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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50490 Find in a Library
Title: ACCOUNTABILITY OF POLICE FORCES - WHO POLICES THE POLICE? (FROM POLICE IN AUSTRALIA - DEVELOPMENT, FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES, 1977, BY KERRY L MILTE AND THOMAS A WEBER SEE NCJ-50485)
Author(s): R W WHITROD
Corporate Author: Butterworth Pty Ltd
Australia
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth Pty Ltd
Chatswood 2067, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: A FORMER POLICE COMMISSIONER OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, COMMENTS ON DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF POLICE ADMINISTRATORS TO THE PUBLIC.
Abstract: THE DISCUSSION TOUCHES ON INDICATIONS THAT GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY WILL BE REQUIRED OF AUSTRALIAN POLICE ADMINISTRATORS, ON EFFORTS TO IMPROVE ACCOUNTABILITY IN AUSTRALIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES, AND ON FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN CONTINUING SUCH EFFORTS. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT, WHEN GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES WERE ESSENTIALLY REGULATORY, ACCOUNTABILITY PROCEDURES DESIGNED PRIMARILY TO ENSURE LEGALITY AND FINANCIAL INTEGRITY WERE APPROPRIATE. BUT WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE 'WELFARE STATE' AND ITS MANY SERVICES HAS COME THE NEED TO MONITOR THE VOLUME AND QUALITY OF THOSE SERVICES. INCREASINGLY POLICE ADMINISTRATORS ARE BEING CALLED UPON TO SATISFY INQUIRIES ABOUT WHAT POLICE ARE TRYING TO DO, HOW EFFECTIVE THEY ARE, AND WHETHER THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS JUSTIFY COSTS. POLICE ADMINISTRATORS MAY WELL HAVE TO ADOPT AN EXTENDED CONCEPT OF ACCOUNTABILITY IF THEY ARE TO ENCOURAGE CITIZEN CONFIDENCE IN THE POLICE AND COMMUNITY COOPERATION IN POLICE PROGRAMS. MAJOR STEPS IN THE ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS INCLUDE DEFINING THE AIMS OF THE POLICE AND MEASURING THE QUALITY OF SERVICES PROVIDED. ON THE FORMER POINT, CONFUSION EXISTS AMONG POLICYMAKERS, THE COURTS, THE PUBLIC, POLICE ADMINISTRATORS, AND INDIVIDUAL POLICE OFFICERS. WITH REGARD TO THE SECOND STEP, THE IDENTIFICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF RELIABLE INDICATORS OF EFFICIENCY LONG HAS BEEN A MAJOR PROBLEM CONFRONTING POLICE ADMINISTRATORS. OTHER ASPECTS OF ACCOUNTABILITY INCLUDE THE HANDLING OF CITIZEN COMPLAINTS AGAINST POLICE, THE INVESTIGATION OF OTHER INSTANCES OF ALLEGED POLICE MISCONDUCT, THE EFFECTS OF DISPERSION OF CONTROL ON POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY, AND THE NEED FOR METHODS OF COST-EFFECTIVENESS ANALYSIS IN POLICE MANAGEMENT. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE 'SIEGE MENTALITY' ATTRIBUTED TO SOME POLICE MAY BE UNDERSTANDABLE IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT POLICE OFTEN ARE CAST IN ROLES THAT BRING THEM INTO CONFLICT WITH BOTH GROUPS (THE PUBLIC AND THE STATE) THEY ARE SWORN TO SERVE. ATTENTION IS ALSO DRAWN TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT, IN AUSTRALIA, THERE IS A GREATER NEED FOR POLICE SUPPORTERS THAN FOR POLICE AUDITORS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Accountability; Australia; Police
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50490

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