Police Duty to Rescue

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,603
Australia
To get back to the OP...."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?" ... Short answer, yes they do. The Police Act of 1990 and various amendments since make this quite clear, also giving indemnity to police for any act or omission carried out in good faith. There are also laws protecting in members of the public who act in good faith, eg. assisting an accident victim.
 
Jul 2016
8,471
USA
To get back to the OP...."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?" ... Short answer, yes they do. The Police Act of 1990 and various amendments since make this quite clear, also giving indemnity to police for any act or omission carried out in good faith. There are also laws protecting in members of the public who act in good faith, eg. assisting an accident victim.
You sure?

NSW Police owed no duty of care to the family of fatal accident victim

POLICE LIABILITY FOR NEGLIGENT INVESTIGATIONS: WHEN WILL A DUTY OF CARE ARISE?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,869
Las Vegas, NV USA
I don't know if this has been already stated, but in the US the police do not have a duty to rescue. Their job is to enforce law and order. At the community level they might indeed participate in some kinds of rescue operations as citizens, but they are neither specifically trained nor required to do so. Rescue is the job of Fire and Rescue /Emergency Service Departments which include emergency medical services.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,146
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I'm curious- if the police owe a duty of protection to the public at large, can they refuse to put themselves in danger if there is a threat to the public? Say there is a concealed sniper shooting at random passers-by, can a cop refuse to enter the area where the sniper is known to be operating if ordered to do so?
 
Jan 2010
4,357
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Are those actually real good samaritan laws? My understanding was that those types of laws are designed to require individuals to help, not to protect them from indeminity if they do help.



That's the special relationship I mentioned a few pages back. When the LEO is in a position where a victim is in their predicament because of the police, like telling a motorist to stand somewhere, or protecting witnesses, or acting in other protective detail duties, then yes, they have to help. But that only involves civil liability, they still cannot be held criminally responsible for not helping.
In Georgia, at least, no one has a duty to help or rescue another person from a danger that the former did not put the latter into. There’s a Georgia Supreme Court case to that effect. I would think a statute requiring a person to render assistance would be unworkable and unwise. Traffic slows down already around the scene of an accident; a statute requiring rendering assistance would bring traffic to a stop as everyone would be legally compelled to get out of the car and help.

It should be different for the police and perhaps for EMTs and the like, but generally it is not.
 
Jan 2010
4,357
Atlanta, Georgia USA
I'm curious- if the police owe a duty of protection to the public at large, can they refuse to put themselves in danger if there is a threat to the public? Say there is a concealed sniper shooting at random passers-by, can a cop refuse to enter the area where the sniper is known to be operating if ordered to do so?
A recent school shooting in Florida present that exact case: an armed school security guard heard the shooting but did not enter the school while children were being shot. Seventeen children died. He was fired but nothing more happened that I am aware of.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,603
Australia
Yes, I am sure. Both these examples are describing the concept of police immunity rather than the option of not acting at all in the event of an offence being committed. In the first instance the police were found not liable for any psychological trauma for family members who found some human remains at an accident site some 8 months after the event. It does not say the police had the option of not attending the accident in the first place.

In the second instance police liabilty in the event their actions have been found negligent is the issue, again, not whether their investigations/actions are optional. Note this paragraph:

The paper concludes that there are sufficient principles (19) that Australian courts have
imposed on the duty of care owed by public authorities charged with
investigative functions and the duty owed to protect a person from harm by
third parties to adequately limit liability of police authorities. Care must be
taken not to elevate policy considerations to the status of ‘immunity’,
irrespective of qualification.
17
 
Likes: bboomer
Oct 2013
13,534
Europix
I'm curious- if the police owe a duty of protection to the public at large, can they refuse to put themselves in danger if there is a threat to the public? Say there is a concealed sniper shooting at random passers-by, can a cop refuse to enter the area where the sniper is known to be operating if ordered to do so?
Not an answer to Your question, but a real-life case that isn't that far from Your question:


At the Bataclan hostage take and shooting, there were policemen presents as military too ("Sentinelle" operation).


The soldiers (eight, I think, fully war gear) didn't act, leaving policemen (very weakly armed) to interfere. Moreover, soldiers refused to give their Famas to policemen (cf military regulations).

Soldiers in the "Sentinelle" operation are subordinated during the mission to the Police Commander, not their military command.

In the Bataclan case, the Police Commander refused to engage the military ("... It's not a war zone, so we don't engage militaries ... ") requested by the police chief-brigadier present at Bataclan.

In the end, the military resumed to their initial mission: protecting policemen and shooting terrorists outside Bataclan.

There is a "plainte contre X pour non-assistance à personne en péril » ( plaint against "x" for not assisting an endangered person)
 
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Jul 2016
8,471
USA
Yes, I am sure. Both these examples are describing the concept of police immunity rather than the option of not acting at all in the event of an offence being committed. In the first instance the police were found not liable for any psychological trauma for family members who found some human remains at an accident site some 8 months after the event. It does not say the police had the option of not attending the accident in the first place.

In the second instance police liabilty in the event their actions have been found negligent is the issue, again, not whether their investigations/actions are optional. Note this paragraph:

The paper concludes that there are sufficient principles (19) that Australian courts have
imposed on the duty of care owed by public authorities charged with
investigative functions and the duty owed to protect a person from harm by
third parties to adequately limit liability of police authorities. Care must be
taken not to elevate policy considerations to the status of ‘immunity’,
irrespective of qualification.
17
I'm sorry, but the judges' findings in both cases is near identical to the wording of Warren v DC, even using the "special relationship" clause. And of course this is about liability, as its about whether or not individuals can sue for damages over claims of lack of service, its not criminal.

This should be simple. You claimed that Australia has a law stating police must rescue. To prove, you would need to provide the law itself, quotes of the exact wording, plus any other case law pertaining to it since.
 

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