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NCJ Number: 158497 Find in a Library
Title: Policing Northern Ireland: Current Issues
Journal: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:(July- September 1995)  Pages:233-242
Author(s): A Hamilton
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Based partly on an ethnographic study focusing on community perceptions of policing in both Catholic and Protestant communities in three areas of Northern Ireland, this article explains the central issues in the debate surrounding the future of policing in Northern Ireland.
Abstract: Over the past 25 years, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) has had to contend not only with the general problems facing police agencies throughout the industrialized world but also with the existence of two politically polarized and physically and socially segregated communities. Historically, the RUC has been closely associated with the Protestant/unionist community. Despite reforms, more than 90 percent of the RUC is Protestant. A recent ethnographic study confirmed earlier surveys revealing that a significant proportion of Catholics continue to perceive the RUC as discriminatory and politically partisan. Certain aspects of policing policies and practices, as well as individual incidents, sustain and reinforce the hostility and distrust. In contrast, the RUC continues to retain the underlying support of the great majority of the Protestant population. However, relationships between the police and significant sections of the Protestant working class have weakened, particularly in inner-city areas. Major current issues include accountability, procedures for investigating and handling complaints against the police, recruitment of Catholics to the police service, community policing, the use of emergency legislation, and public order policing. The current debate about the future of policing in Northern Ireland should recognize both the depth of feelings and the complexity of these issues. 22 reference notes (Author summary modified)
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Criminology; Future of policing; Northern Ireland; Public Opinion of the Police; Religion
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