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POLICE CORRUPTION - CAUSES AND CURES

NCJ Number
55934
Journal
Police Volume: 11 Issue: 4 Dated: (DECEMBER 1978) Pages: 10-12
Author(s)
B MACKENZIE
Date Published
1978
Length
3 pages
Annotation
SOURCES OF POLICE CORRUPTION IN BRITAIN ARE DISCUSSED IN AN ARTICLE FROM A BRITISH POLICE JOURNAL.
Abstract
POLICE CORRUPTION, AS IT IS MANIFESTED IN CONSPIRACIES AMONG OFFICERS EITHER TO PREVENT JUSTICE OR TO ENABLE THEM TO CONTINUE THEIR OWN CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, IS THE PRODUCT OF DIVERSE CAUSES. TO SOME EXTENT, POLICE CORRUPTION STEMS FROM THE VERY NATURE OF THE POLICE FUNCTION, WITH ITS SPECIAL POWERS AND INFLUENCE. SOME TYPES OF POLICE ACTIVITY SEEM TO LEND THEMSELVES TO THE CREATION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR CORRUPT PRACTICES. IN BRITAIN THERE IS MORE CORRUPTION AMONG DETECTIVES THAN AMONG UNIFORMED OFFICERS, POSSIBLY BECAUSE THE AUTONOMOUS NATURE OF SPECIALIST SQUADS MEANS LESS ACCOUNTABILITY. IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE WAY IN WHICH A POLICE FORCE IS ORGANIZED AND MANAGED IS A CRITICAL FACTOR GOVERNING LEVELS OF CORRUPTION. ECONOMICS--LOW WAGES AND INADEQUATE REIMBURSEMENT FOR JOB-RELATED EXPENSES--ALSO PLAYS A PART IN CORRUPTION. PERHAPS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DETERMINANT OF CORRUPTION IS THE PROCESS OF SOCIALIZATION THROUGH WHICH YOUNG RECRUITS LEARN TO ENGAGE IN OR AT LEAST TO ACCEPT CORRUPT PRACTICES. THE GROUP SOLIDARITY THAT CHARACTERIZES POLICE OFICERS CAN EITHER PROMOTE CORRUPTION OR PREVENT IT. WHILE IT MAY BE INEVITABLE THAT THERE WILL BE SOME CORRUPT POLICE OFFICERS, CORRUPTION ON AN ORGANIZED SCALE IS NOT INEVITABLE. THE BEST WEAPON AGAINST CORRUPTION IS EACH OFFICER'S SENSE OF PRIDE IN THE ORGANIZATION AND KNOWLEDGE THAT CORRUPTION WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. (LKM)