Police Abuse And Loss Of Public Trust


Police abuse is rampant. Day in and day out, media reports instances of police abuse being carried out against innocent people. In some extreme cases, this menace is directed towards the victims of crime. Scholars and researchers have found various reasons identifying motive behind the police abuse and, concomitant, corruption behind this practice. Critical sociologists are of view that police abuse is inherent in their modus operandi as their main duty is to serve the interests of the state not those of society. The brief paper will discuss that police abuse is one of the main hindering factors to develop organic links between general populace and law enforcement agencies. In this process begets corruption and alienation of masses from the protective state machinery.

Police Apparatus and Policing Society: A Foucauldian Framework

The first causality of police abuse is public trust in law enforcement agencies and state. Police apparatus is closely linked with state power. It reflects the derivative of power being manifested in coercive power. The power is used mainly to suppress the people. Police is an assemblage of networks within society which aims to protect the order within society for capitalistic growth, preservation of the accumulation of wealth and the conditions of health. Hence, critique of police is rooted in its functionality to serve the interests of the powerful. The state acts as the custodian of these interests through brutal force invested in police. When unleashed to protect the interest of the elite and the state, police attains relative autonomy to use its power with impunity. Society as the result of these asymmetrical power relations remains at receiving end in the hierarchy of criminal justice system.


When police resort to ubiquitous abuses, there is a great deal of chances that general masses lose their hope in the criminal justice system. Majority feels alienated in prevalent police department owing to heavily militarization and weaponization of police department. Instead of developing organic links between people and law enforcement apparatus, police abuse has begotten corrupt practices amongst people who rely on money and connections. To reform police department, the state has to realize that it basic functions include the preserving law and order by keeping up the banner of rule of law. It has to shun the purpose of serving interests of elite and make police a public friendly department.


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