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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. philip_rhoades

    NSW If I inform the police of a person who is driving an unregistered car and they do nothing - if there is an accident are the police liable?

    People, I think the subject pretty much covers it but it seems strange to me that police don't seem to interested in this dangerous situation and haven't done anything about it. If something bad DOES happen - shouldn't the police bear some of the responsibility? What should I do if that...
  2. J

    NSW Nsw Police trying to set aside subpoena

    Using top notch legal firm. Any advice or key case law that may help me?
  3. B

    TAS Time Limitation on making a fraudulent insurance claim

    Someone I know made an insurance claim over a break and enter where some of his possessions were stolen The insurer either partially paid out or didn't pay out as they thought something was amiss (valuable easy to lift stuff was left behind). He forgot to mention to them that his entire indoor...
  4. J

    NSW Serving Nsw Police

    Can you perosnally serve than at any police station , or do you have to serve them at their headquarters?
  5. S

    NSW Police purposely lying to drag AVO matter including hearing turns into a mention.

    I've been targeted for over a decade by police. I was married to a person that has a personality disorder. Throughout the last 15 years I've been subjected to disgusting, outrageous and simply criminal behaviours purposely done to assist my ex wife who is a compulsive liar, child abuser and...
  6. S

    VIC Trying to get by things returned from police

    My factory was raided by police in October 2019 for apparently “falsifying a document”. During the said they seized 7 computers, 3 iPads (knowing they were my 3 kids), 2 mobile phones etc. I was released after making a no comment interview without charge. Since the raid I’ve heard nothing...
  7. H

    Charged with Shoplifting and providing false information to police

    Im freaking out right now, i was just charged today with shoplifting and out of fear i provided a false name to the police. When i realised they were going to hold me for 24 hours as they couldn't confirm my identity, i gave them my real name. The amount was around $100-150. This is my first...
  8. M

    NSW CRO without conviction expires today. WIll it show up on a police check

    I had a CRO without conviction last year, it expires today.. I have been approved for a job that requires a police check be done. If my CRO expires today is that just automatic or is there a process I need to go through to make sure it doesnt come up on my police check, is there somewhere i can...
  9. Z

    QLD I have been questioned by police after my ex employer is accusing me of taking 46k of cash over two years.

    Hi today the police the had me come up to the station for a formal interview in regards to my ex employer accusing me of 46k of theft from the til over two years. First off i have done no such thing and really taken back buy it as they decided to raise this issue on my last day of leaving a few...
  10. R

    NSW AVO

    Can a foreign resident apply for an AVO in NSW without being present in Australia?