relationship between the police and the public they serve. While many communities .. build credibility in the eyes of external communities. times, political and departmental leaders judge police performance on the same. viewed as a legitimate organization in the eyes of the public, unlike the earlier watch groups To facilitate this legitimation . between the police and local politicians was reciprocal vote for them The relationship was so close between. of the political regime in the eyes of the minority group. The tense relations between the Arab minority in Israel and the police are common knowledge.
The police had obtained these "production orders" following a letter in the Guardian from ex-MI5 officer David Shayler and an article in the Observer by the journalist Martin Bright relating to Shayler's allegations that, inthe British security services were involved in a plot to assassinate Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. At the time Shayler was under investigation for breaches of the Official Secrets Act and was wanted by police. However, despite the fact that the case involved issues of national security, no journalist was questioned under caution — the police did not go that far — and the appeal court decided that the production orders should never have been made.
Lord Justice Judge, now the lord chief justice, said: Legal proceedings directed toward the seizure of the working papers of an individual journalist or the premises of a newspaper or television programme publishing his or her reports, or the threat of such proceedings, tends to inhibit discussion. When a genuine investigation into possible corrupt or reprehensible activities by a public authority is being investigated by the media compelling evidence would normally be needed to demonstrate that the public interest is served by such proceedings.
The Police-Community Relationship
The effect of prostitution seriousness attitudes on prostitution punitiveness attitudes was stronger for males than females. Additionally, education moderated the relationship between prostitution seriousness attitudes and prostitution punitiveness attitudes where the effect was stronger for those less educated.
Discussion Generally speaking, officers examined in this study had fairly serious attitudes regarding prostitution.
Officers felt that prostitution leads to more serious crime, that prostitution is problematic in their city, and that the police should be doing more to control prostitution. Respondents were also quite punitive toward vice related offenses. Generally, officers favored putting prostitution offenders behind bars. Most police officers reported a change in their attitudes toward prostitution offenses as a result of becoming a police officer.
A few of the covariates investigated in multivariate models were routinely associated with prostitution attitudes. However, several covariates were routinely insignificant or rarely significant predictors even though they were expected to be. Being religious as opposed to being non-religious was never a significant predictor in the analysis.
This is a curious finding because much of the literature on attitudes toward vice among the general public has found that religiosity is strongly associated with negative perceptions toward vice activities, including prostitution Stylainou, The reason for the non-significant findings in these models may be due to the lack of religious variation within the sample. The overwhelming majority of the sample was religious.
Although being religious did not have an impact on prostitution attitudes, commitment to religion commonly did have a significant effect. There was a moderately strong relationship between becoming less committed to religion and viewing prostitution offenses less seriously and punitively. Similarly, being more liberal was commonly and moderately associated with less serious and punitive attitudes toward prostitution offenses.
These findings make intuitive sense. Liberals do not have the reputation of being a values voting constituency as compared to conservatives. Along similar lines, higher education attainment was also a moderately powerful predictor of prostitution attitudes and punitiveness.
These variables having similar effects on prostitution attitudes and punitveness are understandable because people who are more educated also tend to be more liberal Kanazawa, The effects of age, gender, and ethnicity on prostitution attitudes were examined in this study. Male officers generally had less serious and punitive views toward prostitution compared to female officers.
These findings are understandable because men are more likely to believe in prostitution myths and buy prostitutes Cotton et al. Additionally, the police subculture is typified by machismo Crank, Masculinity is valued among policing circles and may reinforce gender stereotypes of male sexual dominance and female sexual receptivity.
It could be the case that male officers view females using sex as an innocuous and age old means of quid pro quo. Older officers viewed prostitution offenses less seriously, yet had more punitive attitudes toward such offenses.
This is a curious finding. It may be that the old guard simply have more punitive attitudes regarding crime across the board. Ethnicity, however, played no role in predicting attitudes toward prostitution.
