knowledge to address the causes of these problems • Activities of the police: i. Crime control (respond and investigate crimes, patrolling the streets; occupies less than 25% of officers’time) ii. Order maintenance (prevent and control behaviour that disturbs public peace) iii. Crime prevention and service (respond to traffic accidents, searches for missing persons, etc…) 2. The Political Role of the Police • City councils control the budgets of municipal police services, which are under control of local political authorities • The police are mandated to enforce the criminal law, which reflects political values and political ends Page 2 of6 • Canadian Professional PoliceAssociation (CPA) 3. Factors Influencing the Role andActivities of the Police • Legislation – new laws and amendments (ex;Anti-TerrorismAct) • Geography and Demographics –Aboriginal reserves + rural and remote settings place unique demands on officers • The ethnic and cultural diversity of Canadian society – recruitment, training, delivery practices to reflect the diverse needs of multicultural communities and neighbourhoods • Police funding – depend on municipal councils or provincial legislatures • Economic, political, cultural trends – protests against globalization, unresolved Aboriginal land claims; international crimes such as drug trafficking, Internet crime, human crime, etc… 4. Police Work: Common Misconceptions i. Police work in itself prevents crime └ Causes of crime are beyond the capacity of the police to address on their own └ Partnerships with neighbourhoods, the private sector, not-for-profit organizations may increase the preventive capacity of the police ii. The Mounties always get their man └ Police services generally struggle to solve the myriad crimes they are confronted with └ Lack of police resources; police r
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