“Governing policing in a democracy - A primer”. Philip Stenning Professor in Criminology Keele University. What is “democratic policing” thought to require?
“Governing policing in a democracy - A primer”
Professor in Criminology
“[W]hat is democracy? It is rightly equated with regular elections; an active parliament; an accountable executive, army and police force under the control of an elected civilian government; an independent judiciary; transparent public accounts system; human rights commission, ombudsman and more.
But these mean nothing without a true embrace of the culture of democracy, and its overriding idea that ordinary citizens should have a say in how they are
governed. That does not happen overnight.”
- Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary-General,
in a letter to The Guardian, 27th September, 2006, p. 33.
“In a democratic society, the police serve to protect, rather than impede, freedoms. The very purpose of the police is to provide a safe, orderly environment in which these freedoms can be exercised. A democratic police force is not concerned with people's beliefs or associates, their movements or conformity to state ideology. It is not even primarily concerned with the enforcement of regulations or bureaucratic regimens. Instead, the police force of a democracy is concerned strictly with the preservation of safe communities and the application of criminal law equally to all people, without fear or favour.”
- United Nations International Police Task Force, 1996.
“In our judgment [a] new beginning cannot be achieved unless the reality that part of the community feels unable to identify with the present name and symbols associated with the police is addressed…..[O]ur proposals seek to achieve a situation in which people can be British, Irish or Northern Irish, as they wish, and all regard the police service as their own.”
- Patten Inquiry Report, 1999: 99, para 17.6
"When we speak of the responsibility of statutory authorities, we are referring to two parallel and interlocking mechanisms. The first is the mechanism of control, which extends from the controlling person or institution to the controlled statutory authority. The second is the mechanism of answerability or accountability. The control mechanism provides a means for ensuring that the statutory authority acts, or refrains from acting, in certain ways. The answerability mechanism provides information to the controller, and may indicate the occasions in which the control mechanism is to be brought into play.”
- Goldring & Wettenhall, 1980: 136
“a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”
“[T]he modern state is a compulsory association which organizes domination. It has been successful in seeking to monopolize the legitimate use of physical force as a means of domination within a territory. To this end the state has combined the material means of organization in the hands of its leaders, and it has expropriated all autonomous functionaries of estates who formerly controlled these means in their own right. The state has taken their positions and now stands in the top place.”
- Max Weber, in “Politics as a Vocation” (“Politik als Beruf” Gesammelte Politische Schriften (Muenchen, 1921), pp. 396-450) - originally a speech at Munich University, 1918, published in 19l9 by Duncker & Humblodt, Munich