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Police Misconduct: The Case Of Ian Tomlinson

1218 words - 5 pages

This report will be on the Police service. It will explain who the police are and their role and function within the Criminal Justice System and society. In addition, it will talk about police misconduct and the results of police misconduct within the police, government and society.

The police was set up originally in 1829 by Robert Peel, who was home secretary at the time. It was created because as society became more complex, they needed a way to deal with civil disorder without using the military (Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime 2014). To date, there are 43 police forces in England and Wales. The police are used “to prevent crime, protect life and
property and pre-serve public tranquillity” (Joyce, P 2009 p48)

The police are just one agency within the Criminal Justice System All of the agencies within the Criminal Justice System work together. Another agency in the Criminal Justice System is The Ministry of Justice, of whom are responsible for other parts of the justice system such as the courts, prisons and probation services. For example, the police are responsible for keeping the peace and for the investigation of crime, they also collect evidence and arrest suspected offenders. In case of an emergency, the public is able to call ‘999’ and ask for the police to be sent out. Once at the scene the police then makes a decision, if the case is minor, then the police decide whether to caution them, or take no further action. They can also issue a fixed penalty notice, or they can refer to the Crown Prosecution Service for a conditional caution. If it is a more serious case, they send the papers to the Crown Prosecution Service for them to decide on the prosecution. Once sent to the Crown Prosecution Service it is out of the hands of the police (The Crown Prosecution Service 2014). This is an example of how the police and The Crown Prosecution Service work together.

Over the past few years, police misconduct has been in the media a lot. Police misconduct is when the police do not behave appropriately, or in the behaviour in which they have been trained. An example of police misconduct is the death of Ian Tomlinson. Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed by a Police Officer on the 1st April 2009. The officer was called PC Simon Harwood, and when the G20 protests were taking place Ian Tomlinson was struck with a baton and pushed to the floor by the officer. Ian Tomlinson was not taking part in the protests, but was merely walking home from work when he was struck by the officer. Once struck Tomlinson then collapsed and fell to the floor and died. Harwood was then taken to court and was trialled for manslaughter after the unlawful killing of Tomlinson (Lewis, P 2011). Harwood was found not guilty for the unlawful killing of Ian Tomlinson, despite there being video footage which shows clearly Harwood pushes Tomlinson to the floor from behind him (Guardian).

However, despite being found not guilty of manslaughter, PC Harwood was...

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