Police Roles Notes

Topics: Police, Crime, Constable Pages: 3 (1099 words) Published: April 22, 2013
The public police have to fulfil many roles, what tensions can this create?DRAFT.

This essay will look at how the public police officers within the UK have to fulfil many roles and the tensions of which these can create. To define the term Police in simplistic terms is ‘The arrangements made in all civilised countries to ensure that the inhabitants keep the peace and obey the law… the force of peace officers (or Police) employed for this purpose.’ (Metropolitan police 2011). Police officers in modern society have multifaceted roles which go above and beyond of those that are expected of them. A guideline outlining the specific roles that the police should adhere to, states that ‘The purpose of the police service is to uphold the law fairly and firmly; to prevent crime; to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law; and to keep the Queen's Peace; to protect, help and reassure the community; and to be seen to do all this with integrity, common sense and sound judgement.’ (Select Committee on Home Affairs Seventh Report, 1990). Due to the now diversified and modern informal roles in addition to those that are clearly defined, undertaking all of these roles can create a broad spectrum of tensions internally and externally of the police as a whole. Police officers have been seen to be omni-competent which in turn creates role conflicts. Roles

The common consensus is that the police are there to maintain that law and order is followed by society and to prevent further criminality from occurring by means of criminal justice and punishment after a crime has been committed. However, a police officer serves the public on a much more diverse scale. ‘The police are empowered and required to impose or, as the case may be, coerce a provisional solution upon emergent problems…and it is on this basis that they may be required to do the work of thief-catchers and of nurses depending on the occasion.’ (Bitner, 1980 cited in Newburn, 2007;602). This view is further...
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