Police Duty to Rescue

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,001
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#51
In that situation, calling 911 to report a crime in progress might get a single squad car showing up a few hours later with a disgruntled LEO who will take statements, gather evidence, and leave. That crap gets dropped off to other indifferent individuals, either LEO working office gigs because they couldn't hack street work (they're screw ups), or massively overworked civilian technicians, who have months of back log to enter it into system. Then an overworked, completely cynical detective with a completely unrealistic number of open cases assigned to them, is supposed to solve it, and provide a strong case to the DA's office that leads to high conviction rates so the DA looks good, for them to run for further office.
This sounds remarkably like what happens if you report a burglary in this country...

I'm not sure what the exact legal duties of police are in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland presumaby are different, as NI is/as a special case in the UK and Scotland has its own laws), but things have deteriorated over the years due to funding cuts. Certainly in big cities, there is almost no community policing any more, where a policeman would patrol a specified area and get to know the residents there - the "local bobby". In an attempt to to shore up police numbers, many forces now have PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) - basically, part time volunteer police, who dress like regular police, except for the big PCSO sign on their high-visibility jackets, and have some, but not necessarily all of the powers and responsibilities of regular police.
 
Jul 2016
8,401
USA
#52
OK, without suggesting that one system is right and another wrong or any of that stuff, but just, from interest, trying to understand an attitude that seems alien and strange.
(Incidentally does the 'duty to rescue' necessarily imply something legally enforceable, or just a recognised duty of that job?)

If they have to attempt to catch the culprit why is that any less a denial of liberty by forcing them to do something than if they had a duty to try to prevent the crime? They still are 'forced' to do it. (If not by law, by it being part of the job).

Does this apply to other services - is a firefighter duty-bound to rescue people from a burning building and try to extinguish the fire, or can they just let it burn and analyse how it happened afterwards? If they are supposed to rescue, why is their liberty different?

I can understand the police situation may be different in the question of liability, the risk of starting a gun-fight that may involve the innocent, but I don't really see why there is a principle of 'liberty' involved, any more than anyone else who has to do something because that is their job, even if it may involve risk (like the fire-fighter).
Its more than liberty of the individual employed as a LEO. Its about responsibility. Police serve the public, not the individual. If they fail to provide services to the individual they cannot be held responsible since "the fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen" and "The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists."

Remember, this wasnt a law. These were court rulings that dismissed a lawsuit by individuals against police claiming they weren't rescued after someone broke in and raped them. The courts recognized that since their job isn't to protect individuals unless they have a special relationship (like victim was going to testify on behalf of witnessing a crime and the police were supposed to protect) but), then an individual cannot demand what is essentially special treatment. The courts aren't saying the police are supposed to ignore people, they're saying it's not illegal if they ignore them.

But this ruling completely alters policy and policing as a whole, as all officers are taught this and other important case law at the police academy. When you combine Warren v DC plus the very true number #1 priority of office, get home safely at night (which is universal), then its sad to say but police are in no position where they HAVE to protect anyone besides a few.

Behind all of this is the basic American liberty focused ideology that nobody should be forced to do anything they don't want to do. Nobody has the right to force others to do what they don't want.
 
Jul 2016
8,401
USA
#53
But each US state presumably can add to the legal requirements of police duties and responsibilities with their own laws, no?
Yes, and they do. Someone can challenge them with lower courts, and if they don't agree with ruling then they can appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court, should that lofty body of skeletons controlled by over eager and ambitious clerks deign to take the case.
 
Jul 2016
8,401
USA
#54
This sounds remarkably like what happens if you report a burglary in this country...

I'm not sure what the exact legal duties of police are in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland presumaby are different, as NI is/as a special case in the UK and Scotland has its own laws), but things have deteriorated over the years due to funding cuts. Certainly in big cities, there is almost no community policing any more, where a policeman would patrol a specified area and get to know the residents there - the "local bobby". In an attempt to to shore up police numbers, many forces now have PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) - basically, part time volunteer police, who dress like regular police, except for the big PCSO sign on their high-visibility jackets, and have some, but not necessarily all of the powers and responsibilities of regular police.
It still blows my mind how restrictive the UK is when it comes to means a bobby has to do their duty. Very crazy that besides a select few, most don't carry anything more than a billy club or whatever they use to beat on people.
 
Jun 2012
5,699
Texas
#55
l'm sorry but you are wrong.
He has every right to decide that Americans are wrong, just as you have every right to decide that Europeans are wrong.
We all have the same rights on this forum.
Maybe everyone should calm their t..s or close the thread. You're not discussing history. You're just insulting each other and different nationalities.

Let's all recognize the innate superiority of dachshunds as nature's perfect predator, and get back to the topic.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,603
Stockport Cheshire UK
#56
It still blows my mind how restrictive the UK is when it comes to means a bobby has to do their duty. Very crazy that besides a select few, most don't carry anything more than a billy club or whatever they use to beat on people.
The UK police take very seriously the idea that they police with the consent of the public
Definition of policing by consent
 
Jul 2016
8,401
USA
#58
The UK police take very seriously the idea that they police with the consent of the public
Definition of policing by consent
Since when? Metropolitan Police were cracking skulls through a good part of their history.

My understanding they used to be armed too, at times officially they were allowed to carry pistols, sometimes even issued them. But, fearing a leftist revolution in the late teend to the '30s, in '20 they first massively restricted civilian gun ownership, in '36 removed them from police, and in '37 cracked down even harder on civilians. Is this not the case?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,001
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#59
It still blows my mind how restrictive the UK is when it comes to means a bobby has to do their duty. Very crazy that besides a select few, most don't carry anything more than a billy club or whatever they use to beat on people.
Well, because officers generally don't patrol neighbourhoods and get dispatched according to the reports they receive from the public, if they get reports of armed criminals, they can then dispatch armed police if they feel it is warranted. In some places, police carry tasers, but I'm not sure if that's all police or just specific taser armed units. But yes, most offciers only carry their batons (night-stickes, I think you call them in the US). It seems to have largely worked. In fact, only a few days ago, an armed police intervention went spectacularly wrong when they received reports of an armed man taking someone hostage in a pub, the armed unit managed to shoot two unfortunate innocent men, and no hostage taker was found. It's things like this that make the public resist the idea of armed police.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,001
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#60
Maybe everyone should calm their t..s or close the thread. You're not discussing history. You're just insulting each other and different nationalities.

Let's all recognize the innate superiority of dachshunds as nature's perfect predator, and get back to the topic.
Yes indeed. Let's not pass judgement on each other's societies and instead try to understand them. The US has its principles, and the UK and Europe do too. These principles may seem strange or one another, and I doubt anyone would say they are perfect, but they are principles that have shaped our societies.

I have American relatives, and they've never been shot, stabbed or robbed. And nor have I or most of my friends in the UK.
 

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