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Police brutality in Australia is a menace that needs to be solved as urgently as possible. Despite the fact that the code of conduct of the police force is available and all the police know how they should conduct themselves, they commonly mishandle suspects leading to inhumane treatment of people. The code of Conduct of Victoria Police Department, for instance, details how the police in South Australia should make arrests while respecting the constitutional rights of the victims. The use of reasonable force is especially of interest in recent cases of police brutality. A recent case in Melbourne involving the violent and inhumane treatment of a disability pensioner showed the height of the issue of police brutality (Knight, 2018).
The different jurisdictions in Australia have laws that protect their citizens during arrest and also detail on how the process of arresting whether with a warrant or without a warrant should be done. States have their laws concerning the matter. Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) for example details how people should be arrested in South Australia (OAIC, 2015). Also, the law says how police should protect the rights of the suspects during the arrest. The document containing the code of conduct of the police for the Victoria State Police Department details how the police are expected to carry themselves in the state. However, there is very minimal surveillance of the police when they are doing their work. Therefore, the police have been left to be their own masters while at work.
The lack of proper supervision of the police during their work has led to them practicing outside the powers conferred to them by the state constitutions. The harassment and mishandling of a disability pensioner is an example of the case. Therefore, it is urgent that more supervision is given to the police. Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) protects the privacies of citizens of the country including the police (OAIC, 2015). Therefore, surveillance of the police as they conduct their work is legally very complicated, and thus, the lack of monitoring persists.
I will propose that the police departments in the states of Australia implement the use of body-worn cameras in their jurisdictions to track the activities of the police while conducting their work. Drawing on the concept of new public management (NPM), I argue that the working of the police departments of the different states of Australia without adequate oversight by the government has led to the rampant cases of police brutality against the citizens of the country (Mulgan, 2012). The local governments should have means of supervising the police while in the field.
Mulgan (2012) will be used in arguing in support of government oversight in the management as well as tracking of the offering of security services to the people of Australia. The idea of Haque (2001) of reducing the public quality of services offered by the government such as security in favor for more market-driven modes of operation will be used to support the idea of using body cams to ensure that services offered by the police were of the required quality and respected the rights of the citizens who are the citizens.
From the discussion, I have understood that for agencies of the government to satisfy the needs of the people, the agencies have to adopt businesslike models such as offering services based on public demand. In the case of the police, respecting the rights of the people is very important, and therefore, the agencies should implement the use of body cams or other means of supplying the public with its requirements
Askew, M., 2012. Police powers and your rights [WWW Document]. Victoria Legal Aid. URL https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legal-answers/police-powers-and-your-rights (accessed 4.17.18).
Haque, M.S., 2001. The diminishing publicness of public service under the current mode of governance. Public administration review, 61(1), pp.65-82.
Knight, B., 2018. 'I thought I was going to die': Police take-down of disability pensioner revealed [WWW Document]. ABC News. URL http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/melbourne-police-on-video-taking-down-disability-pensioner/9591006 (accessed 4.17.18).
Mulgan, G., 2012. Social Innovation Theories: Can Theory Catch Up with Practice?. In Challenge social innovation (pp. 19-42). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
OAIC, 2015. Australian Privacy Principles - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) [WWW Document]. OAIC. URL https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/privacy-act/australian-privacy-principles (accessed 4.17.18).
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