Police Accountability Essay

1624 Words 7 Pages
Discuss the main ways in which police officers are personally held accountable for abuses of power. Are these measures effective?
Police accountability has been a widely discussed issue from the very beginning of its official establishment under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829. Through the years public trust has been of great importance, as the public is one of the main groups, which the police is accountable to. In this essay, we will focus on accountability on an individual level rather than on an institutional level. The three main ways in which they are held accountable are through internal investigations and following of procedures or codes of conduct. Secondly, the legal accountability, which in upholding the rule of law no one can escape.
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This independence shows elements of separation of powers and the importance of impartiality. The courts are the only power able to overrule decisions relating to police complaints , which supports the separation and independence from the other branches of government. The main issue relating to the police or any public authority is possible corruption. Corruption can be evident through political pressure, which could be imposed upon police officers . However, the emphasis of independence is to counteract this, and thereby to gain more confidence from the public. The IPCC is set up of former police officers that act as the investigators, however, anyone who has been involved in law enforcement cannot be a member of the commission who rule on the complaints . The complaints can come from members of the public who feel unfairly or wrongly treated by an officer. This system of allowing complaints from the public means the public is more engaged in the dealings of the police. It also means trust in the force as a whole and in the individual officers is increased, as the public know the police officers are in fact accountable to them …show more content…
It is of such great importance, as it ensures elements of the British constitution are upheld. The internal and external measures currently in use seem to cover accountability on a lot of fronts. It does this by: attempting to discourage misconduct internally through codes of conduct, to impose legal accountability and giving the public and fellow officers the chance to have a say against any misconduct they have personally experienced. It seems that public confidence is at a stable level and although it does not reach the aspired amount, new projects such as ones on a local level has proven effective in increasing trust in individual police officers. The police officers should and seemingly are held accountable for their actions, they uphold the law, however, they are not the law in

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