This paper will provide an overview of how implementing a preventive policing strategy may have prevented the incidents presented in the case study from occurring through the practice of community policing. Community policing empowers the community to work with the police to improve their quality of life, by cohesively finding solutions that assist in identifying, addressing and preventing crimes within the community (Cameron 1990; Davies, Kappeler & Gaines 2005; Drew & Mazerolle 2009 and Roberg, Novak & Cordner 2005). There are limitations in community policing as a crime prevention strategy, however as this strategy is fairly new there is minimal data to deny community policing is effective as a crime prevention tool (Cameron 1990).
Indigenous people have a lengthy history of distrust of police. According to Cunneen (2007), Jeffries & Dillon (2009) and New South Wales Police Force (2012) the Indigenous peoples distrust began when the police, through laws and legislation, were required to control most aspects of the lives of the Indigenous. The Aboriginal Strategic Direction 2012-2017 (New South Wales Police Force 2012) is a strategy created by the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1991), the Australian Governments (CoAG) Closing the Gap Strategy and the National Indigenous Law & Justice Framework (SCAG 2009). Two objectives of the Aboriginal Strategic Direction 2012-2017 (New South Wales Police Force 2012) are to improve community safety and communication between the Indigenous community and the police. The actions taken by the New South Wales Police against the alleged Indigenous suspects put the public and the alleged suspects in danger. Even though these actions were taken in an attempt to save a victim, according to media coverage after the incident, the community believed the actions were excessive and appears to have resulted in loss of trust in the police (Davies, Tovey and Ralston 2012; Miller 2012; SBS 2012 and The Farce 2012).