Satisfaction with the job as a police officer was a moderately strong predictor of prostitution attitudes. Being less satisfied as a cop was associated with less serious and less punitive attitudes toward prostitution offenses. This may be due to the cynicism officers sometimes develop during their career see Regoli and Poole, It may be the case that officers feel that enforcing prostitution offenses are not that important and that resources would be better spent trying to control more serious crime.
In short, officers may feel that they are fighting the wrong fight causing them to become more cynical and less satisfied with their job in law enforcement. The data from this research suggested that this may not always be the case. They played a much smaller role than demographic factors.
This is a curious finding that is hard to explain. However, it could also be the case that those who have been in the unit longer periods of time have more serious attitudes toward prostitution because they have more experience dealing with these types of offenders and have had more opportunity to see first-hand the harms caused by such offenses.
The relationship between prostitution seriousness attitudes and punitiveness attitudes was moderated by gender and education. This relationship was stronger for males and for the less educated. Generally speaking, moderators played a small role in this analysis. This suggests that the relationships between prostitution seriousness and prostitution punitiveness attitudes were robust and consistent across varying scores of other indicators included in multivariate models. This study expanded upon the study by Wilson et al.
One of the limitations of the Wilson et al. Nearly all of the officers in their study were white males. As such, their study could not investigate gender and ethnicity differences, a fact the authors lamented. The present study was able to decompose such effects by sampling a much larger and socially diverse police department from one of the largest cities in America.
Both samples viewed street prostitution fairly similarly. However, the officers from this study were more punitive toward call-girl prostitution compared to officers from the Wilson et al. Time, geographic location, and city context could help explain why the officers from this study had more serious and punitive attitudes toward prostitution compared to the officers from the Wilson et al.
This study added to our understanding of how police officers view vice. However, as with all studies, this study had a several notable limitations. First, the survey instrument used in this study is imperfect. As noted earlier, several revisions could be made to the survey that could reduce measurement error. Similarly, the survey may be incomplete. The instrument surely did not capture data on every possible variable related to the outcome variables of interest in this analysis. In short, the analytical models in this research may suffer from omitted variable bias.
The sample also presents a limitation in this study. Due to uncontrollable constraints put on this research project, it was not possible to derive a probability sample. In the end, the sample used here was a convenience sample. Such a sample makes generalizing the findings not possible. Instead, the findings only relate to the limited respondents examined. It therefore cannot be said that the findings from this study are representative of the police department from which the sample of officers come from as a whole.
Additionally, the data from this sample were cross-sectional. The most significant limitation in this study was the unknown but probably low response rate. Also, many respondents dropped out of the survey shortly after beginning it. Due to listwise deletion procedures in multivariate models, the total number of respondents was even fewer. However, researchers must do the best they can with what they have.
Important information can still be gleaned in cases of low response rates. Conclusion For unknown reasons, the research investigating police officers' attitudes toward vice crime, including prostitution, is underdeveloped. Criminologists have not devoted much time to unpacking this topical area, even though this phenomenon could have important ramifications. Some studies have looked into police officers' perceptions about law enforcement responses to drug crimes Petrocelli et al.
Several conclusions can be made from this analysis. Officers from this sample had fairly serious and punitive attitudes toward prostitution offenses.
The relationship between prostitution seriousness attitudes and prostitution punitiveness attitudes was strong, and the strength of that relationship changed across gender and education levels. However, cops less satisfied with their careers viewed prostitution less seriously and less punitively.
Finally, it was more common for officers to develop more punitive attitudes toward prostitution offenses as a result of becoming a police officer than it was to develop more lenient attitudes. It is important to continue this avenue of research. How the police view prostitution offenses may influence policy decisions. Legislators can turn to the police for advice regarding criminal legislation.
Officers may feel that prostitution is a serious criminal problem that warrants harsher legislation. However, the opposite may also be true. Officers may view these crimes as not very serious compared to other crimesand that the police should focus on controlling more serious forms of street crime instead of squandering precious policing resources.
