Teaching the Old Police New Tricks
Because of the growing popularity of the issues concerning the police, the significance of its duty is becoming increasingly evident to the people in the UK. With help of the media sources, the population of the UK has become aware of the changes that the police have undergone. However, people are still unaware of numerous issues of police’s daily life. Among the white spots in people’s knowledge of police, the police interceptions take the first place.
Under the spur of progress, the police interceptors in the UK have been equipped according to the necessities which they might encounter on their way – and these are quite numerous. Among the items which the police interceptors need most in their daily routine, the means of communication take the first place. Indeed, it turns out vitally important for a police interceptor to let the squad know his/her location and help him/her detain the criminal. Thus, it has to be considered that one of the most important novelties in the police world is such equipment as police mobile communication networks. Compared to the previous state of affairs, the situation has sufficiently improved, as Krogstie (2005) notes:
Nunn (2001) noted that Police forces tend to be major users of ICT and posited that the reasons for this are the normal business drivers of improving efficiency and effectiveness (p. 205)
Thus, it is quite clear that in the previous years, the police lacked specific ammunition which could afford them to conduct interceptions. Yet from now on, the police can level the chances with the offenders and oppose them most decently. According to the research held recently among police, interception squads have been equipped with specific ammunition which could stand the comparison to the modern technologies as Krogstie marked this,
The UK Government has recently invested over four billion pounds in a mobile communication network for UK police forces. (p. 204).
Thus, it can be considered that the UK police have made a great step towards more successful interceptions; yet it must be kept in mind that the result of interceptions depends greatly not only on the quality of the equipment which the police uses but also on the talents and the skills of the squad. Thus, it can be considered that the police have reached another level of development, yet there are other issues of police routine to consider.
Among the most notorious details of police, interception chronicles the risks which the police squad takes when conducting another interception mission is one of the most well-known. Since it is impossible to consider each turn a situation can take, each policeman understands the risks which he takes and is ready to pay his duty to the civil citizen of the country.
Nothing Venture, Nothing Gain: Risking the Way a Policeman Does
As one can easily understand, the daily routine of an interception squad can be rather dangerous. Encountering both pathetic culprits who cannot take a step without a mistake and malignant offenders, armed cap-a-pie, policemen have to act swiftly and fearlessly; to be more precise, they merely have no time to be afraid. Thus, the mission of the police becomes twice as hard and almost impossible.
However, policemen understand pretty well what risks they are taking and what the consequences of another interception operation can be. Facing death each time, they still have to fight to protect the civil citizen.
However, according to the modern changes in the UK police organization, new measures to ensure additional security of the policemen have been provided. Thus, it can be considered that the state of policemen’s affairs at the working place is gradually improving.
It is quite weird though that the strategy of risks management has not been adopted in policing yet (123), as Walker (2005) says, though it is obvious that the police needs it badly. However, there have been certain suggestions concerning the means to ensure police’s safety in a more or less satisfactory way:
An EI system database can serve as a risk management program, readily identifying patterns of individual officers and situations that represent actual or potential risks. In fact, the expanded EI system in the Cincinnati Police Department, as mandated by a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Justice, is called the Risk Management System. (Walker 123)
Therefore, it is far too early to consider that the police have obtained all the necessary means to ensure their safety. Taking into consideration that the working plan has been put into practice only recently, there are all grounds to suspect that it will undergo a series of changes.
However, it has to be admitted that the innovations provided for the UK police feature the new methods to fight the high risks. With help of the new means of maintaining constant contact with each other, a police squad will be able to have more opportunities to survive in the most complicated interceptions.
One of the most progressive issues concerning the changes in the structure of the police safety system is the fact that the modern system tends to pay specific attention to an individual. Because of the psychological tension which each policeman feels taking part in interceptions, the modern system of safety insurance deals with the individual reaction first. However, it is extremely important that the program still aims at making police act organic, as Walker (2005) explains:
Although an EI system focuses on the performance of individual officers, additional risk management procedures are necessary to ensure that the department takes the necessary steps to revise policies and training to prevent future problems. (p. 123)
Consequently, the scheme which the government has suggested for the police system of safety insurance has all the grounds to be applied to the practice as the one which accounts for both an individual and the team; yet the developers themselves admit that the scheme requires certain improvements. The given situation testifies that there have been sufficient changes in the sphere of police risk management, yet the system has not been tested well enough yet. It is quite obvious that such issues require considerable time-testing, which means that only computer modelling methods can solve the problem.
There is certain evidence that the EI system of safety insurance has proved quite efficient already, yet the pieces of the evidence are far too few at present to make any far-reaching statements.
Taking the Initiative: The Most Promising Strategies for Police Interceptors
Since the modern police interception squads are currently facing serious charges, the issue of strategies for police interceptors has been tackled as well. A sore spot for the police of the UK not so long ago, the old strategies have been interchanged with the new ideas. Because of the conceptual change of the interception squad, their manner of action was also to be altered (Demand5)
It seems that the changes are slowly but surely being embedded in the UK police system. At present, it is extremely important to realize that the changes made to the old system of interceptions are aimed at making the environment in which police officers work as safe as possible and at the safe time obtain high rates of a percentage of crimes being solved. Analyzing the strategies which led to success in previous years and creating the new strategies according to the pattern of the latter is one of the key objectives for the UK.
