Police Force and the British Army

The purpose of this assignment is to be able to understand the role purpose and responsibilities of the uniformed services. For this, I need to choose two different services that have various similarities and differences.

For this assignment I will use the Police Force and the British Army for my two examples. This is because I am interested in joining the Police Force and both services and the two have very different purposes.

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The police service exists as forty-three separate forces, each run and maintained by the government. The government supplies the forces with a budget, which varies in amount, depending on the circumstances in which it is needed for, e.g. size of patrolled area, level of crime, etc. Each force has its own Chief Constable. The Chief Constable is the highest ranking officer within each force and works alongside the Police Authority and Home Office.

The Home Office is a department of the British Government, which manage the emergency services and insure the safety of England and Wales. The Home Secretary is the MP in charge of the Home Office.

The Police Authority is a localised organisation that deals specifically with Police Force. It is made up of counsellors and magistrates who contribute to the local forces and ensure the public have say in the running of their force.

The main purpose of the police service is outlined in the Police Service’s Statement of Common Practice and Values and is as follows:

1 The purpose of the police service is to uphold the law fairly and firmly

2 To prevent crime

3 To pursue and bring to justice those who break the law

4 To keep the Queen’s Peace

5 To protect, help and reassure the community

6 To be seen doing all this with integrity, common sense and sound judgement

7 We must be compassionate, courteous and patient, acting without fear of favour or prejudice to the rights of others

8 We need to be professional, calm, and restrained in the face of violence and apply only that force which is necessary to accomplish our lawful duty

9 We must strive to reduce the fears of the public and, so far as we can, reflect their priorities in the action we take

10 We must respond to well founded criticism with a willingness to change.

Upholding the law is the main principle of the police service of the Police Service. To do this the constables need to have a basic understanding of the law and police procedure. This is usually learnt in training and general experience. Upholding the law must be undertaken without discrimination and in a non-biased way.

Prevention is better than cure. Therefore it is more efficient to prohibit crime rather than to punish as a cause of it. The police use a lot of publicity and broadcasting to enforce this such as television and radio advertisements, schools/homes/workplace visits, printed propaganda e.g. leaflets, posters, etc.

Bringing law-breakers to justice is simply arresting and prosecuting offenders. This may include apprehending criminals at the time of offence or a hard effort, time consuming investigation. Bringing justice to a criminal is the final part of a case and is may well give a sense of job satisfaction.

Keeping the Queen’s Peace is an old axiom that may not seem relevant today but had a significant reason at the time it was instated. This principle basically means the Police Force is expect to keep a sense of order within the public community and make them feel secure and safe.

Article five of the Police Common Purpose Statement is to protect, help and reassure the citizens of the region. Many forces have an individual community department within the constabulary, which deals with communal issues within the district. These police officers need to the know the surrounding area, its general citizens such as local residents, school children and teachers, religious leaders such as vicars, local small business owners and workers, to name a few. Most of all these PC’s and WPC’s need to feel part of the local community and able to help.

Integrity, common sense and sound judgement are essential qualities of today’s modern police officer. They are vital to be able to build a trusting and caring relationship with the ordinary people. It also constructs a professional alliance between Police colleagues.

A prejudice Police constable is a bad one and misrepresents the whole force. If an officer is racist, fascist, homophobic, sexist or bias then he or she is incapable of suitably doing their job properly and professionally. An officer should able to do his/her job fairly and without favouritism.

Police constable may at some point be attacked, psychically or mentally, for whatever reason. An officer needs to know how to deal with this quickly and effectively in the most efficient way possible. New officers are trained in unarmed self-defence and handling difficult individuals so that they will be capable of protecting themselves and fulfilling their duties.

Issue nine of the Police Service’s SoCP;V is to reduce public fear. This is primarily a modern version of keeping the Queen’s Peace. Constables must ensure a sense of comfort, security and general safety for the public.

Finally, all officers need to be able to accept effective criticism towards themselves or the force in general from either their superiors or the public. This gives an officer to chance to correct his/her actions or procedures making them a better policeman or policewomen and therefore a more efficient member of the team.

The main roles of today’s Police Service are to deal with accidents and emergencies, work with the local community and perform anti-terrorist work. These tasks may have a variety of forms, whether they are minor (e.g. a small road traffic accident) or major (e.g. large-scale incidents such as hostage situation.

Dealing with accidents and emergencies is the process of officers responding to a call or radio transmission and attend as quickly as possible. The Police have different procedures depending on the incident and will act accordingly whether they are first on the scene or arrive towards the end of the event. The officers who arrive first will check the safety of the accident site, call paramedics if required, help casualties, appeal for witnesses, isolate the area if needed and many more tasks needed to keep the situation under control. An attending officer writes a report after the incident, which contains information on the event, actions taken and possible future changes to procedure. It is then kept filed for future reference.

