A Challenge for the Police

879. The Role of the Police. The task of the police in carrying out their wide ranging responsibilities is clearly not easy, and is becoming more complex. Cross-cultural policing raises special difficulties which require perhaps unique solutions. The police must accept some of the responsibility for seeking such solutions. Superintendent Gillard of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police expressed this challenge in the Canadian context:

with the emergence of well-organized Native associations and the acceptance in many circles of the non-Native society of the Native land claims and aboriginal rights, a new era of Police/Native relations is emerging. Not only must the Force accept those realities, but also must assist in the justice system in order to reduce the high percentage of Natives in conflict with the law. Respect and appropriate recognition should be shown by members to Native ideals, customs, art and significant ceremonial functions in order to instill pride in their past as a means of effectively dealing with present and future problems.[1452]

He concluded that:

the RCMP … must enter into a new era of Native/Police relations, otherwise, we will be an additional part of the problem instead of a significant part of the solution of Native Indians in conflict with the law and the current and future development of Native people.[1453]

Australian police forces must be prepared to take up a similar challenge with respect to the Aborigines.