However, one of the major assets of the UK police is the rapid response to the actions of the criminals. Using this feature of the English police as the main trait to focus on and build the rest of the strategies on, the police department could create the squad which would be invulnerable to most of the typical criminals. Mentioning one of the tasks which the force squad was to handle, Sheppard (2005) meant this very quality of the British police:
Immediately after the shooting, a rapid response team consisting of police, probation officers, Federal and local prosecutors, and Federal law reinforcement personnel met and located not only suspects but also the victims’ associates. (p. 58)
Introducing the model of fast reaction to the criminals’ actions, one could make the British police invincible. Perhaps, this could involve a certain element of extraordinary thinking – a police officer has to think the way a criminal does to guess his/her next move and apprehend the villain.
Another important change in the strategy of the UK police squad was the fact that they have finally abandoned the long-retained reactive model, as Sheppard (2005) claims:
Hotspot analyses also have become increasingly important for police departments as they seek to move from a reactive to a proactive model of policing. (p. 95)
Meaning that the police in the United Kingdom are going to turn to less forceful methods of persuasion, the police department did not mean that the police are going to become a laughing stock for persistent criminals. On the contrary, the police will reinforce their methods to achieve higher rates of crime detection. Still, their actions are going to be more humane (Sheppard).
Another issue that requires certain attention is the fact that police ethics became the centre of public attention not so long ago. Reinforced and equipped, the police have also renewed their moral basis. Proclaiming human rights protection and fighting injustice as their main goal, the police are following the principles set in 1994 (Barker 2006):
- I will act with fairness, carrying out responsibilities with integrity and impartiality;
- Perform duties with diligence and the proper use of discretion;
- In dealing with individuals, both outside and inside the police service, display self-control, tolerance, understanding and courtesy appropriate to the circumstances (14)
Though accepted in distant 1994, these rules have become an integral part of the global ethics, which police is also subject to. Once reestablished, these rules can be used as a powerful tool for restructuring the police and reconsidering the way the relationships between the police and the population of the United Kingdom are constructed.
Understanding the roots of the problems which arise once police contact with the citizens, it will be possible to eliminate the causes for the tension between these parties. Thus, a sufficient level of social harmony can be reached with help of the new rules introduced to the British police.
As it has been detected, one of the most notorious issues on the agenda of the modern British police is the problem of bribery. Even though there have been numerous attempts to fight this phenomenon, the problem seems to root much deeper than one could think. Rather a widespread virus, it proved contagious for a number of states, among them the USA. As Gaines (2008) certifies, police officers have to face a number of dilemmas daily, and bribery is one of those controversial issues.
Gaines marks that the choice between what is legal and what is right often put officers in an awkward situation. However, sometimes it is the temptation to act in the “wrong” way that pushes police officers to do what they are not supposed to, as Gaines (2008) says:
The majority of ethical dilemmas that a police officer will face are not so clear-cut. Criminologists Joycelyn M. Pollock and Ronald F. Becker define an ethical dilemma as a situation in which law enforcement officers:
- Do not know the right course of action;
- Have difficulty doing what they consider to be right; and/or
- Finding the wrong choice is very tempting. (p. 155)
Consequently, it seems that the UK police system is moving in the right direction, yet it is evident that they have a long way to go. Although there has been certain progress achieved concerning the techniques of fighting criminals and arresting them, it is still evident that the British police system requires radical changes. With help of considerable law reinforcement in the system of British police, the situation could be handled.
Where Is the Solution?
Although it is clear now that the British police is trying to make use of any new technology or any other innovation to succeed in their chase for criminals, British police still face certain difficulties. One must figure out what retains them from following the new impeccable standards introduced.
Perhaps, one of the most influential reasons is the notorious human factor. No matter how well-trained and devoted to the ideas of the police ethics one can be, there is always the element of “temptation” (Gaines 2008). It is human psychology that stands in the way of justice and the legal system.
What lays on the other hand is an even more well-known dilemma which every policeman faces as (s)he has to fight criminals and apprehend them. A policeman always plays fair, no matter what might happen; whereas a bandit can resort to any means of saving his skin – and (s)he will! Such is the code of police that justice is above all for each of the squad members.
And, finally, whatever happens, police always have to care about the safety of the citizen. Thus, they do not have the right to resort to some means of fighting criminals in case these means can harm the rest of the people.
Bound by their responsibilities and their duties, the police of the UK have undergone great changes to serve people better. However, time will tell if these changes are of some effect. It must be kept in mind that progress is rather liberal – it concerns both the police and the villains.
Barker, T. (2006) Police Ethics: Crisis Law Enforcement. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.
Demand5. (2010) Police Interceptors: Special Edition, online video, Web.
Gaines, Larry K., and Miller, Roger LeRoy. (2008) Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. Stanford, CN: Cengage Learning.
Krogstie, John, et al. (2005) Mobile Information Systems II: IFIP International Working Conference of Mobile Information Systems. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Science & Business.
Sheppard, David L., and Bilchic, Shay. (2005) Promising Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence Report. Philadelphia, PA: DIANE Publishing.
Walker, S. (2005) The New World of Police Accountability. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.