skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 69270 Find in a Library
Title: ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE POLICE - TWO STUDIES
Author(s): D G T WILLIAMS
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 61
Sponsoring Agency: Kluwer Bv
Deventer, Holland
Sale Source: Kluwer Bv
Stromarkt 8
Deventer,
Netherlands
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: TWO STUDIES ON THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF POLICE IN GREAT BRITAIN ARE PRESENTED. THE FIRST EXAMINES THE LAW AND PUBLIC PROTEST, AND THE SECOND EXPLORES METHODS AVAILABLE TO ENSURE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY.
Abstract: THE BASIS FOR DISCUSSIONS ON PUBLIC PROTEST AND THE POLICE IN GREAT BRITAIN REMAINS A.V. DICEY'S 'LAW OF THE CONSTITUTION,' PUBLISHED IN 1885, WHICH USED AS ITS MAJOR REFERENCE THE BEATLY V. GILLBANKS DECISION OF 1882. THE PRINCIPLE OF THE DECISION IS THAT AN INNOCENT ACT DONE WITH INNOCENT INTENT DOES NOT BECOME CRIMINAL BECAUSE IT MAY PROVOKE OTHERS INTO ILLEGAL ACTIONS. RESTRICTIONS TO THAT PRINCIPLE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN NOTED, ESPECIALLY IN CASES WHERE THE LEGAL ACTIONS ARE PARTICULARLY INSULTING AND WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY PROVOKE PUBLIC DISORDER. THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT (1936) ALLOWS WIDE DISCRETION TO POLICE, LOCAL AUTHORITIES, AND THE HOME SECRETARY IN THE REGULATION OF PROCESSIONS, BUT SUCH POWER IS SELDOM USED. THE BRITISH DISTINCTION BETWEEN PROCESSIONS AND STATIONARY MEETINGS REFLECTS THE ISSUE OF THE RIGHT TO USE THE HIGHWAY REASONABLY FOR PASSAGE AND REPASSAGE, AND RESULTANT CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION ISSUES. THE SECOND STUDY RECOGNIZES AN UNDERLYING DILEMMA OF ALL DISCUSSION IN THE AREA OF LAW AND PRACTICE RELATING TO THE POLICE--THE NECESSITY FOR ADEQUATE SAFEGUARDS FOR THE PERSONS COMPLAINED AGAINST AS WELL AS THE COMPLAINANT. ALTHOUGH POLICE RESISTANCE TO OUTSIDE ELEMENTS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS PREVENTED SUCH PROCEDURES IN THE PAST, THE POLICE ACT OF 1976 HAS ESTABLISHED A POLICE COMPLAINTS BOARD TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUES OF ACCOUNTABILITY. CURRENTLY, METHODS USED TO ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY INCLUDE CIVIL ACTIONS AGAINST POLICE, PROSECUTIONS AGAINST POLICE USUALLY LAUNCHED BY THE POLICE THEMSELVES, INQUIRIES INTO POLICE CONDUCT, JUDICIAL SCRUITINY IN THE COURSE OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS, AND POLITICAL REMEDIES. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Accountability; Civil disorders; Civil liability; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Judicial decisions; Laws and Statutes; Legal doctrines; Police internal investigations; Police legal limitations; Police responsibilities
Note: CAMBRIDGE-TILBURG LAW LECTURES, FIRST SERIES 1978
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69270

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.