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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. M

    Threat to call police

    Is it illegal for a stranger to threaten to call the police on you if you have done nothing wrong?
  2. B

    What type of lawyer/court required for suing of Qld Police?

    Just trying to determine how I sue Qld Police. Had an active DVO against my ex-partner, where they were not permitted to know my new address. My ex is rather smart and the police are idiots, so they accused me of stealing something from them and then the police brought them to my new residence...
  3. A

    NSW Can police records be corrected?

    The police have referenced me as a person of interest in regard to a local neighbourhood dispute. It was unrelated to me and the result of a malicious claim by a neighbour. I'm able to show it isn't true. However the police refuse to remove the record from my file on the basis it expressed the...
  4. Hobey

    NSW Police searches

    I'm just wondering what constitutes and illegal search. As I was sitting on a crowded train station at 9am this morning when two police walked by me. One of which pinched me resently for no ticket. I was dressed casually, but clean in runners, track pants and hoodie sitting reading a book. When...
  5. R

    VIC Police questioned me at my door

    Today two police came to my door to ask me about “threats” they claim I had sent to my bank. I said what I sent wasn’t a threat. They said next time they would have to take me in for an interview. I haven’t been in contact with my former bank for over a month Are they likely to follow this up...
  6. H

    NSW Can I sue my former landlord (FACS) for emotional distress caused by their negligence regarding their anti-social tenant who is known to by police?

    I suffer from mental health (anxiety neurosis and obsessive compulsive disorder) since the age of 15. I lived in Housing commission apartment with my mother. When a former tenant died, her apartment was given to a male in his early 20s. We enjoyed peace and quiet until his arrival. As tenants we...
  7. J

    QLD Minor shoplift- will police come to my house ?

    Hi, I was stupid and had really bad friends, they influenced me to shoplift, after seeing them with goods I got the idea of shoplifting. At first I stole a tshirt at supre for $20 and was able to get away with it. I felt very guilty but After a few days later I went to a different shopping mall...
  8. S

    NSW Criminal case involving police

    Attempted murder charge against a cop who has done illegal things and misconduct when actions as a police officer allowed to do illegal thing and no reciprocations No duty of care for the one who was pushed so far it ended in this attempted murder charge I was wanting to know is there like...
  9. G

    QLD DVO, police incompetence

    Can anything be done about the police taking a statement from someone that was highly intoxicated? My partner was not only misheard/misunderstood on an incident but has been pressured every step of the way by the police. Now we are in the situation where the police have taken temporary orders...
  10. J

    WA Can the police do a blood test for drugs with no warrant

    Can the police do a blood test for drugs without a warrant and when no charges have been filed, and no doctor or nurse present to do the blood test ?