Police Duty to Rescue

Jul 2016
7,751
USA
#1
It became apparent in another threat that some that don't have the pleasure to be an American (lol) don't know that police in the US do not have any requirement or duty to actually protect the people. Sure, they place the "Protect and Serve" decal on their police cruisers, but those are slogans, not rules. This concept was upheld in the famous Warren v District of Columbia case, reaffirming older case law that essentially nobody has a legal obligation to help others if they don't so choose.

Is it a bit disconcerting as an American knowing that police are actually required to save my butt or that of my family? That I could be being beaten right in front of a cop and they can just stand there and watch me die and not get into any trouble? Sure, its a little disconcerting. But its also a bit reassuring too. It allows me to better control my own destiny, and not have to rely on nanny to wipe my bottom. I think this works well in the US because we have always been a more rather independent nation in terms of self determination, a founding principle of the USA. (at least that's how I see it)

What about your nation? Do you know if police are required to even bother responding to your cries for help? If you dial 911/999/whatever for emergency services, tell them someone is kicking down your door, do they have to respond?

If say yes or no, do you actually know for sure or you just guessing? Did you ever actually look it up to see what your own laws say, so you don't have to assume the government will save you?
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#2
It became apparent in another threat that some that don't have the pleasure to be an American (lol) don't know that police in the US do not have any requirement or duty to actually protect the people. Sure, they place the "Protect and Serve" decal on their police cruisers, but those are slogans, not rules. This concept was upheld in the famous Warren v District of Columbia case, reaffirming older case law that essentially nobody has a legal obligation to help others if they don't so choose.

Is it a bit disconcerting as an American knowing that police are actually required to save my butt or that of my family? That I could be being beaten right in front of a cop and they can just stand there and watch me die and not get into any trouble? Sure, its a little disconcerting. But its also a bit reassuring too. It allows me to better control my own destiny, and not have to rely on nanny to wipe my bottom. I think this works well in the US because we have always been a more rather independent nation in terms of self determination, a founding principle of the USA. (at least that's how I see it)

What about your nation? Do you know if police are required to even bother responding to your cries for help? If you dial 911/999/whatever for emergency services, tell them someone is kicking down your door, do they have to respond?

If say yes or no, do you actually know for sure or you just guessing? Did you ever actually look it up to see what your own laws say, so you don't have to assume the government will save you?

There is such a thing as "a duty to rescue', but it's a bit complicated.

A duty to rescue is a concept in tort law that arises in a number of cases, describing a circumstance in which a party can be held liable for failing to come to the rescue of another party who could face potential injury or death without being rescued. In common law systems, it is rarely formalized in statutes which would bring the penalty of law down upon those who fail to rescue. This does not necessarily obviate a moral duty to rescue: though law is binding and carries government-authorized sanctions and awarded civil penalties, there are also separate ethical arguments for a duty to rescue that may prevail even where law does not punish failure to rescue.

Duty to rescue - Wikipedia

Some US states have 'Good Samaritan Laws' offering some protection to those who help others.

I had a doctor cousin in California,. He never stopped at accidents because Americans are so litigious, and the cost of mal practice insurance was ruinous.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,534
Stockport Cheshire UK
#3
What about your nation? Do you know if police are required to even bother responding to your cries for help? If you dial 911/999/whatever for emergency services, tell them someone is kicking down your door, do they have to respond?

If say yes or no, do you actually know for sure or you just guessing? Did you ever actually look it up to see what your own laws say, so you don't have to assume the government will save you?
ln the UK it is a core duty of the police to protect life and property and any clear and extreme examples where they fail to act could lead to them being prosecuted.
There was an example in the 70's where s policeman saw a man being beaten to death and did nothing to help, even leaving the scene without summoning the emergency services. He was charged and convicted of the common law offense of 'wilful misconduct while in public office', as the court held the view that a police officer had a greater duty to respond in order to protect life than a private citizen.
 
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specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
2,531
Australia
#4
Well, we do have these guys ;


1549745908078.png

I actually 'rescued' one of them once ..... 4 drunken thugs jumped one , for some unknown drunken 'reason' . I didnt know he was police at first , only saw the white overalls.

" The overall mission of the police is to protect life and property and to detect and prevent crime.

Services provided by the New South Wales Police Force include:[6]


  • Preventing, detecting and investigating crime;
  • Monitoring and promoting road safety;
  • Maintaining social order;
  • Performing and coordinating search and rescue operations; and
  • Emergency management

Its their JOB to rescue ... whether its a legal requirement or not ...... :think:



" Some of the Rescue Unit’s responsibilities and challenges include:


  • Rescuing people trapped in difficult high or deep places such as mines, storm-water drains, cliffs, scaffolding and remote places.
  • Rescuing people involved in industrial, traffic, railway and aircraft accidents or who may have become trapped in household equipment, machinery or playground equipment.
  • Providing power or lighting in emergencies or for police operations
  • Rescuing livestock and animals in accidents
  • Working in toxic or hazardous environments
Rescue & Bomb Disposal Unit

... seems its also their duty to rescue animals .
 
