Corruption in Policing: Causes and ConsequencesExecutive Summary
Corruption is a term which conjures up many images and stereotypes in whatever context it is used. In the media it is not uncommon to encounter references to corruption in businesses, in professions, in politics and in many other areas of societal life. Each in its own way contributes to how ordinary citizens view the individuals and organizations referred to in the stories and reports and can contribute to changed perceptions.
However, in most western and industrial societies, reports of corruption in police services or involving police officers are often given particular prominence and attention. There are a number of reasons for this. The police, who have a mandate to serve society, have also been given powers by that society that are not given to others - the power to stop, detain, and arrest ordinary citizens. Alone in society, they have the power to use deadly force in the performance of their duties. As a consequence of their role, responsibilities, and powers, reports of corruption in police services are particularly disturbing for many as they are often linked closely to abuse of power and privilege. The police are accountable to the society for their actions and reports of corruption raise serious questions about this relationship and its oversight. Citizens, and communities, are often left with questions such as – can we trust the police? Is this incident merely the tip of the iceberg? Are there other instances of police corruption that we do not hear about? What is being done? What are the links between the police, “politics,” and crime groups?
Police corruption is the lack of police integrity. It also constitutes one of the most significant obstacles to positive police-public relations in today’s society. (Grant, 2002:12)http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/ccaps-sp ... ev-eng.htm