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N/A | National Police discretion

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by b12mick, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. And yet I know cops that would have taken your answer as an admission of guilt (which is it was) and simply started writing.....

  2. #2 Anubis, Nov 11, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
    Coppers are no different to ordinary people.

    There are magnificent individuals who are so inspiring; garden variety "just trying to get through the working day" types; mean ones; kind ones; dingbats; smart ones; generous ones and even the odd psychopath

    You never really know what type of person you are dealing with and how he spent his last 24 hours. The guy that tears you a new one while he writes you a ticket might well have spent his last shift holding someone's hand while they died in a wreck and then had to tell the family.

    Was sitting in court as the local magistrate sat as coroner a while back. The report the investigating officer read into evidence was truly harrowing... Unnacompanied L plater incinerated. Speed and alcohol the cause. He was alive and uninjured but trapped when the fire started.

    The attending police were in tears in the back of the court. Small town.

    By the time i see it, it is all sanitised. They come in all varieties mate and they do a job at the coalfaceI am not brave enough to do
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  3. Completely disagree.

    By your logic, if a cop gets out of the wrong side of the bed and decides to book me for 3km over, and the next day his having a beautiful day, and lets off someone doing 15kph over with a warning, that is okay?

    I think you'll find professionalism is part of their code of conduct and being impartial is one such factor.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. You prerogative

    The guys I work with and against in the courts in which I practise are seldom so arbitrary. Don't get me wrong there is the odd complete prick who likes hammering people but they tend to be unpopular amongst their own kind as well.

    All I am saying (and it is only my POV) is that I am a paper pusher and sometime wordsmith. I see pictures of dead kids in cars and accident scenes, I question victims of violence and **** (including children) Professionalism for me is getting the job done and appearing outwardly unaffected...seems easy because I am removed from it but when I see a statement from a four year old with an STD in her throat saying "daddy' sausage tastes nasty" it does a number on me...there are nights when I wake with my hand stuffed in my mouth to stop screaming. It sure as shit affects the way I view people.

    the matter I spoke of above... They couldn't get all of the kid out of the car when they removed the body.

    Rather than feeling put upon put yourself in the position of the first responder ... Usually a copper. Who sees the carnage, smells the blood and sundered bowel and has to sort the dead from the dying and offer what comfort they can. They have to stand guard over that then have to tell the family...a knock on the door like that is beyond horrendous for all.

    Tell me that would not impact on you and your world view a little.

    Coping with that is professionalism to a standard most of us will never know

    12 hours later they are back. 3km's over should be within the error on your speedo. If you have no priors there should be a good outcome...most police are happy to use their discretion for little "errors of judgment" and the right attitude.

    15ks well you have a license. Driving and riding is a privilege not a right. We all know the rules and the risks we run. Booking you if you are over is professionalism. We (I have been there too) just don't like it when we get rumbled.

    Most of the coppers I know have presided at appalling fatals and get outraged by the waste of life. It does make them harsher.

    Always open to you to challenge in Court :)

    Did I mention that police make me feel guilty and judged at times too.

  5. Think both of you guys missed the first line Coppers are no different to ordinary people.
    This should apply to all of us but very rarely does, and given the amount of BS, stupidity and general idiocies the police have to deal with on a daily basis I think they get it right most of the time.
    We've all spun stories in the hope of getting off shit sometimes they work sometimes they don't, and if you me or someone else has been puuled over for something especially for doing something stupid then take the tirade and move on.
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  6. It's funny how those complete pricks always end up in the HWP...

    I have heaps of respect for the majority of them, but I have a bad record of running into the bad ones 50% of the time being pulled over for nothing. If these pricks are 'known' should they be still representing the force? Or is sticking them in the hwp the easy option? (Guessing)

    Your last point is what I feel every time as well, we shouldn't have to feel this way when assisting someone who has pulled us over and meant to be protecting us. Even though we have done nothing wrong, we still fear them for pinning something on us that we haven't done, it just goes to show the confidence we have in our police force.

    But back to the topic of bringing emotions to work, its true that it happens to all of us, but if I get up on the wrong side, go to work, get yelled out, I in turn might take it out on my stapler or I my own staff (I hope I haven't). In a cops situation, being in a position of power, the consequences are a lot worst, and even though their bad days are much much worst, it still doesn't excuse them for treating the next person they have to deal with badly. Maybe their partner just needs I step in and remind them to take a deep breathe...

    Having just typed that I realised that every time there have been 2+ cops those have been my pleasant experiences, and its only the lone hwp one that I have not enjoyed... Coincidence?
  7. Plod used to enforce the laws - not hound people by hiding in the bush wearing camo & modelling themselves as a para-military organisation.
    Give respect, get respect.
    If the, extremely difficult, job gets to you - take a break or fly a desk but don't take it out on innocent riders.

