Role of the Police in Democratic Society
(Broader than mere “function”)
Police as the guarantor in Protecting Human Rights of Citizens—Civil and Political The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. The right to life, liberty and security of person
The role of the police all over the world has been traditionally seen within the basic context of: the Prevention and detection of crime, Protection of life and property and the Preservation of peace and good order. Today, although these roles have not changed, the police in all societies must broaden their outlook in order to appreciate their role as one which embraces not merely the enforcement of law, but which also takes into account the SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CONTRAINTS of the environment in which they operate.
This is a most complex issue and one, which has often been the source of tension between the police and the society they serve. The lack of clarity regarding the question of, what ought to be the role of the Police in a Free, Permissive and Participatory Society (such as Jamaica), serves only to exacerbate the tension. It should not surprise you therefore that the role of the police varies from society to society. For instance: ▪ Conveying injured persons to the hospital:
While in Jamaica this task is expected to be carried out by the police, this is not the case in more developed societies such as the United States. In their case this function is assigned to other agencies
There are ten basic guidelines taken from the book “Policing Freedom” which provide a useful background against which the police can see his/her role in the contemporary societies, namely:-
1. To contribute towards liberty, equality and fraternity in human affairs. 2. To help reconcile freedom with security and to uphold the Rule of Law. 3. To facilitate human dignity through upholding and protecting human rights and...
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