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SOSC 2652 (17)
Chapter 3

Nov 28 Chapter 3+4.docx

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Social Science
SOSC 2652
Anna Pratt

Chapter 3 + 4 • Although police forces have rigorous standards for admission to a career in policing, this does not prevent some police officers from engaging in unprofessional and even illegal conduct while on the job • Police deviance occurs more often on an individual basis than an organizational level Police Accountability • Police are accountable through several means • Political accountability- to governing authorities • Legal accountability- Law through the courts and judiciary • Accountability to administrative agencies- comlaints commissions, human rights commissions, provincial police commissions, auditors general, and ombudsmen • Direct publc accountability- through mechanisms such as freedom of information legislation • Ad hoc accountability- through processes such as royal commisiions and other public inquires Chapter 4 Police Power and decision making • One of the key issues in the study of policing is how much power officers should have, and what type • The limits of those powers are established by the decisions of the courts Charter Rights and Police Powers • The Charter gave those accused the right to challenge the actions of the police in situations in which those rights might have been violated • Charter rights combine with preexisting legal rules to prevent the unlimited use of police power Safeguards against unlimited police power • The police cannot use certain investigative techniques (such as electronic surveillance) without prior judicial authorization • If the police gather evidence illegally, it may be excluded from a trial • A defendant who feels that police officers or prosecutors have used unfair tactics can plead not guilty and cite “abuse of process” as a defence • A judge can remedy a violation of a defendant’s rights by ordering a stay of proceedings or by ordering the Crown attorney to pay some or all of the defendant’s legal fees Police also gained powers under the Anti-Terrorism Act • Use a warrant to obtain DNA from a suspect, by force if necessary • Obtain a variety of warrants to intercept private audio and video communications • Run “reverse stings” (For example, sell drugs as part of an undercover operation and then seize both the money and the drugs) • Obtain foot, palm, and teeth impressions from a suspect Powers and authority of the police have also been restricted by the decisions of judges in Charter cases • All relevant information gathered must be disclosed to the defence authority • Police officers must give notice by knocking had been replaced by a warrant procedure • Warrantless searches have been deemed unreasonable • Restricitons on undercover police officers in jail to get evidence The power to Arrest and Detain • The power to arrest is provided by the Criminal Code and other federal statutes as well as by provincial legislation such as motor vehicle statutes • If arrest is warranted and there is time a police officer can seek an arrest warrant by swearing an information in front of a JP • Arrest Warrant- a document that permist a police officer to arrest a specific person for a specified reason • Information- A written statement sworn by an informant alleging that a person has committed a specific criminal offense • Indictable Offense- A serious criminal offence that carries a maximum prison sentence of fourteen years or more • Summary offence- a less serious criminal offnce generally heard before a jp or pr
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