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CRI2212 Police and Society

Semester 1, 2021 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Police and Society
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 099903 - Criminology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Andrew Lowe

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


For most people who have any involvement with the criminal justice system, their encounter begins and ends with the police. As gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, where police discretionary power determines progress through or exit from the criminal justice system, the role of police, their effectiveness and the use/abuse of discretionary powers impacts upon public perceptions of police legitimacy, procedural justice and fairness of the criminal justice system, overall. As the frontline agency of the criminal justice system, police services across Australia are also the most costly arm of the criminal justice system. Policing in Australia consistently absorbs about seventy percent of the annual criminal justice system budget. As well, police occupy the foremost position in the criminal justice system, in both practice and resource demands, as well as being the predominant influence on public perceptions of the criminal justice system’s effectiveness. It is therefore paramount to students’ learning within criminal justices studies to gain a deeper understanding of how and why the police function as they do, the challenges present in police work, management and regulation, and addressing some of the (mis)perceptions associated with policing in Australia.


As gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, the police fulfil a crucial role in exercising their discretion to determine who enters the criminal justice system and who does not. To understand the way in which the police function, students commence their studies of policing in Australia with an overview of policing in an historical context and its development over time. Throughout the course students learn about styles and structures of policing, police use of discretionary powers, various policing roles, policing vulnerable and minority groups, and policing within the local and global context. Abuses of discretionary powers and other challenges associated with policing is also examined along with accountability measures in place to mitigate these abuses and challenges.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. explain policing in relation to the various contexts in which police work;
  2. critically discuss the necessity for various policing strategies and approaches when policing vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;
  3. compare and contrast the similarities and differences between fictional representations and the reality of police work;
  4. engage in group discussions and construct and apply independent thought in response to issues associated with policing;
  5. discuss the unique challenges associated with police work and how these challenges are managed and/or minimised.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Course overview and introduction to Policing and society 10.00
2. History of policing 10.00
3. Theories of policing 10.00
4. Police structures & organisation 10.00
5. Policing strategies, roles & duties 20.00
6. Policing in local and global contexts 10.00
7. Policing disadvantaged communities 10.00
8. Policing challenges, powers and abuse of powers 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Broadhurst, R., & Davies, S. E 2009, Policing in context: An introduction to police work in Australia, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Australia.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Directed Study 37.00
Private Study 63.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Assignment 40 40 22 Apr 2021 1,2
Written Essay 40 40 27 May 2021 2,3,5
Online Tutorial Discussion 20 20 04 Jun 2021 4,5 (see note 1)

  1. Discussions will take place during the course of the semester. Examiner will provide details of each discussion and any associated due dates. Refer to the Assessment Schedule for further information.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The (AGLC) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide.

Date printed 18 June 2021