Appropriate Police Responses

Apr 2, 2012

Q. There is a debate in many parts of Australia on the appropriate response of police to a range of situations.

In your opinion which of the following are appropriate responses for police in the following situations? (Version A – asked of half the sample)

 

Appropriate police responses

 

Situation

Firearm

Taser

Capsicum spray

Baton

Physical restraint

Verbal response

Don’t know

Police confronted with an armed individual

67%

42%

30%

20%

26%

23%

6%

Police confronted with a drug (eg ice amphetamines) or alcohol affected individual

10%

44%

47%

22%

43%

26%

5%

Police confronted with a mentally ill individual (eg schizophrenic episode)

6%

31%

39%

15%

48%

34%

7%

Police confronted with a gang or mob

47%

44%

43%

33%

32%

26%

9%

A substantial proportion of respondents think that firearms are an appropriate police response when confronted with an armed individual (67%) or confronted with a gang or mob (47%).

Tasers are more likely to be considered appropriate when confronted with a drug or alcohol affected individual (44%), a gang or mob (44%) or an armed individual (42%).

Capsicum spray is more likely to be considered appropriate when confronted with a drug or alcohol affected individual (47%) or a gang or mob (43%).

Physical restraint is thought to be more appropriate to situations where police are confronted with a mentally ill individual (48%) or a drug or alcohol affected individual (43%).

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Most Appropriate Police Response

Apr 2, 2012

Q. There is a debate in many parts of Australia on the appropriate response of police to a range of situations.

In your opinion which of the following is the most appropriate response for police in the following situations? (Version B – asked of half the sample).

 

Most appropriate police response

 

Situation

Firearm

Taser

Capsicum spray

Baton

Physical restraint

Verbal response

Don’t know

Police confronted with an armed individual

55%

25%

7%

2%

2%

1%

8%

Police confronted with a drug (eg ice amphetamines) or alcohol affected individual

5%

37%

28%

3%

18%

2%

7%

Police confronted with a mentally ill individual (eg schizophrenic episode)

2%

24%

24%

1%

31%

10%

7%

Police confronted with a gang or mob

39%

19%

19%

8%

3%

2%

9%

A firearm was considered to be the most appropriate police response when confronted with an armed individual (55%) or a gang or mob (39%).

When confronted with a drug or alcohol affected individual the most appropriate responses were thought to be taser (37%) and capsicum spray (28%).

When confronted with a mentally ill individual the most appropriate responses were thought to be physical restraint (31%), taser (24%) and capsicum spray (24%).

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