This book explores the sensitive issue of police accountability to civilian oversight bodies to control police excesses. At the center of the discourse lies the tacit acknowledgement that the enormous power and authority invested in the police does lead to corruption and excesses unless adequate checks and balances are installed. The book analyzes these checks and balances and how these can be made more effective. It puts forth a cross-national study of internal and external mechanisms for enforcing police accountability, and critically appraises the effectiveness of civilian oversight bodies. It also touches upon the working of National Human Rights Commission of India.
While supporting the role of civil oversight bodies in enforcing police accountability, the author also discusses scenarios of police resistance which have often paralyzed the functioning of oversight bodies in Australia, Canada, and the United States. As a solution, he recommends that the primary object of an oversight body should not be only to inquire into complaints against police and recommend action against the defaulting officers, but also to highlight systemic inadequacies and recommend changes in policies and procedures.
This book will be extremely valuable to professionals in police academies, public administration and state security commissions, and human rights activists.