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Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,637
Western Eurasia
#6
I won't look through all the 50 state's relevant statues, but i guess similar provisions exist in all US states like in Texas:
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/SDocs/CODEOFCRIMINALPROCEDURE.pdf
Art. 2.13. DUTIES AND POWERS. (a) It is the duty of every peace officer to preserve the peace within the officer's jurisdiction. To effect this purpose, the officer shall use all lawful means. (b) The officer shall: (1) in every case authorized by the provisions of this Code, interfere without warrant to prevent or suppress crime;

So they may not have to protect you from a bear attack, but your examples actually constitute crimes in the US i guess (being beaten by somebody or somebody breaking into your house) , don't they? So how can they excuse themselves from responding to it? What is the legal reasoning behind it?
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
12,948
Europix
#7
The French article of law is (223-6):


"Quiconque pouvant empêcher par son action immédiate, sans risque pour lui ou pour les tiers, soit un crime, soit un délit contre l'intégrité corporelle de la personne s'abstient volontairement de le faire est puni de cinq ans ...."


"Whomever able to stop by it's immediate action, without endangering itself or third parties, either a crime or a un lawful action on body integrity of a person it's voluntary (consciously) restraining itself in acting ... "



(sorry for the low quality of the translation)


A precision before anything: "crime" doesn't have the same meaning as in English. The "continental" law is making distinctions between different types/"levels' breaking the law: crime is the highest level, and the simplest way in understanding "crime" is keeping in mind that is related to "victim". For example, rape, manslaughter, are "crimes", illegal trespassing, fraud aren't "crime" as they don't imply a victim, (in the physical/life-threatening acception).


Besides this article of law (will have is new in historical scale), the role of Police on the "continent" is quit extensively and from quite long ago to protect.


It's coming from a very basic vision of society, a very old one too: delegating.


I cannot be a teacher, so a teacher is dealing the education of my children too, as I'm dealing with his plumber problems. Firefighters are fighting the fire, army is dealing state's foreign threats, doctors are healing, farmers are feeding us... Police is keeping law and order and protecting us.


It's this "delegating" functioning that made me be astonished by the info You furnished in another thread.


From where I stand (which is different - obviously- of Yours, both geographically and figuratively) it's absurd: why would a cop be paid if it's not protecting a citizen, if it doesn't act proactively?


It allows me to better control my own destiny, and not have to rely on nanny to wipe my bottom.

It's a way to see things, and I think it's a healthy one.


Only that if You're a 15 old girl coming late from Your student job and You're aggressed by a gang of 5 guys, it's no longer about "nany wiping my bottom". Real life means real people: most people can find themselves in situations were from cannot get out only by themselves.

Do you know if police are required to even bother responding to your cries for help? If you dial 911/999/whatever for emergency services, tell them someone is kicking down your door, do they have to respond?


It's actually an emergency number that is is related and to Police, and Firefighters and Medical Emergency.
Depending on the call, the dispatcher will send the closest and most appropriate units (in theory).

So yes, if it's my neighbor beating the crap out of his wife and I deal the number, generally, the Police will come, and deal with him.

As a personal experience, I had once to call them (it wasn't about myself and it was clear that I couldn't deal the situation by myself), and they came.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,620
Portugal
#8
Yes, in Portugal the police forces, either the PSP or the GNR, are not only obligated to respond to the citizens requests for help, but also to prevent any kind of legal abuse, and to protect the rights of the citizens. By the way in Portugal the emergency numbers aren’t the 999/991 but the 112.

Those rights in general terms are granted by the Constitution (articles 9, 27 and 272) and then are developed in several laws.
 
Nov 2018
66
Denmark
#9
If say yes or no, do you actually know for sure or you just guessing? Did you ever actually look it up to see what your own laws say, so you don't have to assume the government will save you?
If you call 112 in Denmark, those who sit on the front line must make an assessment as to whether or what help should be sent, and if they show carelessness or incompetence, it happened they have been fired and punished with heavy fines.

Unless you expose yourself to mortal danger, in Denmark you can be punished with up to two years' imprisonment if you fail to help a distressed person.

As a minimum, you must prevent the accident from developing, then you should call for an ambulance or if someone is doing something criminal after the police.

This applies to all citizens in Denmark also the police whether they are at work or not.

By the way, I can't see that it should have anything to do with a nanny state, that people have both a moral and a statutory obligation to help their fellow human beings.
 
Likes: Tulius

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