Police, crime and human rights

Authored by: Jude McCulloch

The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138931176
eBook ISBN: 9781315679891
Adobe ISBN: 9781317395553


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The police are simultaneously agents of human rights and prime actors in the violation of human rights. As gatekeepers of the criminal justice system charged with protecting and serving the community, police are critical in preventing human rights violations and providing recognition and justice for victims. As Crawshaw et al. put it:

Police agencies and police officials are uniquely placed to prevent the barbarity of gross abuse of power; to protect the mental and physical integrity of vulnerable people; to alleviate the suffering of victims of human rights violations; and to bring to justice those responsible for such violations.

(Crawshaw et al. 2007, p. 3)

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