Our vision is to help make Queensland a safe and secure place to live, visit and do business. Our purpose is to deliver quality policing services 24 hours a day. ” Law Enforcement Officers are employed to enforce the law and to protect society. However, with every article In the newspaper or program on the television, which takes the publics side in a Police Brutality case; Police Officers gradually lose their power to protect Society.
As the granddaughter of an ex-police officer, I have met several Law Enforcement Professionals over the years, ranging room general officers to senior sergeants and detectives. Everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting has been the nicest, most charming person I know. Am constantly hearing about the battle for Police Officers to maintain their protector status amongst the community. People are constantly being told that the police take advantage of their power, abuse civilians and use their Jobs to get away with breaking the law. Of course not every Police Officer is completely Innocent.
However. The media is constantly implying that the entire Police Force is corrupt; from the circuits and constables right up to the Chief Superintendent and Commissioner. What it comes down to Is that the Police have power. Society used to teach that the police are the ones who enforce the law and are therefore, the ones who deserve the most respect and trust. However, as the media constantly points out, police corruption and brutality cases are slowly approaching the courts and the media skillfully suggests that the Australian Police Force is in scrutiny.
Take for example, a nationally recognized newspaper and their article entitled ‘Footage shows Police gashing handcuffed man’. It focuses on the details of the alleged attack on the civilian, Mr.. Begin. A majority of the article is made up of Mr.. Beige’s claims, rather than solid facts. Considering the article was written Just two weeks after the incident, before the Inquiry Into the alleged excessive force, it was an unfair attack on the Police Force. There was no evidence and the Police Force remained faithful and supportive to their employees.
With strong language such as ‘slammed face first’, ‘bashed repeatedly and ‘assaulted by police’, readers can’t help but begin to question he power and authority that is handed to each and every Law Enforcement professional, A crucial fact this paper neglected to mention Is that, In 2011 only 10% of complaints against police were brutality related and even less were confirmed. Newspapers often target ‘hot topic’ subjects in order to sell more copies. The main income for a newspaper is from the sale of newspapers and most people buy them because of what Is on the front cover.
They are Influenced by the ‘hot topic’ story as to whether or not they should bother buying and reading it. Underbelly, a modern day TV show and documentary, is another great example of people profiting from the exploitation and degradation of Law Enforcement Personnel. Layover Sarah Garden- Wilson, played by Kettles Morass, Is an Australian Solicitor who defends many people under Investigation regarding the Gangland killings of 1998-2006. In the serial underbelly, Sarah has a sexual relationship with one of the convicted murderers, Lee 1 OFF through several steamy sex scenes.
As expected, these are the highlight of many episodes. In order to earn more money from TV shows such as Underbelly, the producers need good ratings. Law Enforcement Corruption is a ‘hot topic’ subject and is therefore bound to attract attention. And it did. Underbelly averaged 1. 26 million viewers for all 13 episodes making it the third most-watched show on television in 2008. Even though the portrayal of many of the events in this series is inaccurate, the Producers aired the episodes knowing that their exploitation of a topic such as this would surely amount to better ratings.
Of course, TV and newspapers can get away with making up and shaping facts to suit their goal of making more money but what about more reputable news sources? The BBC (Australian Broadcasting Company) has a long-standing reputation of being the ‘go-to’ channel for reliable news and information. Latrine is an BBC nightly news analysis program which aims to bring minute-by-minute coverage of Australian and international news and events. On an episode of Latrine late in 2011, there was a short update on the ‘Occupy Melbourne’ protest.
The update focused mainly on the role of the police in the eviction of protestors and the claims of the use of excessive force. By including comments from both the protestors and the police, the BBC appeared neutral in the tuition. However a trained eye could easily spot the techniques they have used to inconspicuously turn the viewers against the Police Force. The day was described as Violent’ and ‘chaotic’ by someone who had only seen edited news footage, rather than first hand.
Referring to the police actions as ‘attacks’ and stating that the violence followed the police are examples of simple word choices to which viewers subconsciously acknowledge. It is these acknowledgements that persuade the viewers that the police are indeed acting ‘heavy handed’. The Abs’s reputation of being reliable is very important to them. It is one of the main reasons that people watch the channel. So why have they distorted the facts to imply that our protectors are now a threat to our survival?
Daniel Bernstein, immediate past president of one of the top ten psychiatric associations, says “Once trust has been questioned, most people will be less trusting the next time. ” If, by questioning the ethics of the Police Force, the BBC manages to shake society’s trust in Law Enforcement, it can be expected that some of that trust will be re-routed to the BBC. This mean that, in the eyes of Abs’s employees, adapting one set of facts to suit the issue will result in a rater number of viewers in the long run.
The media are constantly throwing articles at us that undermine our parent’s teachings that the police are the ‘good guys’. The harassment of the issue is slowly morphing young Australians into people who don’t trust authority figures. To protect society from harm, a degree of force is required. However, we are currently in a battle with the media as to whether this force is an abuse of their power. In order to help our Law Enforcement Officers through this battle, we need to band together and become more critical about the way police related news is presented to us.