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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76533 Find in a Library
Title: Politics of Policing and the Policing of Politics (From Policing the Police, Volume 2, P 9-62, 1980, Peter Hain, ed. - See NCJ-76532)
Author(s): M Kettle
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 54
Sponsoring Agency: John Calder, Ltd
London, W1R 4A5, England
Sale Source: John Calder, Ltd
18 Brewer Street
London, W1R 4A5,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Events and statements documenting the tendency of the British police to allow their political opinions to influence their policing methods are described, with particular attention to race conflicts.
Abstract: Daily policing policy and training regard certain types of people, including the majority of those engaged in various political activities, as legitimate targets for police suspicion. The modern urban police officer is conditioned to regard radical political groups as criminals from whom society requires protection. Although the police claim their authority on behalf of the whole of society and its basic principles of organization, their power is used on behalf of particular groups whose views they share. The groups on behalf of which the police act change according to circumstances; they will be different in the case of a hit and run motor accident than in a racist demonstration, for example. The police claim, however, that they act only on behalf of all citizens. This claim has gone largely unchallenged, despite the disputes which could and should occur over subjects like police powers, operations, organization, training, accountability, and spending. Because there is no tradition of political disagreement over any aspect of policing, the police have been allowed to make their own policies and operate behind a rhetoric of their own choosing. The police have already consigned demonstrators, pickets, squatters, blacks, gays, feminists, immigrants, and the Irish to the status of threats to society. Unless the police are challenged, their list of policing targets is likely to grow longer. Notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Discrimination; Foreign police training; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Police attitudes; Police discretion; Police management; Policy; Political influences
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