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The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state, with the aim to enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health and possessions of citizens, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their lawful powers include arrest and the use of force legitimized by the state via the monopoly on violence. The term is most commonly associated with the police forces of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from the military and other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing. Police forces are usually public sector services, funded through taxes.
Law enforcement is only part of policing activity. Policing has included an array of activities in different situations, but the predominant ones are concerned with the preservation of order. In some societies, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, these developed within the context of maintaining the class system and the protection of private property. Police forces have become ubiquitous in modern societies. Nevertheless, their role can be controversial, as they are involved to varying degrees in corruption, police brutality and the enforcement of authoritarian rule.
A police force may also be referred to as a police department, police service, constabulary, gendarmerie, crime prevention, protective services, law enforcement agency, civil guard or civic guard. Members may be referred to as police officers, troopers, sheriffs, constables, rangers, peace officers or civic/civil guards. Ireland differs from other English-speaking countries by using the Irish language terms Garda (singular) and Gardaí (plural), for both the national police force and its members. The word "police" is the most universal and similar terms can be seen in many non-English speaking countries.Numerous slang terms exist for the police. Many slang terms for police officers are decades or centuries old with lost etymology. One of the oldest, "cop", has largely lost its slang connotations and become a common colloquial term used both by the public and police officers to refer to their profession.

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  1. Steven0305

    VIC Can I travel oversea while on police bail?

    Hi there, I was charged with possession of cannabis with intent to sell or supply and am still on police bail. They released me after arresting me for a few hours and told me I needed to attend magistrates court. I'm an overseas student and My grandmother is in a weak condition illness. Can I...
  2. J

    Defacto Subpoenaed police records

    Hi there, My partner is going through family law process. Interim orders have been made. I have been with my partner for 18 months now. He has just become self represented due to not being able to afford any more legal fees. His ex has Legal Aid. I have just received an email to my work email...
  3. User2482

    NSW Licence suspension

    Hello, I am a P2 driver and got an immediate police suspension for a 3 month period due to driving more than 30km/hr over the limit on a highway road with a 110 limit. I believe that because I only have a limited number of points given that I am a P2 driver that the 5 points I receive for...
  4. C

    NSW Police threat of high range DUI

    I do not drink at all nor do I use drugs. I have nothing to fear from any legit RBT. I went to the local police to report my neighbour for vandalizing my car (caught him red-handed twice). The police officer behind the counter threatened me that if I did not leave the station immediately I...
  5. S

    QLD Shoplifting coles- will police attend my house?

    Hi, I was picked up by two kids prevention officers at Cole’s for $20 worth of items. I paid for them and they took copy of my id. They told me nothing would happen and shook my hand on it. I’m worried. Anyone had this happen. My whole life would be gone if I get charged. It wasn’t purposeful...
  6. T

    VIC What to do when police unintentionally reveal someone's address in an intervention order case?

    So I'm the respondent in application for an intervention order and the police documentation has unintentionally revealed the current address of the person lodging the complaint. The police redacted the address with a texta, photocopied the original document and gave me a copy, but when holding...
  7. aliabdoli

    Can a police officer come to your house to speak to you if law is NOT broken?

    A while back I talked to a woman who lives in the building next to my building and I told her "Often I see you in your cute nursery uniform but I don't get to chat to you". Four weeks later two police officers turned up at my house and said to me that the woman felt scared and complained to the...
  8. C

    VIC Police check

    I granted a diversion from the magistrate this week due to my first offence, my age and that the offence was minor and non serious. I am still in great stress because my name and the court date l attended are still showing up on the search for my name in one of the daily newspapers. What is the...
  9. H

    I was caught shoplifting today

    Hi i was caught today stealing in my local coles worth $300 and it was basically for my kids. I know there is no excuse for stealing. 2 lady called me after i check out and told me to follow them. They ask me to put all the stuffs i stole which i did. I told them not to call the police but still...
  10. C

    NSW Do pending DV charges show up in Police check?

    I had an incident last year, that I truly regret, where I got 2 dv charges of intimidation and damage property. Wife had no idea calling the police in Australia means they charge you. I am applying for jobs now (the final hearing is postponed to next year due to covid). Will these 2 charges...