Additionally, the police have wide discretion in how they enforce the law, and how that discretion is used is influenced by police officers' attitudes and perceptions Worden, Examining how the police view prostitution can help researchers understand how police use discretion regarding such offenders. Wide discretion may be problematic in terms of fair and equal treatment of citizens. For example, one person may be arrested for soliciting a prostitute while another person is not arrested for the same offense simply because of the police officer's preconceived attitudes toward prostitution based on extra-legal factors such as the officer's politics.
Whether or not someone is arrested for a vice crime, like solicitation, may be contingent on several factors including the political ideology, education level, gender, or religious commitment of the police officer.
This may be viewed as unfair and unequal treatment. Fairness and equality are hallmarks of democracy and procedural justice, the basis of police legitimacy Tyler, As such, people should be treated fairly and equally when dealing with the police.
Therefore, the police should be cognizant of their own attitudes and perceptions toward prostitution. They should also be aware that these attitudes and perceptions influence how they behave on the job. Officers should be trained to remain objective when dealing with such offenders so that their own subjective views do not cause unfair and unequal treatment of citizens. Police managers should communicate to their officers that such extra-legal factors should not influence their discretion.
Although the police are delegated large powers of investigation and arrest they are very few in number relative to the community. The vast majority of breaches of the law occur outside of the awareness of the police and must be reported to the police before they can be acted on.
The process of investigating crimes does not, contrary to the mythology surrounding detective work, generally succeed through the brilliance of detectives, but is to a large extent dependent on the willingness of the public to assist with information and to act as witnesses when the case comes to court.
Public Input into Policing Strategy The need for the public to assist the police as described above is however only one leg of the relationship. Less often recognised and certainly less developed is the way in which the specific concerns and understanding of the community can impact on and improve the management of policing. The allocation of resources and the selection of priorities is one of the key problems in police management.
Under present circumstances the police force are certainly over-extended and choices must be made as to where and how to focus the available resources. It follows from the principle of police accountability that this should be done on the basis of community concerns and community perceptions. Choosing priorities that relate to the real fears of the community is important in building public confidence in the police, particularly if the community is aware of such choices and the reason for them.
This in turn contributes to the various areas of co-operation identified above. The approach whereby the police decide on their own where their resources should be prioritised often reinforces perceptions that the police are wasting their time on "trivial issues".
Where communities are culturally, socially and economically diverse, input into policing priorities is even more important. It also has implications for the organisation of policing which shall be examined in more detail further on. Approaches to Policing and the Community Whisenand and Ferguson Public relations is aimed primarily at informing the public and tends to be one-way communication. Public relations is often concerned with the "police image".
Police-community relations is aimed at establishing a dialogue with the police. Community policing is a broad term which involves proactive programmes designed to integrate police-community relations with actual police work. The different emphases in these different approaches to police-community interaction are reflective of different perceptions of the proper role of the police in the maintenance of social order, and of the relationship between police and specific and varied communities in society.
In order to understand the basis for the different approaches we need to briefly explore the conceptual foundations of different approaches to the police-society relationship and social order.
Defining the Problem The traditional ideal that the police are the public and the public are the police is widely regarded as the underlying principle of modern policing Van Heerden Pike argues that the modern system of policing which originated with the creation of the London Metropolitan Police had as one of its central ideas the notion of "consensus". Therefore, every member of the force must remember that it is his duty to protect and help members of the public, no less than to bring offenders to justice.
Consequently, while prompt to prevent crime and arrest criminals, he must look on himself as the servant and guardian of the general public and treat all law-abiding citizens, irrespective of their race, colour or social position, with unfailing patience and courtesy. Indeed the nature and powers of modern police agencies may well be considered an anomaly with the ethos of democracy.
The central point of their argument is that the police are vested with a great deal of authority and the power to deprive ordinary citizens of their freedoms within a democratic system where these very freedoms are regarded as the basic pillars of society. Police actions invariably result in the deprivation of the rights of the suspect. The degree to which particular actions on the part of the police are acceptable depends on the communities' own values and norms.