  8. Sorry, but the police are not ordinary people. Ordinary people do not have the sort of authoritative powers that the police do. Ordinary people don't carry guns, ordinary people don't have the power to really fcuk your life up like the police do.

    The police should be held to a higher level of scrutiny than ordinary people. Police should be held to a higher level of account for their actions or in-actions.
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  9. Police most definitely are Mick. That is beyond doubt, and is reflected in Code of Conduct & Ethics, Police Manual, Standing Orders, Acts of Parliament and by the Courts.

    Link: NSW Police Force Code of Conduct & Ethics.

    Police do not even have the right to silence that you have once they have been formally directed to answer a question by the Commissioner or a lawfully delegated officer who is investigating a complaint which has been made against the officer. A refusal to answer any question will inevitably result in disciplinary action.

    So not only has a higher standard been set for police officers than any elected public officials but also that the normal protections of the law which are available to all other members of the community are not afforded to police officers.

    They are also subject to integrity testing, including alcohol and prohibited drugs, steroids and gun residue

    eg. s211A, s211AA, and s211AB to name a few.

    • Like Like x 2
  10. Yes I understood that, I was meaning more in the context of the discussion. You know a cop has had a bad 24 hours so is now upset and pissed off so seemingly takes it out on some poor random person they've just pulled over. Some on here think that's alright because they're only human. I don't believe it is alright. I think if that cop can't control his/her feelings he/she should have a few days off or leave the job.
  11. You mean me.
    I did not say it is ok so don't verbal me :)
    I said consider it and use it for context.
    I also said those I know are seldom arbitrary
    There is a higher standard as there is for me or anyone in the system who should know better.
  12. Bullshit, you tried to justify it on their behalf with the excuse "you don't know what their last 24hrs were like".
  13. Not a justification. A perfectly accurate observation.
  14. A perfectly accurate observation that shows that they shouldn't be on the job if they've had a bad day and can't put it behind them when dealing with next member of the public.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't hate cops, I just hate cnts
  15. Police are not robots. As Anubis mentioned earlier, they are people like you and I and have their good and not so good days.

    What we are discussing here is called police discretion which is found everywhere and is a legitimate aspect of modern policing, though its scope and limits are poorly understood unless you have researched the its evolution of time.

    "A lot of people think this is just a job that you go to take a lunch hour, job’s over, something like that. But it’s a twenty-four hour deal, no two ways about it. And what most people don’t see, just how hard it is to do the right thing. People think if I make a judgment call that that’s a judgment on them. But that’s not what I do, and that’s not what should be done. I have to take everything and play it as it lays. Sometimes people need a little help. Sometimes people need to be forgiven. And sometimes they need to go to jail. Now, it’s a very tricky thing on my part, making that call. The law is the law, and heck if I’m gonna break it. You can forgive someone. Well, that’s the tough part. What can we forgive? Tough part of the job. Tough part of walking down the street."​

    The officers above quote captures both the centrality of discretion to the police officers’ job, and the difficulty that frontline officers experience in deciding how best to exercise discretion in particular circumstances.

    Police work by its very nature is discretionary in the sense that it involves the exercise of choice or judgement. Every level of police work, especially at the micro level, involves choice on part of the police officer whether it be to investigate, to question, to search, to arrest, to caution, to charge, to prosecute; what charge to bring, whether to negotiate over pleas and other matters, or which magistrate to put the case before etc etc.

    Discretion is not unique to the police either. It is also spread through common law systems of criminal justice at every stage through arrest, prosecution, trial and sentencing. All from the Commissioner of Police down to the trainee officer on the beat are all called upon to exercise discretion. Policies with respect to the exercise of discretion by police are understandably often controversial, and may change over time in response to changing public attitudes.

    An example of such change may be to do with the policing of domestic violence and child abuse which Anubus may or should be able to confirm or deny. There was a time when, even though both of these matters likely involved criminal offences, the police took the view that they were "private" matters and therefore us did not warrant police intervention. We then had the increasing influence of feminist and child protection arguments (or whatever factors) which led the police in time to change their attitudes and policies towards such situations, to the point that in many jurisdictions the routine non-intervention by police was replaced by mandatory intervention and charging policies.

    The exercise of discretion by its very nature will at some point inevitably involve discrimination. A difficulty here is that the term 'discrimination' has two quite different (positive and negative) connotations: on the one hand, the term may be applied positively to a particularly refined person as a person with 'discriminating taste', and on the other hand, the term 'discriminatory' may be negatively applied to improper or prejudiced race based decision making.

