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Analysis of The Role of a Police Officer in The 21st Century

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Words: 1738 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Aug 30, 2022

Words: 1738|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Aug 30, 2022

This essay will look at how the role of the police in the 21st century, it will be focusing on the speech made to the Association of Chief Police Offices in June 2010, made by Theresa May MP who at the time of the statement in June 2010 was home secretary meaning she was in charge of the home office and responsible for the crime and policing groups and partners to reduce crime, along with many other roles. The statement she made includes the following statement “I couldn’t be any clearer about your mission: it isn’t a thirty-point plan; it is to cut crime. No more no less.” . This statement will be a main focus throughout the essay in looking at how it shapes the role of the 21st century police officer. Another component that will be looked at in this essay is the declaration of affirmation which every police officer is takes to be to be attested into the police force. The declaration of affirmation sets out the clear role of the 21st century police officers and it is the duty of officers to stick to the declaration. In addition, this essay will look at how the role of the 21st century police officer is also shaped by other factors including the Peelian principles established in 1829, how the history of policing in the 19th century shaped the future of policing nowadays. Another factor this essay will look at is how the policing vision 2025 has and will influence policing in the 21st century and the future.

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Within the declaration of affirmation taken by all police officers at their attestation it states, “to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property”. This is saying that all police officers within the UK essentially have a duty to prevent crime, as this is in the statement of Attestation it should be at the forefront of all officers minds as they have sworn the oath at the point of becoming a constable. This part of the declaration of affirmation is in agreement with the statement which Theresa May MP made to the national police chiefs council in June 2010 in which she said “I couldn’t be any clearer about your mission: it isn’t a thirty-point plan; it is to cut crime. No more, and no less”. Both Theresa Mays speech and the Declaration of Affirmation, specifically mention that the role of the police in the 21st centaury is to cut crime. Although, this is not a new role of the police as this was also specified in the 9 Peelian principles of policing established in 1829, 19th century as Peelian principle number one states “To prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment”. However, this has not always been a norm within society as the Peelian principles established in 1829 along with the Metropolitan police act 1829 established a full-time professional police force for London this came 14 years after the end of the Napoleonic war between Europe and France, this resulted in the police force being met with opposition as it was based on the French model of policing and Europe had been at war with France for the past 23 years. However, now in the 21st Century we police by consent which came from the 9 principles of policing established by Robert Peel in 1829 and the population relies on the police to help prevent crime. Now it is a norm for police to prevent crime, as they are conforming to what Theresa May said in her speech in 2010. However, evidence has shown that there are more roles to the police in the 21st century, one of these roles may be the need for the police to act as “peacekeepers”.

In the following statement made by Theresa May MP “I couldn’t be any clearer about your mission: it isn’t a thirty-point plan; it is to cut crime. No more, and no less.” There is no specific mention as to keeping the peace, whereas in the declaration of affirmation it says “cause the peace to be kept and preserved”. Also, in the book by Bowling, Reiner, Sheptycki it mentions that police often act as the ‘peace keepers’ and they may not fully enforce the law due to the limited capacity in the criminal justice system. The Peelian tradition also focus on the preservation of public tranquillity along with crime control, this is supporting what is also said within the Declaration of affirmation and is a key role of the 21st century police officers. This is also further supported by statistics as in 201617 64% of incidents which the police attended were non crime incidents. The reason behind this is that the police are a 247 service unlike other social and support services. This highlights how the role of the police in the 21st century as being more than just to cut crime. However, it is still a major role of the 21st century police officer as seen in the Policing vision 2025.

The Policing vision 2025 which was set out in 2016 by the National Police Chiefs Council  states how and why the police will change, these changes do not solely focus on one area of policing, it covers all aspects from local policing to digital policing. However the main role for the reform is to act in the public interest and improve the protection of communities. This is in align with what Theresa May said in her speech however not directly referencing cutting crime the actions taken will result in a reduced amount of crime within communities over time. The Policing vision 2025 is overseen by the Police reform and transformation board which first met in February 2016. Which aim to tailor policing in communities and the specific needs of the society focusing on public protection in the aim to cut crime, which is also linking to the part of Theresa Mays statement where she said the role of the police is to cut crime. However, the sole purpose of the vision is not to just cut crime which contrasts to the speech made by Theresa May, it also focuses on providing effective services and care for victims of crime. Which also will ensure that public confidence in the police is withheld helping to keep the relationship between the police and the public strong and confidence high in role and work of the police force and ensure that the police continue to police by consent within the UK. Within the policing vision 2025 it states the Police service statement of mission and values within this and the declaration of affirmation there is a similar theme of keeping the peace which is a key role of the police in the 21st century. If all police officers work in the guide lines from the mission statement and keep in mind the declaration of affirmation which they will have taken, the aim should be to keep the peace within the societies they police. This meaning that the sole focus in contrast to Theresa Mays speech will not be to cut crime however if the peace is kept then the crime rates should reduce overall due to the lower amounts of conflict. This highlights how the focus of Theresa Mays speech and the declaration of affirmation contrast, however they do link as both are keeping the safety of the community in mind whether it be by keeping the peace or cutting crime. Another key part of policing in the 21st century is the police code of ethics.

The police code of ethics was established by the collage of policing and applies to everyone in the police force and is there to guide the behaviour of the force in an aim to prevent unprofessional behaviour. The code of ethics tells everyone within the force how they should behave this is especially relevant to the police officers as they are being seen and judged on their professional behaviour everyday by members of the public. Police officers should be following the code of ethics on a daily basis which is in agreement to the declaration of affirmation on how officers should behave. Within the declaration of affirmation it states how officers “will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights according equal respect to all people”. Within the quote from the declaration of affirmation it states that officers will serve with fairness and integrity this directly links to the code of ethics as two of the nine key principles of the code of ethics. However, even though the other components to the code of ethics aren’t specifically stated in the attestation or Theresa Mays speech they are still vital to effective and fair policing in the 21st century.

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Overall, in conclusion this essay has covered the role of the police in the 21st century, looking at how Theresa Mays speech and the declaration of affirmation are similar and dissimilar. For example within the declaration of affirmation it focuses on how the police in the 21st century will carry out their roles however the speech made by Theresa May in June 2010 covers the role which she wants the police to play “to cut crime. No more and no less”. Both of them set out the roles of the police officers in the 21st century however they have different specific focuses regarding how, the declaration of affirmation and the code of ethics along with the policing vision 2025 are the most similar in the way in which they focus on the wider community and keeping the peace in society before just cutting crime. However, these objectives will indirectly lead to a reduced crime rate if they are followed and achieved. This will see a link between them and Theresa Mays speech as she said the mission of the police is to cut crime. As it is the 21st century the police have to have more of an open mind about the community and cannot police how they did in the 19th century and later, as seen when compared to the 19th century the police now police by consent, so should aim to protect the community and keep the methods of policing fair, honest and open so that they are accountable for their actions.

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Analysis of the Role of a Police Officer in the 21st Century. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-role-of-a-police-officer-in-the-21st-century/
“Analysis of the Role of a Police Officer in the 21st Century.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-role-of-a-police-officer-in-the-21st-century/
Analysis of the Role of a Police Officer in the 21st Century. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-role-of-a-police-officer-in-the-21st-century/> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
Analysis of the Role of a Police Officer in the 21st Century [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Aug 30 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-role-of-a-police-officer-in-the-21st-century/
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