Police Force Case Study

2043 Words 9 Pages
The police force is a state agency with the express purpose of maintaining public order (Reiner, 2010). In the fulfilment of this objective, police must engage in 5 main duties including that of law enforcement, conflict resolution, crime control and prevention, provision of social services and traffic management (White and Perrone, 2015). Through the application of these methods of order, the police ensure that justice is upheld and ensured. However, in the pursuit of such an ideal, police may inadvertently engage in practises that undermines the ability to access or achieve justice for the wider community and society (Wolfe and Piquero, 2011). These practises are intrinsically linked to the police culture in which officers are conditioned …show more content…
Police culture can be described as ‘the values, norms, perspectives, myths and craft rules that inform [police] conduct’ (Reiner, 2010). It is formed through the unique environmental factors that embody police work, namely that of the presence of danger, the implementation of authority and the constant pressure to perform (Skolnick, 1966). Police culture is personified by both attitudinal and structural characteristics, such as the inherent suspicion of the general public, high degree of cohesiveness, isolation from community as well as the application of discretion in routine encounters respectively (White and Perrone, 2015). Such a culture both compels and perpetuates the imposition of unwritten police code, otherwise known as the code of silence which refrains officers from criticizing or enforcing laws upon one another whilst also dealing with misconduct internally in order to maintain solidarity (Reiner, 2010). In such a paradigm, misconduct flourishes under the protection that internal inquiry brings to police officers against all allegations, providing a veil of secrecy that employs potentially coercive means to silence those who have information concerning police misconduct (Fitzgerald, 1989). Furthermore the isolation that the job produces creates a tight-knit community whereby close associations would promote …show more content…
Police culture may impede access to justice in that it promotes a protective environment in which corruption may flourish unimpeded and therefore undermine the very principles police officers had sworn to uphold (Prenzler, 2009). Furthermore, the inherent discretion that police officers are able to employ in encounters in turn allow for the potential for either extreme proactive techniques that infringe on individual rights (White and Perrone, 2015) or the omission of essential law enforcement that leaves victims at the mercy of their attackers (Groves and Thomas, 2013). The fundamental organisational environment in which police officers are shaped under inadvertently produces behaviour that acts as a barrier to achieving justice for victims of criminal offences and undermines the police’s standard for impartiality and

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