    In setting out acceptable and unacceptable bases for the exercise of discretion, policies and guidelines attempt to identify (and discriminate between) acceptable and unacceptable forms of discrimination in decision making. Not surprisingly, in some circumstances this can be quite confusing for frontline police officers who may not be typically well versed in philosophy or linguistics. It is frequently emphasised to police officers, for instance, that they must not discriminate on the basis of the race of the suspect in making law enforcement decisions, while at the same time, they are urged to be sensitive to ethnic, religious or cultural traditions and differences in dealing with members of the public. The line between acceptable and unacceptable discrimination when faced with a situation involving a member of an ethnic minority may not be readily identifiable or easy to discern for a police officer who has not received good training on such matters.

    Do you see the contradiction in NSW? The regulation emphasises the importance of equality before the law (the duty of 'strict impartiality'), while simultaneously institutionalising departures from this standard through promoting diversionary justice (through cautions or warnings) for otherwise "respectable" rule breakers.

    But in general terms, the only statutory acknowledgement of police discretion relates to the decision to prosecute. This discretion to initiate proceedings focuses on satisfying two considerations; the quality of evidence and the 'public interest'.

    Police discretion is not absolute or unfettered. An exercise of police discretion must be justified rationally and this justification has both subjective and objective elements. The subjective aspect relates to whether discretion has been exercised honestly, transparently and on the basis of valid and reasonable grounds.

    The objective factors supporting the justification focus on the material circumstances in which the officer’s discretion was exercised. Justifications offered must be proportionate to the seriousness of the conduct and it must be clear that the discretion was exercised in the public interest.

    Anyway, discussing discretion is endless, but at days end, some days we will be let off and be thankful, other times we will get pinged and deal with it.


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  16. Justus, my late sister was a cop. My other sister was married to a cop for 23 years. I have many friends who are cops. It is interesting listening to them say "If the fcukers can't handle a bad day without taking it out on the next bloke they should fcuk off and become accountants".
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  17. Oh my....Justus, you really do give good law (fans self giddily) and are a man after my own heart. No way could I have said it better.

    Why B12mick are you calling me a cunny? ... and here was I thinking you were such a sweety.
    What you say has merit but your sister (my sorrow for her loss) knew what a bad day was. Most of us don't.

    Bad day for most of us is a paper cut, a bollocking from the boss...for me a client getting slotted or assaulting me.

    Bad days for coppers (and ambos...anyone who serves really) can turn deadly or at least horribly icky fast. People and mates can and do get harmed. Sometime they die. Totally different ball game.

    They do deal with it mate and they front up the next day to put themselves between us and harm again and again and again.

    You are less likely to find an one off hissy fit more an abiding distaste for dickheads. I go into bat for said dickheads and get them off or minimise the pain their alleged dickheadery earns them. Very occasionally I get that most enchanting of beasts...someone taking responsibility for their actions or even ... An innocent.

    Police discretion is a crucial thing. Sometimes a good scaring is all that is needed to make a person straighten up and fly right. Some never learn.

    Had a client with a woeful 30 year driving history on his third PCA in five years (in NSW you are looking at gaol for that). Had lost his licence no fewer than 11 times over the years...didn't get it. On the day probation and parole came to assess for home detention (a form of gaol term) they sprung his disqualified self coming home on the motorbike. Yay.

    Personally I would rather cop a bollocking from a copper than end up in court and risk a criminal penalty. Like it or not the attitude test means a lot. It also keeps a lot of matters it of court which is very important.
  18. Sorry but I disagree, they are just normal people yes they have higher standards, and codes of conduct etc but they are just ordinary folk, you need any more further proof take a look at the BS our state and federal pollies roll out on a daily basis.

    we all have our good and bad days but as long as you/they don't step outside your boundaries, guideline's or code its fine we may not like it but it happens
  19. I don't believe I did call you a cunny. I believe I said hate cunnys, but if you took that to mean you than you must think of yourself as a cunny.

    Yes, yes, yes. Most do deal with it without taking it out the next Jo Public they meet, but what started this part of the discussion was those cops that don't deal with it and do take it out on the next person they meet.

    And Jeffco, sorry the police MUST be 'better' than the average person. If you are I have a bad day, someone might get yelled at or offended. If a cop is having a bad day and takes it out in you, then it can have very bad consequences for you.

    I'm not saying all cops are like this. I know that's not the case, but it doesn't change the fact they are NOT like you and me, they have a much more authority over the public and therefore should be 'better' than us.

    Your arguments are like people who tell me priests just normal people as well, so they also have indiscretions. Bullshit, priests and police (along with some other professions) are seen as 'authoritative' figures that can impose undue influence over individuals. For this reason they MUST be held to a high level of morality than the rest of us. Why do you think the psych testing is quite stringent for the Police Force - or at least it was when I applied (and incidentally was accepted, but decided against it for personal reasons).
  20. Spot on Mick.