|dc.description.abstract||Formålet med avhandlingen er å klarlegge hvordan et utvalg politibetjenter utøver skjønn i ordenstjeneste, hvordan de rettslige rammer vedrørende disse valg er å forstå, hvordan politibetjentenes praksis forholder seg til disse rettslige rammer, samt hvilke implikasjoner dette kan ha for borgernes rettssikkerhet. Avhandlingen bygger på et empirisk materiale, som skriver seg fra observasjon av et utvalg politibetjenters håndtering av reelle situasjoner, etterfølgende intervju som hovedsakelig omfatter deres håndtering av aktuelle situasjoner, samt deres dokumentasjon av aktuell myndighetsutøvelse, eksempelvis i form av rapporter eller registreringer i politiets datasystemer. Feltnotater og intervjuutskrifter utgjør hoveddelen av det empiriske materialet. Avhandlingen omhandler flere sentrale problemstillinger. For det første redegjøres det for aktuelle rettslige rammer vedrørende et utvalg områder innenfor politiets ordenstjeneste. Dernest avdekkes hvilke skjønnsmessige vurderinger politibetjentene foretar innenfor disse områdene, relatert til spørsmålene om - saksbehandling, herunder informasjon, utredning, begrunnelse og notoritet - inngripen i en situasjon av ordensmessig karakter - med hvilket middel det gripes inn, om aktuell person utsettes for eksponering, hvorvidt det brukes makt og håndjern, samt hvor lang varighet aktuell inngripen får - hvorvidt antatt straffbare forhold anmeldes eller forfølges på annen måte Deretter drøftes hvordan politibetjentenes skjønnsutøvelse forholder seg til de nevnte rettslige rammer. Videre redegjøres det for politibetjentenes fagkompetanse og den umiddelbare kvalitetssikring av deres myndighetsutøvelse. Det empiriske materialet er styrende for omfanget av det juridisk-teoretiske materialet i avhandlingen. Det betyr at det som fremkommer i det empiriske materialet er avgjørende for hvilken juss som belyses, og denne jussen danner grunnlag for analysen av politibetjentenes praksis. Når det gjelder klarleggingen av de rettslige rammer for skjønnsutøvelsen, fokuseres det spesielt på hjemmelslovgivningen og dens formålsbetraktninger, aktuelle forvaltningsrettslige prinsipp (særlig kravene til legalitet, saklighet, likhet, nøytralitet og forsvarlig saksbehandling), samt de politirettslige krav om nødvendighet, herunder lempeligste middel som er tilstrekkelig og hensiktsmessig, samt forholdsmessighet og, ved makt, forsvarlighet.||en_US
The aim of this thesis is to investigate how police officers practice assessment when conducting patrol service, how the judicial boundaries regarding such assessment can be understood, how the police officers’ practices relate to these judicial boundaries, and lastly what implications this might have for the citizens’ legal protection.
The thesis builds on empirical material collected through observation of police officers’ handling of real life situations when on patrol, followed by interviews with the officers, focusing on questions regarding their handling of relevant situations. In addition documentation of their conduct of authority in the form of reports or registrations in the police’s electronic data systems have been collected. Field notes and interview transcripts constitute the main part of the empirical material.
The thesis discusses several problem issues. Firstly, an account of the judicial boundaries for a selection of areas within the police’s patrol service is presented. Secondly, findings regarding what kinds of assessment police officers make within these areas is described, related to questions regarding:
- forms of procedure, including information, investigation, argumentation and notoriety
- intervention in situations regarding order
- what means are used in the intervention, whether the person involved is exposed, whether force and handcuffs are used, and the amount of time used for the intervention
- whether presumed punishable actions are reported or followed up otherwise
Subsequently, the police officers’ conduct of assessment related to the aforementioned judicial boundaries is discussed. Finally, the police officers’ formal competence and the immediate quality assurance of their conduct of authority is dealt with.
The empirical material guides the selection and amount of juridical-theoretical material in the thesis. This implies that what comes out of the empirical material is decisive for the kind of law that is being focused, and this law forms the basis for the analysis of the police officers’ practices.
Regarding the clarification of the judicial boundaries for conduct of assessment, the focus is put on the legal authority and its deliberations of purpose, relevant principles within administrative law (in particular requirements regarding legality, impartiality, equality, neutrality and justifiable procedures), in addition to The Police Act requirements regarding necessity, including use of suitable means that are sufficient and appropriate, and proportionality, and, when force is being used, security.
The thesis is organised into seven chapters:
Chapter 1 contains the thesis’ topic and outline. In the chapter the “rule of law” is explained, including basic requirements for public conduct of authority, and central principles forming the foundation for the evaluation of the rule of law in society.
