The use of coercive force by authorities has been embraced by different countries in preventing crimes, investigating crimes, and maintaining order. In order to safeguard security in the society, police are given both the right and the occasional duty to employ coercive force against citizens. For instance, the Norwegian police have a tradition of restrained use of force, reflecting a basic principle regarding the type of policing that Norwegian society wants (Henriksen and Kruke, 2020). Norwegian police emergency response officers frequently use coercive force in their service, the officers relate to the framework in the use of force model and the exercise of force is concentrated in the lower end of the model. However, policing in Norwegian society differs from most countries. Norwegian police organization is a national force organized and employed by the state where all services follow the same laws, instructions, and guidelines. The Norwegian Police University is responsible for all police undergraduate and postgraduate education. The joint national undergraduate education provides the same basic training for all Norwegian police officers including training in the use of force and forearms (Henriksen et al., 2018).
The use of coercive force by the local police in African countries differs profoundly by historical origins and current cultural, economic, ideological, and political contexts. The policing futures are shaped by the specific coalescence of domestic pressures, the skills, ambitions of the police themselves, and the international influences (Marenin, 2009). African police work in an unstable political and cultural environment which can collapse into social chaos, economic turmoil, and genocide violence. For instance, in Uganda, police have always used coercive force during election periods with the opposition claiming massive election fraud leading to violence and even house arrest for the top opposition leaders. Thus, most African leaders have always misused the local police by authorizing them to use coercive force against those groups and individuals differing from their motives.
The use of coercive force by the local police has been witnessed in the United States, where police have contained crimes using less than lethal coercive force. The police have been given authority to use conductive energy devices adopted by law enforcement agencies across the globe because they offer a less-than-lethal method to contain suspects. According to Stinson, Reyns, and Liederbeach (2012), research on the use of conductive energy devices indicates that they can be used effectively to subdue and control dangerous suspects while at the same time reduce injuries to both suspects and police. The United States police have previously used coercive force in various instances such as during the attack on capitol and the violent protests witnessed during the black lives matters in the street.
The authority’s use of coercive force is an important part of police work. Police are tasked with upholding the law and apprehending those who break it and in some instances exercising broad discretionary powers. Thus, different levels of authority should be allowed to use coercive force that has fewer injuries to the suspect and police. However, the police should not take advantage of the authority and misuse it on the suspects, as suspects also have rights that should be observed when coercive force is applied. In a democratic society, only trained and authorities who have the knowledge to employ coercive force should be allowed to use it on suspects.
Henriksen, S., V., & Kruke, I., B. (2020). The Force Continuum: Prevalence and Characteristics of Police use of Coercive Force. Nordic Journal of Studies in policing. Retrieved from https://www.idunn.no/doi/full/10.18261/issn.2703-7045-2020-01-02
Henriksen, S., V., Snortheimsmoen, A., & Kruke, B., I. (2018). Norwegian Police training in the use of force: A preparation for facing the realities of street challenges. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1201/9781351174664-360
Marenin, O (2009). The Futures of Policing in African States. Police Practice and Research, 10(4) 349-363
Stinson, P., M., Reyns, W., B., & Liederbach, J. (2012). Police Crime & Less-than-Lethal Coercive Force: A Description of the Criminal Misuse of TASERs. Criminal Justice Faculty Publications. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/crim_just_pub/4
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