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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75643 Find in a Library
Title: Aboriginals and the Criminal Law - Police-aboriginal Relations (From Aborigines and the Criminal Law in New South Wales, P 40-47, 1980 - See NCJ-75640)
Author(s): F L Killen
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Written by an Australian police superintendent, this paper points out inaccuracies in the reporting of police discrimination against Aborigines.
Abstract: On the whole, police act impartially when dealing with Aborigines, treat them no differently than other sections of the community, and would prefer to have an amicable relationship with them. The most common cause for police involvement with Aborigines is intoxication. Traffic offenses are prevalent, but they mainly involve unlicensed driving, driving while disqualified, and driving unregistered and uninsured motor vehicles. Fewer Aborigines than whites are charged with alcohol-associated driving offenses. However, many assaults are committed by Aborigines arising out of domestic arguments following the consumption of alcohol. On those less frequent occasions when assaults are committed by an Aborigine on a non-Aborigine, it is difficult to prosecute offenders due to victim unwillingness to prosecute. In point of fact, the majority of Aborigines are reasonably well behaved, reasonably good citizens, and cause no more trouble than the average of the remainder of the community. No doubt individual police have varying attitudes to Aborigines. Further, it is understandable that unpleasant encounters with certain Aborigines over a period of time can affect an individual police officer's attitude. The Dubbo Police Department has incorporated segments on Aboriginal matters at all levels of police training, from recruit through the senior officer courses. Unfair media coverage, the inhibiting affect of the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS), and the unfriendly attitudes to police of ALS field officers are drawbacks to good police-Aboriginal relations. A great improvement would be made by a more selective choice of legal service staff and field officers.
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Australia; Civil liberties organizations; Police community relations; Police-offender relations; Racial discrimination; Trust fund abuse
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