Communication with the local public is an essential part of Police work. Community Police Officers deal with problems, complaints and enquiries in their resident area and build try to build up a connection the people who live there. They work closely with local establishments such as schools, religious centres and community centres in an attempt to gain knowledge of the resident citizens and area. They also give talk to young people warning them of dangers at that time, such as drugs, minor crime and domestic violence, so that hopefully, when they mature and become responsible adults themselves, the area will have a more pleasant, low crime rate, reputation.

Most anti-terrorist work is conducted by a department of the force know as Special Branch. Special Branch was formed in 1883 by the Metropolitan Police Force (London) to deal with Irish Fenians and works closely with other services including the military, MI5, MI6 and the Secret Service. It is also linked with other Police unit such as Firearms Unit and Armed Response. Anti-terrorist is becoming more important in today’s modern Police Force due to the British armed forces involvement in, what is being called, the Second Gulf War in Iraq, and its participation in the expulsion of the Northern Ireland terrorist group, the IRA. The Police’s job in anti-terrorism is to use all means possible (along with help from other forces), to prevent an attack on the British Isles similar to the al-Qaeda assault on the United States of America in September of 2001. A matching strike or a chemical attack on one of the United Kingdom’s main cities (mainly London) could cause a breakdown in the Country’s government, trade and moral. Therefore, the Government has invested large amount of capital into the Police’s budget to train for such events and raise awareness.

The Police Force has many responsibilities ranging from complying with the SoCP&V to meeting targets and deadlines. The Government has a responsibility to make sure each force is well funded and to ensure it is spent accordingly. Each force is set targets and should be able to improve their work and efficiency to comply with these. The work of each force, whether the targets are met or not, are compared to each other to see which force has improved or has fallen in standards and which is more serviceable with the size of the patrolled area and the budget given. These are known as performance indicators.

Recent work of the Police Service can be seen everywhere. Achievements vary from safer communities, sentenced criminals, the conviction of major regional drugs/illegal product suppliers (e.g. imported tobacco), to major incidents such as bomb threats or disasters such as the Selby Rail Disaster in 2001.

The Army, as well as other armed forces, is under the control of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). This Government department mission is to ensure the safety of the United Kingdom and its interests. There are British Army barracks and headquarters across the world. It is responsible for land warfare, including infantry and artillery, and works with other armed forces, such as the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, in defending Great Britain, its colonies (e.g. the Falkland Isles) and its allies (e.g. USA).

The Army has many groups including combat, engineering, information technology/communications (IT/Comms.) and logistics. These are yet again categorised into sub-groups.

The combat group includes infantry, artillery, air corps and cavalry. The average infantry soldier is usually always in the thick of the action and the first to arrive on a battle scene. The infantry are all trained as fighting soldiers but may have other skills useful on the battlefield, e.g. medic, chef, driver, electrician and more. These soldiers need to be psychically fit and well conditioned. The artillery section of this group uses large, vehicle-towed guns. These guns fire a range of ammunition from bullets to mortars to missiles and are a vital part of clearing large areas of enemy troops. The Air Corps use helicopters and small aircraft for a range of activities including: searching, delivering and attacking. Cavalry includes tracked and wheeled vehicles including tanks, recovery vehicles, bridgelayers, armoured people carriers (APC), jeeps, motorcycles, amphibious vehicles, scout and reconnaissance vehicles, self-propelled guns, tractors, trucks, military ambulances and more.

The engineering department of the Army includes vehicle technician, electricians, storemans and metalsmiths to name a few. Vehicle technicians repair and maintain a variety of land, sea and air vehicles including the cavalry’s equipment (named above), an assortment of boats and range of helicopters and small aeroplane. Electricians work on vehicles as well, but also work on buildings and electronic equipment (such as radar and communication devices). A storemans job is to care for Army equipment and make sure it is all there and is in safe working order. Metalsmiths build tools and equipment for use by the army. They also manufacture new vehicle bodywork and components for use in the field.

The IT/Comms segment deal with providing interaction between different troops and regiments. This group consists mainly of radio operators and technicians. Radio operators are trained in using specialist radio equipment to keep contact between soldiers. The radio technicians ensure the upkeep of this equipment.

Logistics use a range of trades-people incorporating chefs, drivers, clerks, petroleum operators and pioneers. Logistic soldiers ensure the day to day running of operations in the field. Chefs cook meals for hundreds of soldiers to make sure they are well nourished for performing their duties. Drivers can be used for driving tanks into war zones, running errands and deliveries between camps, and a range of more tasks. They are an essential and versatile part of the Army. Clerks tens not to work in the field but instead ensure soldier’s details and finances are trained in a number of computer applications. Petroleum operators deliver fuel to regiments with vehicles in need of it. They are trained in storage and transportation of fuel, constructing and dismantling pipelines, and fighting petrol fires. Pioneers work as engineers and builders and are trained in many skills including carpentry and bricklaying.

The Army’s recent work includes Iraq 2003-2004, in which they aided the US Army in the overpowering and capture of corrupt dictator Saddam Hussein. Another major example is The Falklands War 1982, in which the Army defended the British owned islands against Argentinian invaders. Other examples include deployment of troops in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

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