BACKGROUND: The medical response to adult sexual assault should comprise: the collection of forensic evidence, the treatment of injuries, and follow-up counselling. In the past, victims of sexual assault reporting directly to the police may not have received this total medical care. The Copenhagen Center for Victims of Sexual Assault at Rigshospitalet, Denmark offers a 24-h service. Medical treatment and psychosocial follow up is offered independent of police reporting. The aim of this study was to assess whether adult sexual assault victims who reported to the police differed from those who did not report to the police. METHODS: Using clinical records, sociodemographics, characteristics of the assault, and type of preventive medical treatment received were obtained for 156 consecutive women consulting the Copenhagen Center (March 1st to December 31st 2000). Comparisons between characteristics of victims who reported to the police or not were determined. RESULTS: Ninety-four (60.2%) of the women reported to the police. Women who sought services within 24 h of the assault, had experienced use of force, were subjected to assault outdoors, and among whom nongenital injuries were observed were more likely to report to the police (p
Police records are the most common source of data used to estimate motor-vehicle collision risks, understand causal or contributing factors, and evaluate the efficacy of interventions. The literature notes concerns about this information citing discrepancies between police reports and other sources of injury occurrence and severity data. The primary objective of the analysis was to assess the adequacy of police reports for an examination of weather-related injury collision risk.
Analyses of relative risk were carried out using both police records and comprehensive insurance claim data for Winnipeg, Canada over the period 1999-2001.
Both data sets yielded very similar results-precipitation substantially increases the risk of injury collision (police records: RR 1.76, CI 1.55-2.00; insurance: RR 1.80, CI 1.62-1.99) and risk of injury (police records, RR 1.74, CI 1.55-1.96; insurance, RR 1.69, CI 1.55-1.85) relative to corresponding dry weather control periods. Both rainfall and snowfall were associated with large increases in collisions and injuries.
While relative risks are almost identical, over 64% more injury collisions and 74% more injuries were identified using the insurance data, which is an important difference for evaluating absolute risk and exposure.
To determine the rate at which fire and police first responders (FRs) apply automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and to ascertain reasons for not applying them.
Twenty-one emergency medical services (EMS) systems whose FRs had been supplied with AEDs by a philanthropic foundation provided data for all out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients. Data including the incidence of AED application and explanations for not applying AEDs were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
A total of 2,456 OHCAs were reported. AED application information was available for 2,439 patients and revealed that FRs had not applied AEDs to 1,025 patients (42%). Fire FRs were more likely than police FRs to have applied AEDs (relative risk 1.87, 95% confidence interval 1.65-2.12). Reasons for not applying AEDs were listed for 664 (65%) of the OHCA patients to whom AEDs had not been applied. The predominant reason the FRs did not apply an AED was that the transporting ambulance defibrillator had already been applied (74%). However, when response times for FRs and the transporting ambulances were compared for these OHCA patients, it was found that the transporting ambulances arrived after the FRs 23% the time, simultaneously with the FRs 45% of the time, and before the FRs only 32% of the time.
Fire and police FRs did not apply AEDs to a significant number of OHCA patients. Use of the transport ambulance defibrillator was the primary reason given for not applying the FR AED. Given low AED application rates by FRs, future studies are needed to determine the characteristics of communities in which equipping FRs with AEDs is the most beneficial deployment strategy, and how to increase AED application by FRs in communities with FR AED programs.
Policing has profound health implications for people who use illicit drugs. Among Aboriginal communities, distrust of police is common, due partly to legacies of colonial policing. In response to the paucity of research among Aboriginal people who use drugs, this paper aims to: (1) Describe the policing experiences of young Aboriginal people who use drugs; (2) Identify policing activities associated with unsafe injection practices; and (3) Elucidate barriers to positive police relations.
The Cedar Project is a cohort study involving young Aboriginal people in Vancouver and Prince George, British Columbia, who use illicit drugs. This mixed-methods study (N=372) used period prevalence from 2007 to 2010 to describe policing experiences, mixed effects regression models to identify correlates of policing activities, and thematic qualitative analysis to assess attitudes to police relations.
Many participants were stopped by police (73%), experienced physical force by police (28%), had drug equipment confiscated (31%), and changed location of drug use because of police (43%). Participants who reported dealing drugs (40%) were significantly more likely to experience police engagement. Among participants in Prince George, 4% reported to have had non-consensual sex with members of the criminal justice system. Policing activity was significantly associated with syringe sharing, rushed injection, and reused syringe. Due to personal experience, practical concerns, and intergenerational legacies of unfair policing practices, most participants did not want a positive relationship with police (57%). Desire for a positive relationship with police was directly associated with being helped by police, and inversely associated with being stopped by police and experiencing physical force by police.
Policing activities may be impacting the well-being of Aboriginal people who use drugs. Due to focused prosecution of street-level drug dealing, some police may favor enforcement over harm reduction. Positive police engagement and less aggressive policing may enhance perceptions of police among young Aboriginal people who use drugs.
In 2002 the Politiarrestprosjektet (a police custody project in Norway) examined deaths in Norwegian police cells during the period from 1993 to 2001. They found a total of 36 deaths, 16 of which were due either to acute alcohol poisoning or to head injuries suffered by people who had been detained for intoxication. A range of preventive measures were proposed. We have now reviewed deaths in the period from 2003 to 2012 and compared them with the first study.
