These documents are designed to provide an understanding of the role of the police in English society and, specifically, to generate class discussions about both the complexities of this role and about citizenship responsibilities in general. They provide examples of real problems and real situations faced by police officers and by their superiors during their working life.

Each short section of this study guide makes specific reference to particular documents and provides work sheets and suggestions of how the material might be used, generally with some very open-ended questions for student discussion and debate.

Note the use of the term ‘English society’: This is deliberate because, while the Police institutions in Scotland and Ireland are similar they are not precisely the same. Scotland, in particular, has its own independent and quite separate legal system. Wales, like Scotland, has its own independent elected assembly but it shares the English legal system and the Police Service in Wales is usually put together with that of England.

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