If the police operate outside of the bounds of this "community acceptability" this invariably leads to alienation and even hostility towards the police. This has most often been the case in relation to so-called "minority" or "oppressed" communities. This is because the dominant groups in society have a different view of what is "acceptable practice" in relation to policing within a particular community to that of the policed community itself. The dynamic and difficult tension between the principles and freedoms embodied in democracy and the nature of policing is perhaps most stark in relation to the authority of the police to use force.
The police are the only agency in society which has the legal right to use force and coercion in the performance of their duties at their own discretion. While the judiciary may impose restrictions on the rights and freedoms of individuals - such as sentences for criminal acts - it is obliged to do this within the context of the due process of law, which allows the accused the opportunity to challenge and cast doubt on the state's version of what actually happened.
The police, however, can go so far as to deprive the individual of life, without the benefit of a rigorous legal procedure. It is ultimately the discretion of the individual police officer which determines whether the freedoms and rights of the individual are transgressed. Where there is discrimination in policing such as in South Africasuch freedoms are routinely transgressed within specific communities, without there necessarily being specific evidence that the individuals who suffer have committed an offence.
The nature of policing is fundamentally antagonistic to those it affects. The enormous power of the police to deprive citizens of their rights and the discretionary nature of police action means that the police tend to be alienated from the community, except where such actions of the police are seen to be of direct benefit to a specific community. There are two possible responses to this problem.
The first is what I shall call the "ideal of consensus", which is based on the implicit assumption that modern policing is conducted on the basis of consensus about the nature of the social order as well as on the way in which the society is policed. The view of the policing role which is based on a societal consensus about law and order is perhaps the dominant view of policing in the western world.
It needs to be understood because of its importance in informing the way that police-community relations are viewed in the South African context.
This vision has however been challenged by a number of writers, and is in the process of being reformulated in the light of the trend towards community policing in many parts of the world.
The alternative and emergent view places a lot of emphasis on the diversity of societies and the fact that different communities do not in fact have the same ideals with regard to social order, nor are they generally concerned about the same problems. It also recognises that historically, the police have reflected and protected the values and interests of the dominant interest groups in society.
The Ideal of Consensus The dominant philosophy of policing argues that it is the notion of "policing by consent" which allows the tension between democracy and policing to be accommodated. According to this view the police are delegated authority and power from the state on the basis of a broad consensus about the nature of the social order to be policed. The democratic process of parliamentary democracy allows citizens to express themselves on the values and norms to be protected.
The fact that the police are delegated authority by society means that they are accountable to society for the use of those powers. It is thus the delegation of authority from the citizenry which underlies the police-community relationship.
Transgressions of the individual's freedom can thus only be justified within the context of public support for the methods and practice of policing. Such support is usually held to be dependent on principles such as "proportionality" - whereby the degree of force or severity of punishment is proportional to the seriousness of the alleged offence. However, this approach views the main channel of police accountability as the state, and to the law which is generally assumed to be fair and unproblematic.
Neither politicians nor pressure groups nor anyone else may tell the police what decisions to take or what methods to employ, whether to enforce the law or not in a particular case, or how to investigate a particular offence. The exercise of police judgement has to be as independent as the exercise of professional judgement by a doctor or a lawyer. If it is not, the way is open to manipulation and abuse of the law whether for political or for private ends …10 The major problem with this view is that "independence" tends to be assumed to lead to impartiality.
In fact independence of the police does not mean that the police are not tied to political interests. This is particularly clear in the South African context where the police are supposed to be operationally independent, but as it has also been argued in the British context: What must be recognised is that value systems which determine to a large extent the way in which the police make decisions are closely tied to those of the social group to which the police officer belongs.
The influence of the "consensus view" of policing on thinking about police-community relations can also be seen in a number of related concepts and the way they are used in the conventional discourse of police-community relations.
The concern with a police image tends to imply that there is an homogeneity in the experience of policing and the social order throughout society.
The notion of the police as operationally independent strengthens the idea, which runs through the policing tradition, that the police are the experts in the field of crime and that their work is beyond the legitimate reach of public influence.
