Factors Influencing Accountability

How is “accountability” defined? What are the three dimensions of police accountability? What are some examples of each of these measures? What are the three “E’s” and how do they conflict? Accountability can be termed to be a multifaceted word which has various meanings under varying context. It is used synonymous with such words as answerable, responsibility, enforcement, blameworthiness, liability and other terms associated with the expectation of account giving.

The acknowledgment of responsibility for actions policies, and decisions   concerning administration, governance and implementation within the scope of the role and other positions involving the duties and expectations to report, explain and be answerable for emerging consequences. (Walker, 2004) There are three dimensions through which police accountability can be looked on. The first of these dimensions is the one involving transparency. A police officer is supposed to be transparent in his or her activities. It means that there has to be clearly laid rules and the performance criteria expected of him or her.

This should be made available to the public for scrutiny. The other dimension is the internal and external cross check mechanism to rate the performance against or astray from the rules procedures or the strategies set by the organization. This should be done to all the officers to show that they are clear to attend to the public. The third dimension involves the willingness and obligation of the individual or the organization to accept the consequences of what they have done or to take blame or praise and the capacity to take the appropriate correction or remedy.

However these three dimensions are interlinked and they all pertain to accountability. (Walker, 2004) The three  “E’s” is used in traffic police to mean Education, Enforcement and Engineering. These are the education of drivers and road users, Enforcement of the law to see to it that all the road rules are being followed and engineering which involves structure modification on the roads to improve the road quality. (Walker, 2004) Sometimes there arise a conflict in these three areas. We find that there are areas where the education parts goes to touch into the engineering department and they clash in the way they express their concept.

Also engineering can not do without Education and Enforcement. Thus it becomes very hard to distinguish Education, Engineering or even enforcement. Why is routine supervision so important in relation to police accountability? What impact does organizational culture have upon police accountability? What advantage does close supervision have? What proposed policies may have an impact on agency use of force? What problems have been identified concerning performance evaluations for law enforcement officers? Routine supervision is so important in relation to police accountability.

This is because police officers are involved in day to day activities and that if they are not supervised or checked, it would be easy not to notice the happiness. Also, they are involved with many people that are the public and it would be easy to blunder with these people. Thus there should be a routine check up or supervision to ensure that all the activities with the officers are attended to on time. By constant supervision, one would be able to tell who is accountable for a particular task and this would ensure that all the officers involved are accountable.

This promotes accountability in an institution. Police are selected and vigorously trained into force. This intensive training is done by the top officials in the organization where the officers are supposed to be of ultimate discipline after they are trained. Only the best are chosen and they are subsequently hired. The vigorous training before the hiring is designed to ensure that some criteria viewed as important to the organization are met. This is the first step to inclusion of a police culture.

Persons who have characteristics of similar to those officers already on the fore stand a chance to be selected. Close supervision has an advantage in that all the activities are monitored and that one the officers will be able to develop real organization culture in the police force and be accountable to their actions. (Walker, 2004) There are some proposed policies that may have an impact on agency use of force. Such policies are for example are that the general policy which claims that the law enforcement agency must recognize and respect the dignity and value of all the people.

It requires that officers that have the power protect the human being and at the same time enforce law and order. Thus they must strike a balance between these two areas. The officers must see to it that he achieves both as per the policy. Then there is the continuum of force policy. When the use of force is necessary and reasonable, officers should as much as possible use an escalating scale of options and try as much as possible not to employ lethal force. It requires that the officer have full respect and no lethal force.

The level of force that should be included in the agency’s continuum of force is such as verbal command, use of hands, chemical agents batons and so on. (Walker, 2004) Law enforcement officers are found to be difficult to evaluate their performance. The reason behind this is that they happen to be the ones who enforce the law and to evaluate or rather monitor their performance; one has to be one of them. That is no outside body is likely to get or monitor the actions and performance of police officers well apart from themselves.

This means that areas where they are not really straight they can be silent resulting to blue curtain. Also most officers are found to be secretive as their code of ethics requires and this may have a problem especially when one has to do or the one monitoring the performance comes from out of the department. They are likely not to get all the information they require. Crime Analysis What functions do O’Shea and Nicholls state crime analysis consists of? What activities are crime analysts responsible for? What are the types of crime analysis, and what do they involve?

Crime analysis is a profession in law enforcement which is concerned or dedicated to analyses, identification and solution to trends, patterns and problems concerning crime and disorder. O’shea and Nicholls states that crime analysis consist of various functions. Some of these functions include arrest reports, crime reports and also call police to identify emergency patterns. They also study these series and trends on quickly as possible. In other cases, they analyze these phenomena and even predict future happenings and issue report, bulletins and alerts to their agencies.