Chapter 2 presents the methodological approach, empirical law, choice of methods, description of how data was collected, reflections regarding research ethics and structural choices.
Chapter 3 describes the police officers’ procedures regarding statement of facts, including assessment of evidence, information, justification and notoriety.
The police officers focus on deviations, including disturbance of peace, dangerous situations or violation of the law, or signs that such situations might form. Their focus is governed by purpose and is unbiased. They are conscious of factors that might influence the access to facts and assessments regarding what facts might be relevant, including the involved persons’ reliability and whether they are trustworthy. The police officers are conscious of factors that might influence their ability to act in an unbiased way. Their procedures correspond on the whole with the requirements about justifiable conduct of procedures and efficiency.
The police officers inform the persons involved about their interventions. The information given meets the requirements regarding in advance estimations. Through providing good information they lay the foundation for keeping their interventions at the lowest level, with as little use of force as possible and limiting the use of time for the intervention as much as possible. Good provision of information can also help clarify facts and the situation is solved quickly, something which relates positively to the police’s efficiency.
Another major finding is that the police officers state the reasons for their interventions, use of means, force and handcuffs to the people involved. This also includes cases of instruction where there is no requirement to state reasons. Good ways of stating their reasons enhances the opportunities for the persons involved in estimating consequences in advance. It also enhances efficiency since most people will comply with police instructions when they are explained why they have to do as instructed.
However, the degree of notoriety varies. There is a clear divide between interventions according to The Police Act and The Criminal Procedure Act. Unlike in cases of arrest and when somebody is being searched, reports are not written when bringing people to the police station and in cases of inspection. In spite of this, findings show that in cases of formal complaints there are descriptions of the person being inspected and brought in to the station. Notoriety is not routinely exercised in cases concerning use of handcuffs, batons and pepper spray, but such methods sometimes feature in reports about person arrests, searches or in cases of formal complaints. It is not uncommon that interventions are not registered at all. Lack of notoriety may influence negatively on the right to re-examination and may also influence police efficiency negatively.
Chapter 4 describes the police officers’ assessment deliberations regarding whether they intervene in a situation or not, with what means they intervene, whether the person involved is being exposed, whether force and handcuffs are being used, and the time used for the intervention.
The factors that are being focussed can be divided into conditions regarding the situation, the person involved in the intervention, and the police. The factors that the police officers focus on regarding these conditions are similar. A person’s behaviour can influence the decision on whether to intervene or not, what means that are being used in the intervention, whether force is used or not, and how long the intervention lasts. Most factors that are taken into account can be classified as unbiased, but there are also examples of non-relevant factors being used.
Chapter 5 deals with the police officers’ assessment deliberations regarding whether potentially punishable situations are being pursued or not. The factors that are being focussed can be divided into the same areas as in the previous chapter - conditions regarding the situation, the person involved in the intervention, and the police. A major part of the conditions focussed when deciding about and conducting interventions described in the previous chapter are also in focus when deciding about whether to file a formal complaint or pursuing the case through other means. As in the previous chapter most factors that are taken into account can be classified as unbiased, but there are also examples of non-relevant factors being used.
Chapter 6 presents and discusses the police officers’ formal competence, and whether the decisions made are subject to quality assurance before they are conducted or after they have been carried out. Empirical findings show that law to a very limited degree feature in in-service courses, training and exercises. Keeping up to date with changes in and development of knowledge within law are left to the individual officer’s own initiative. Another finding is that quality assurance varies both with regard to interventions according to The Police Act and in cases where they decide against interventions or pursuing situations. The level of quality assurance is considerably better in cases where supposed punishable situations result in a formal complaint being filed and in cases where means of force are being used.
Another finding is that the police officers are reluctant to give feedback about or criticize a colleague’s way of conducting his or her job.
Chapter 7 contains a summary of findings and a discussion of what implications these findings might have for the rule of law. Even if the empirical material does not contain the most serious mistakes, there are examples of use of authority that lacks legal authority. The reasons can be found in failure to comply with the requirements regarding legality, impartiality, equality, neutrality, necessity, proportionality and security.
The findings do not suggest any need for changing the set of rules that regulate the police’s opportunity to conduct interventions against citizens, including the central questions that feature in the thesis’ problem formulation. However, the empirical material contains examples of police practices that need to be adjusted in accordance with the legal framework that govern them. Suggestions regarding means to enhance police officers’ knowledge about the role of the police and the judicial boundaries for their authority procedures are presented. Furthermore, the suggestion to establish quality control legally in all first line control practices so that decisions are subject to quality control to a much greater degree than these empirical findings show, is referred to. Finally, it is suggested that there is a need to improve the police officers’ ability to give and receive constructive feedback regarding the way they conduct their service.||en_US