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Citizens and police officers. Nick Allen

Democratic policing: what it says about America today

The use of lethal force by police officers in Ferguson and Staten Island has raised many concerns about the dynamic between police and citizens and underlined the fact that all time favorite fictional…
Does this look like community policing? Flikr/Jamelle Bouie

With identity crisis in police, more Fergusons inevitable

Recent social unrest across the country protesting the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the police chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York has reopened wounds and revealed deeply…
We all want to change the world. EPA/Porter Binks

Eric Garner, the ‘American problem’ and a chance to unite

Police violence has dominated American headlines over the past year. The seemingly unaccounted-for police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson brought renewed attention and public protests…
How prevalent is the use of lethal force by police in Australia, and is a disturbing trend developing in Queensland? AAP/Dave Hunt

Shoot to kill: the use of lethal force by police in Australia

Over the weekend, Queensland police shot and killed a 51-year-old man who was allegedly armed with a knife. On Monday night, another man was shot and killed on the Gold Coast. It was the sixth Queensland…
Not who you want stopping you on the street. Danny Lawson/PA

Where stop-and-search policing with a firearm became routine

Here’s a figure that deserves some attention: in the first year in which Scotland had a single police force, 8,000 stop searches were carried out by armed response officers, an average of 29 searches by…
The Toronto G20 summit showed what starts out as a peaceful protest can turn into a violent clash. EPA/Sergei Ilinitsky

G20 lockdown: the challenge of balancing freedom and security

The Brisbane G20 summit is shaping up to to be Australia’s largest security operation. In recent decades, most large-scale protests in Australia have been relatively peaceful events, but the policing of…
Chemical weapons could be making a stealthy comeback. Andreas Gradin via Shutterstock

Could incapacitating chemical weapons start an arms race?

On October 26 2002, to end a three-day siege on a theatre in Moscow by Chechen terrorists, Russian security forces used a secret incapacitating chemical agent (ICA) weapon believed to affect the central…
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, far beyond your friendly neighborhood patrolmen. Larry W Smith/EPA

Police militarization is a legacy of cold war paranoia

In August, the police who faced protesters in Ferguson, Missouri looked more like soldiers than officers of the peace. Citizens squared off with a camouflage-clad police force armed with tear gas and grenade…
Better brush up on your sleuthing skills. Casey Fleser

First come DIY detectives, then pay-as-you go policing

An alarming report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has revealed that some police forces have simply given up investigating some types of crime, instead calling on the general public to…
Mourners at the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25. St.Louise Post-Dispath/Pool/EPA

Epidemic of rights abuse fails black kids across the US

As the world grapples with the containment of diseases such as Ebola, there is another epidemic that demands attentive responses, policies, and actions. It is one of grave proportions regarding the violation…
The blurring of the line between the military and the police, especially in the US, is now on the political agenda following recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. EPA/Roberto Rodriguez

Urban combat: Ferguson and the militarisation of police

Anyone watching the footage coming out of Ferguson, Missouri in recent days would be forgiven for thinking they had tuned into a scene from a combat zone, rather than suburban America. There has been a…
Mobile phone towers can be used to locate people. Flickr/Ervins Strauhmanis

What the police can get from mobile phone tower data

Metadata is in the news again with revelations that police in Australia have been getting access to data collected from mobile base stations (cell towers). In the wiretapping world there is a distinction…
In preparing for the World Cup, Brazilian police have embarked on a process of cleaning up the country’s poorest neighbourhoods, known as favelas. EPA/Antonio Lacerda

Brazil’s World Cup preparations showcase ‘celebration capitalism’

Brazil is famous for many things: samba, football and beaches, but also its favelas, the poor neighbourhoods that encircle its cities. These areas are often on invaded lands in middle and upper-class neighbourhoods…
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…

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