We asked all police districts in Norway to submit information about deaths in police cells from 2003 up to and including 2012. Autopsy reports, police reports and reports from the Norwegian Bureau for the Investigation of Police Affairs were requested.
Altogether 11 deaths were reported, i.e. an average of 1.1 deaths per year. The most usual cause of death with six fatalities was a combination of toxic substances. Three deaths were due to suicide, one was a natural death, and one was due to acute alcohol poisoning. There were no deaths due to head injuries related to intoxication.
The number of deaths in Norwegian police cells has declined considerably. It is primarily the number of alcohol-related deaths that has fallen.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2014 Feb 11;134(3):26324518445
The purpose of this study was to compare whether the high incidence of drugged driving in Norway was different to that in the other Nordic countries. All blood samples received by Nordic forensic institutes during one week in 1996, from drivers suspected by the police of driving under the influence (Denmark: n = 255, Finland: n = 270, Iceland: n = 40, Sweden: n = 86, Norway: n = 149), were analysed for alcohol and drugs (benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates and a number of antidepressant drugs) independent of the primary suspicion, and using the same analytical cut-off levels at the different institutes. The primary suspicion was directed towards drugs in more than 40% of the Norwegian cases, drugs were detected in more than 70% of these samples. In only 0-3% of the cases from Denmark, Finland and Iceland, were drugs suspected, while the corresponding frequency for Sweden was 17%. However, evidential breath analyses were used for about three-quarters of the Swedish drivers suspected to be influenced by alcohol. Blood alcohol concentrations (BAC's) below the legal limits were found in 32, 18 and 2% of the Norwegian, Icelandic and Finnish cases, respectively (BAC
In 2004, faced with demographic data predicting large increases in the number of older drivers within a relatively short period combined with the realization that screening for driver fitness was largely dependent on health professionals, principally physicians, the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) initiated measures to achieve better cooperation with the health professionals performing the screening. A continuing medical education (CME) program was initiated to improve the health professionals' understanding of road safety considerations. This article describes the program and its impact.
A 90-minute workshop combining presentation and discussion methods and centering on five case studies was developed and delivered to 824 participants. Outcomes were evaluated at the levels of satisfaction and performance.
Participants reported a high level of satisfaction with the workshop. Data suggest that there was an increase in the number of reports submitted by physicians. The quality of physician reports also improved.
SAAQ statistics show the benefit of its CME program. Informed physicians appear more willing to report drivers with medical problems affecting driver fitness, especially when they are asked to provide functional evaluations and not make decisions about fitness to drive. We believe that the success of this program was due to several factors: (1) its clinical rather than administrative orientation, (2) the use of physicians to deliver the workshop, and (3) formal recognition of the program by the authority responsible for licensing physicians.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship among Effort, Reward, and Overcommitment dimensions of Siegrist's Effort-Reward Imbalance Model and Psychological Distress in a sample of 78 Canadian police officers. Ages of respondents ranged between 24 and 56 years (M=36.1, SD=8.0). 30% of respondents had been in policing for 16 years or more, 24% between 6 and 15 years, and 44% for 5 years or less. Ordinary least-squares regression was used to evaluate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. After adjusting for age, sex, education, and marital status, higher levels of Effort-Reward Imbalance and Overcommitment were associated with greater Psychological Distress. Present findings support the utility of the model in this particular occupational group and add to the increasing literature suggesting association of Effort-Reward Imbalance, Overcommitment, and reduced mental health.
To examine whether case characteristics of alleged child physical abuse, such as severity, influence criminal investigation procedures and judicial outcomes.
We identified all police-reported cases of nonfatal child physical abuse during 2006 in a Swedish metropolitan area (n = 158). Case characteristics were abstracted from police records.
Over half (56%) of the victims were boys, and the median age group was 9-12 years. The severity of the alleged violence was low in 8% of cases, moderate in 51% and high in 41%. Suspects were interviewed in 53% of cases, with fathers more likely to be interviewed than mothers. Children were forensically interviewed in 52% of cases, with 9% physically examined by a clinician and 2.5% by a forensic specialist. Seven per cent of the cases were prosecuted and 1.3% resulted in summary punishment. We found no association between severity of alleged abuse and whether the suspect was interviewed, the child was forensically interviewed or physically examined or whether the perpetrator was prosecuted.
Despite the high severity of alleged violence, physical examination rates were low, suggesting a need for criminal investigative procedures on child physical abuse to be reviewed in Sweden.
States often seek to regulate the use of police force though citizen complaint systems. This paper examines these systems, specifically, whether patterns of bias found in other juridical contexts are mirrored in the adjudication of police assault. The analysis focuses on prosecutors as the first instance of adjudication who determine whether to move forward with investigation, effectively deciding the majority of cases. We ask whether prosecutor sex is associated with the probability that a police assault claim will be investigated. We leverage a natural experiment in Sweden where prosecutors are assigned through a modified lottery system, effectively randomizing appointment. Our findings suggest that prosecutor gender plays a role in judicial outcomes: women prosecutors are 16 percentage points more likely to investigate claims of police assault than their male counterparts. These findings have implications for scholars interested in state human rights abuses, democratic institutions, and judicial inequality.