Police Legitimacy and Accountability

Policing relies on the public trust, police legitimacy and accountability, which can be destroyed by unjustifiable police shootings (Squires and Kennninson, 2010). Within this country, there is a recognition that the police do not always adhere to the rule of law (Newburn and Reiner, 2012: 809), which has led to consistent public outrage at the lack of effectiveness and legitimacy the police has maintained. Therefore the deliberate decision to enforce police to attend to the streets unarmed was employed to reassure the public that the police were not to be feared (Waddington and Wright, 2010). Ultimately, concerns derive from the belief that the police are completely ineffective when dealing with gun crimes (Farrell, 1992: 20). However, whilst arming police with guns can act as a protector when on duty it can also cause an increase in police misconduct. This issue will be discussed throughout this essay.
Firstly, it is important to consider that policing is wholly dependent on public consent. More recently, there can be seen to be a breakdown in the relationship between police and the public, which has ultimately led to the belief that the police are illegitimate due to a disproportionate use of force. Some researchers maintain a belief that brutality is used by the police to control a population considered undesirable, whilst they go beyond the law, it is a method used to achieve social order (Skolnick and Fyfe, 1993). Thus, whilst it may seem like the police are supported in their duties, the idea of allowing all police rights to carry guns on duty could be something problematic (Squirres and Kennison, 2010). If police abuse their basic powers, then they can easily abuse the powers to use extreme force which can become dangerou...

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