The Challenges Of Contemporary Policing Essay

2721 words - 11 pages

The system of policing as is evident in contemporary society contains multiple challenges to the system of policing itself, the community as whole and also specific groups in society. This is evident through the challenges that are presented through the factors of corruption, misconduct and mental illness. It will be argued that the evidence of corruption and misconduct in the police force provides detrimental affects upon particular groups in the community, which reflects upon the efficiency of policing. This will be illustrated through the example of the Rampart Scandal, which identifies these factors as failing the system. Consequently, it will also examine the effects that the role of mental illness plays on the community and the success of policing. This will be done through elaborating on the changes that have occurred in relation to the care of those that are mentally ill. However, although it will be discussed that these challenges will have beneficial effects on the community by focusing coming into contact with a marginalized group, it will also identify the effects of doing so without the appropriate training.

Challenges of contemporary policing are evident through the system of the police force itself, through the occurrence of corruption and misconduct. However, there are challenging definitions, based on the view of the author, which means these terms are often used interchangeably and can also be used in a specific and/or broadly manner. Corruption, in reference to police, is defined as ‘acts of commission or omission in return for some gain or promise focuses principally on bribery and on financial arrangements for not enforcing the law’ (Newburn, T, Newyroud, P 2008, p. 51). This further differs from that of misconduct, which, as defined by the Australian Law Dictionary as a ‘behaviour that is disreputable, below standard, against policy or illegal … inconsistent with a public power or code of conduct’ (2010, p. 384). These definitions are important as they set a basis, although differing on author’s opinion, of what corruption and misconduct constitutes. Forms of corruption and misconduct that have presented themselves in the past and are evident even in a contemporary setting provide a direct challenge to the legitimacy and success of policing and the police system. Although they have many causes, only a few will be touched upon to highlight that although these factors present a fault in the success of policing, this is only, in a metaphorical sense, the tip of the iceberg that identifies the detrimental effects that these challenges present. Examples of corruption and misconduct are measured through various authors and the knowledge of the challenges themselves is presented through commissions of inquiry. Barker (1983) identifies specific examples of both corruption and misconduct. He focuses on corruption as exhibiting a material reward such as opportunistic theft from criminals and/or victims, shakedowns, in which they...

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