Articles on Police

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A bit of ‘territorial support’ from the thin blue line. Carl Court/PA Wire

Violence in Britain: getting away with murder?

Over the past ten years, 519 people have died after contact with the police, either in custody (the great majority) or during a pursuit or another road traffic incident. Some 23 people have been shot by…
With the Queensland Police Force covering his back, Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen (pictured right) was impervious in his time in power. srv007

Jacks and Jokers: Bjelke-Petersen and Queensland’s ‘police state’

In his latest book, Jacks and Jokers, Matthew Condon traces the rise and influence of Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen years. In this extract, Condon writes how…
Surprisingly few police have the knowledge and skills to know how to deal with people in crisis. Shutterstock

Training police to better respond to people with mental illness

Police officers encounter people with mental illnesses every day, whether they are perpetrators, victims, or witnesses of crime. In 2013 alone, NSW police responded to more than 40,000 mental health incidents…
The move to mobile technology has opened up a wealth of metadata, but that information goes deeper than you may first think. The Fuji street shooter/Flickr

Metadata and the law: what your smartphone really says about you

Metadata related to lawful interception has been in the news a bit lately. You may have seen last week the Australian Federal Police (AFP) called for more access to electronic metadata as a Senate committee…
Police lead away members of the Drax coal train protest group. Anna Gowthorpe/PA

The shocking and immoral behaviour of the British secret police

The news that a group of environmental protesters who stopped a train carrying coal to the Drax power station in 2009 have had their convictions overturned should give us pause for thought about the current…
Keys not cuffs. Banspy

Police cells are no place for mental health patients

It is no secret that mental health services are in a sorry state. Last year saw lots of stories about the increased pressures being placed on treating people in the community and on beds in mental health…
‘Susan’, a trafficked sex worker - one of a minority, research has suggested. Manchester Evening News/PA Wire

Only a minority of UK sex workers have been trafficked

The moral panic on the supposed prevalence of trafficking in the global sex industry rests on a lie: that the majority of sex workers are trafficked. In fact, the opposite is true. However, on the basis…
Gloomy outlook for free speech. ucloccupation

Policing on campus is a brazen attack on free speech

Relations between student protesters and police in universities have broken down. From demonstrations demanding that “cops stay off campus” to protests against the heavy-handed way in which students have…
Policing in the UK appears to be benefitting from commissioners. brizzle born and bred

After a slow start, police commissioners hit their stride

The “plebgate” saga has once again raised questions about police integrity and dented public trust and confidence in policing more generally. Building such trust was, of course, one of the coalition government’s…
Tanking’s too good for ‘em. beob8er

Drunk tanks another private police disaster in the making

Since the Thatcher years, successive governments from both political parties have been committed to reforming and reducing the public sector. Alongside, there have been numerous reforms to introduce “private…
Evening all: Elected commissioners are under pressure. Kenjonbro via Creative Commons

Was the election of police commissioners a mistake?

The tension between senior police officers and their elected masters has spilled over into the political arena after reports of chief constables being bullied out of their jobs and complaints of misuse…
Police will interview suspects following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby but how they do it is important. PA/Dominic Lipinski

The psychology of interviewing suspects, from Woolwich to Boston

There are strong parallels to be drawn between last week’s Woolwich murder and the Boston bombings in April, and not just because of the terrorism connection. The subsequent shooting and hospitalisation…
Is it reasonable to expect juries to spend the time needed to check police transcripts against the audio when lawyers themselves do not? Shutterstock/Everett Collection

Covert recordings as evidence in court: the return of police ‘verballing’?

Today, we take it for granted that police interviews with suspects will be electronically recorded and independently transcribed. That hasn’t always been the case. Police were once allowed to testify…
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, Families Minister Jenny Macklin and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have announced the royal commission’s terms of reference. AAP/Stephanie Flack

Explainer: royal commission into child sex abuse

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse were released this afternoon in Sydney. In speeches that emphasised the need to acknowledge the experiences…
The Federal Government will give the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse a special unit to investigate cases but will not have the power to prosecute. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Royal Commission into Child Abuse terms of reference: experts respond

The Federal Government today released the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses Child…

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