The tacit assumption or effect of this philosophy of policing is that the police actively pursue a relationship with the public on their own terms. The unquestioned doctrine of police practice based on impartiality and minimum force is presented to the public as the logical outcome of democratic government and law and order. As Van Heerden puts it: The favour and approval of the public must be sought at all times, not by pandering to public opinion, but by enforcing the laws with constant and absolute impartiality, giving prompt, individual and friendly service to all members of society regardless of status, social position or national affiliation, being courteous and friendly at all times and being ready to make personal sacrifices in order to save lives.
In American policing the concerns with corruption in the s lead to a trend where the police "relate impersonally with communities" and that the source of police authority was to be found in "criminal law and police professionalism rather than in the political will of the community" Kelling A central feature of the "consensus" notion of policing is that accountability is primarily to "the law".
In addition the "independence" of the police helps to ensure that they are indeed impartial in the way that they relate to the public - and in the process of investigating a crime. This emphasis on independence from political or other undue influence can be related to the emphasis on professional expertise.
This however means that the police regard themselves as having the exclusive right to determine the nature of policing. The values and laws of central government the state are also regarded as having a higher moral standing than the views and customs of specific communities. Beyond Consensus - The "problem" of Community Diversity The alternative view of policing is based on the realisation of the diversity of communities and hence of social order. This view has been articulated by a number of writers on policing, as well as in the reflections of "community" policing practitioners in cities around the world.
The starting point is that society is made up of diverse communities with contrasting and often conflicting interest groups. This makes the nature of the relationship between police and society much more complex. The notion of consensus and historical impartiality in the development of policing is according to Jefferson Police forces, far from being "inherently impartial" generally reflect the dominant interest groups within society Jefferson Writers such as Reiner and in the South African context SteytlerBrogden and Rauch draw attention to the role of police culture in determining the nature of policing.
The centralised and exclusive nature of police accountability both within national police forces and so-called "decentralised" police forces, as well as the important influence of police culture means that the police forces have historically reflected the dominant interests within society.
This analysis is borne out by the "crisis of policing" in much of the western world over the last two decades. In reality one of the main reasons for this crisis is the way in which police forces have reflected and acted in the interests of the dominant groups in society - to the detriment of their relations with and credibility among, so-called "minority" and special interest groups. This emergent new tradition in policing which I consider to be a more realistic approach to the problem of policing within a diverse democracy is based on a concern for the following areas: Incidentally, some of these concerns seem to be reflected in the concerns surrounding the development of community policing in places like New York City Ref.
New York Strategy document.
- Journalists' right to act as eyes and ears of the public must not be put at risk
- Primary Sources
- Recent Publications
A history of the police which recognises the partisan origins and the role of the police in protecting certain power relations. The consensus at a parliamentary level which leads to law-making is the product of the dominance of certain interest groups and the law tends to reflect these dominant interests. There is therefore a recognition that the law may be perceived to be at odds with community norms. Assumption that the police act in terms of who they are - emphasis on police culture as determinant of policing styles, methods and the focus for favourable or discriminatory policing.
The notion of the independence of the police forces does not necessarily imply that the police are impartial. There is thus an active concern for the representative nature of policing. The police must be representative of the community and its values. There is also a concern for the values of the police.
Impartiality is relative to the different values and norms within which policing operates. What is impartial in one community will be perceived to be discriminatory in another.
The police have to be attuned to the specific values of the community. Police accountability should include a degree of accountability to the particular community being policed.
The Nature of Communities The question of "community" is of great importance here. The term community is often used in the South African context to describe the general population, or racially separate sectors of the citizenry. But what does "community" actually mean? There are several senses in which the word is used.
Wilmot offers three: Indeed the racial divides in terms of residence patterns present a stark dichotomy in the lifestyles and perceptions of policing in the different South African communities.
However, even specific geographical "communities" are divided into a range of sub-communities with differing interests, values and needs. These groups differ in the degree of power which they exercise in the community - some being more marginal or "repressed" than others.