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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 151675 Find in a Library
Title: Police Culture: Overcoming Barriers
Journal: Criminology Australia  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(October/November 1993)  Pages:8-12
Author(s): B Etter
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Discussing police and aboriginal culture issues involves considering culture from the perspective of several different social groups, and significant research has been undertaken to identify specific cultural dimensions of the police-indigenous relationship in Australia.
Abstract: Australia is considered to be one of the most individualistic societies in the world, and the cultural distance between aborigines and Anglo-Australians is considerable. Reports of aboriginal deaths in custody indicate that significant problems exist in the relationship between the Australian police and indigenous cultures. Therefore, the organizational culture of policing is critical to the proper functioning of the entire criminal justice system. Notwithstanding negative aspects of the police culture, that culture is only one of several factors that affect police-aborigine relations. One of the key factors is the criminal justice system's lack of recognition for aboriginal customary law. In addition, the police officer's role is complicated by traditional dispute resolution methods within aboriginal communities. Police officers need to understand traditional aboriginal culture and mechanisms of social control so that discretion is exercised and the law is enforced in appropriate circumstances. The community policing approach should facilitate improved police-aborigine relations. Further, as police organizations become less hierarchical and militaristic, barriers between the police and the community in general should diminish. The police culture can also be broken down by recruiting more women and representatives of ethnic and racial minority groups and by adequate training to improve the cultural skills of police officers. 26 references and 3 photographs
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Australia; Community policing; Criminology; Cultural influences; Police community relations; Police effectiveness; Police organizational structure; Social control
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