Police and Indigenous Issues

Question 1 is to be completed in (discussion) essay format and is to include both in-text and end-text referencing.
Question 1
Essay Title: Call for Lawful Equality
Date: 25/08/2009
Words: 498
Source: ILL Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Section: News
Page: 4

THE Illawarra Aboriginal community say they have suffered widespread discrimination and harassment by the region”s police and have called on Police Minister Tony Kelly to address their concerns. More than 100 people have signed a petition addressed to Mr Kelly, which lays out a number of claims they say have been festering for the past 20 years, including that Aboriginal suspects are presumed guilty before an investigation takes place and that when indigenous people seek assistance from police a significant proportion of their requests are not met.

The Illawarra Aboriginal Community Based Working Group has also compiled seven anecdotes to back up their claims, including an incident in which a group of Aboriginal people were sexually harassed and assaulted at a fun park. They claim that despite the perpetrators being identified, police did nothing. The group has invited Mr Kelly and the region”s police and politicians to attend a meeting next month in order to “form a partnership to discuss the systemic change required to address these ongoing issues of discrimination and harassment”. The group”s spokeswoman Sharralyn Robinson said despite raising the issues with Wollongong and Lake Illawarra police on numerous occasions over the past 20 years, no solutions had been implemented. “It is something that has been brewing for quite a long time and there are issues that have been raised continuously but there is just not a satisfactory outcome,” Ms Robinson said.”So the community is insisting that we call a meeting to try and resolve some of the issues and put some strategies in place … we still have a long way to go.”

There is an Aboriginal liaison officer based at Warilla Police Station who looks after the indigenous community in both the Lake Illawarra and Wollongong commands, but Ms Robinson said it was too much work for one officer.
Ms Robinson also wants all police officers in the region to undergo cultural awareness training that is location specific.
Wollongong commander Superintendent Kyle Stewart said he and the Lake Illawarra commander would both be attending the meeting, as they saw it as a “valuable” opportunity given there were serious concerns within the Aboriginal community about police. “From my perspective the principle responsibility of police is to operate in a way that is culturally sensitive to the Aboriginal community and to make sure we seek the co-operation of the Aboriginal community in identifying what are the principal strategies to embark upon when policing Aboriginal communities,” Mr Stewart said.
“We want to hear those concerns and, where appropriate, address them.韮oth of us have spent a considerable amount of time policing in the west of the state and we are dedicated to making sure that Aboriginal-police relations are positive,” he said.


Discuss, in essay format, how the relationship between police and the Aboriginal community, as described in the above newspaper article, could be improved.
Your analysis should include discussion of the issues of police culture, social stereotyping and bias.
Your essay is to be appropriately referenced and is to be of 500-600 words length, including quotes.


You must reference all sources and include a reference list at the end of your assignment. You must use the APA referencing system.

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