Police powers

Authored by: Andrew Sanders , Richard Young

Handbook of Policing

Print publication date:  August  2008
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9781843925002
eBook ISBN: 9780203118238
Adobe ISBN: 9781136308529


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The title of this chapter needs little explanation. We are all familiar with the idea of the police arresting people, carrying out street searches and detaining suspects so they can be questioned. We will look at these powers, and many more besides. However, it would be easy to create the false impression that policing is primarily a matter of the exercise of powers – of the exercise of coercion. In reality, much policing is by consent, much policing is done with the community, or sections of it, and much criminal activity is condoned, ignored or dealt with in non-coercive ways.

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