Police Culture and Corruption

By July 17, 2017 Psychology


A twine of media probes during the 1980s exposed constabularies corruptness in Queensland. Persistent media attending and national involvement shortly led the Acting Premier of Queensland to committee an enquiry into illegal behaviors and related constabulary misconduct. The subsequent enquiry substantiated studies that corruptness did be and that, worryingly, the corruptness was wide-spread and high-ranking. As a effect of exposing constabulary corruptness, society is frequently left with inquiries sing the grade of trust they have with the constabulary, the extent to which corruptness tallies within the section, and what is being done to forestall corruptness from distributing ( Lawson, 2011 ; Loree 2006 ) . A constabulary section with an organizational civilization of systemic corruptness and questionable moralss, will happen itself with officers ( exposed to that civilization early in their calling ) , shortly promoted to leading functions in which the corruptness can blossom and perpetuate.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

In this essay I will turn to the function that the constabulary civilization plays in the chance for corruptness to engender, and place what can be done in an effort to stomp it out.

Organizational Culture and Corruptness

Organizational civilization is the unwritten regulations, shared values and beliefs that guide the attitudes and actions of an organisation’s members in their attack to their work and how they interact with each other ( Lawson, 2011 ; State Services Authority, 2013 ) . For constabulary officers, these regulations are shaped by the map of patroling itself and make a civilization of conformance and chumminess with cultural elements that include: an hyperbolic belief of purpose refering the function of patroling and a passion for exciting work with a slanting towards offense ; revelment in butch activities and workss ; the temperament to use force ; misgiving and intuition ; isolation from friends and household ; defensive esprit de corps ; a misanthropic attitude towards the motivations of others ; and an involuntariness to accept the positions of persons who defy the current province of personal businesss ( Lawson, 2011 ) . These cultural elements lend themselves to a sub-culture typified by a codification of silence, unchallenged devotedness and trueness to other officers, and pessimism sing the condemnable justness system ( Loree, 2006, p. 10 ) and can take to a closed constabulary society and corruptness ( Cox, McCamey and Scaramella, 2013 ) .

Loree ( 2006, p.4 mentioning Sayed and Bruce, 1998 ) defines police corruptness as ‘any illegal activity or misconduct affecting the usage of occupational power for personal, group, or organisational gain’ and can happen internally ( as intimidation or hazing, or offering payments or favors in return for displacement alterations or vacations ) or externally ( by having free repasts or drinks, accepting payoffs or kickbacks, or take parting in larceny or organised offense ) . When corruptness is exposed it can hold effects for both the officer involved, other officers who have had no portion to play in the corruptness or for the constabulary section as a whole.

For the officer, or officers, involved, the effects can change depending on the nature and badness of the corruptness or misconduct. At the lesser terminal of the graduated table it can include demotion, decrease in wage or restrictions in calling promotion. At the more serious terminal of the scale penalty could include dismissal, condemnable charges or prison. Equally terrible as some of these effects are for the single officers, the effects of corruptness on the administration are even more critical. The embarrassment ensuing from misconduct and corruptness can be deleterious to the public’s assurance and trust, corrupt subdivisions and officers, or expose the section to judicial proceeding. ( Fitch, 2011 ; Loree, 2006, pp.17-19 )

As a consequence of judicial enquiry, departmental reappraisal or analysis by external research workers, legion suggestions have been made that police sections can follow in an effort to stomp out, or cut down, misconduct and corruptness. After the judicial enquiry into police corruptness in Queensland during the 1980’s ( subsequently going known as the Fitzgerald Inquiry ) , a recommendation was made that the Queensland constabularies should follow a cardinal philosophy of community policing. The execution of this recommendation has led to a proactive community patroling attack in which offense bar officers engage with the community through school visits, security and safety audits or places and concern premisies and presentations to assorted community groups ( Lawson, 2011 ) .

Equally of import to the decrease of corruptness and misconduct is the presence of ethical and strong leading ( including organizational direction, officers in charge of subdivisions or subdivisions, supervisors of squads, or senior spouses ) . These leaders influence the civilization of the administration and the organisation’s enthusiasm for alteration. Leaderships should take a zero tolerance attack to dishonesty, misconduct and averageness. The dispensement of soft penalty for dishonesty or misconduct will be seen as digesting those behaviors, and the credence of averageness can bring forth an environment in which misconduct flourishes. By taking a zero tolerance attack to these issues, and perpetuating a high criterion of moralss and unity, leaders can make an organizational civilization that is capable of smothering misconduct. ( Barry, 1999, pp.81-85 ; Cox, McCamey and Scaramella, 2013, p.99 ; Loree, 2006, p.26 ; Martin, 2011 )

To the same grade that leaders should hold a zero tolerance attack to misbehave and averageness, they should besides recognize and honor virtuous behavior and exceeding work. Loree ( 2006, mentioning Mink et al. , 2000 ) notes that when officers feel valued ‘they are satisfied, positive and productive in their behaviors and attempts towards accomplishing organisational goals’ . If the lone acknowledgment officers receive is chastisement for errors, they rapidly learn that the wages for acuteness and difficult work is the danger of being exposed to penalty ( Cox, McCamey and Scaramella, 2013, p.99 ) .

Protection for whistle blowers, or those officers who are prepared to talk out against the codification of silence, is indispensable to protect the whistle blower from judicial proceeding, civil and condemnable liability, and exploitation ( OmbudsmanSA, 2013 ) . The codification of silence is grounded in those parts of constabulary civilization that frequently make work squads and subdivisions so effectual – trueness and group credence. However, it is those same parts that besides do it debatable for constabulary officers to describe the perversive behavior of others ( Loree, 2006, p. 11 ) . It is important so, to guarantee that those officers brave plenty to talk out are protected from being turned into castawaies and rewarded for their ethical stance.

Punishment for misconduct and corruptness, and wages for model work and virtuous behavior are reactive steps for cut downing corruptness and altering police civilization. Taking a proactive attack, ethical preparation sing the indispensable portion constabulary officers have in the community, and closely tied to the actualities of constabulary work should be both germinating and ongoing. Field coachs and senior spouses, peculiarly, should be educated in moralss so that they are prepared to reenforce the moralss and unity message that recruits are exposed to during preparation. When officers are cognizant of the behavior expected of them, they can be considered responsible for any misconduct or corruptness ( Barry, 1999, pp.81-85 ; Loree, 2006, p.22 ) .

Of considerable value when trying to cut down future misconduct is careful recruiting, choice showing and the backbreaking undertaking of non using unethical persons to get down with. Factors which might do an person at hazard of being involved in misconduct or corruptness, such as: their associations with felons ; upbringing ; or lifestyle picks, should all be considered when testing possible employees. It is critical that sections adequately assess appliers and employ merely the most solid and honest 1s because they potentially have a superior step of unity ( Loree, 2006 ; Martin, 2011 ) .

Make constabularies officers need to cognize this?

It is of import for all constabulary officers to understand the effects of misconduct and corruptness for themselves and the section, for them to take the ethical and moral high-ground in coming Forth to describe such actions, and to understand what can be done to get the better of an organizational civilization that lends itself to corruption merely being the manner things are done. It is of import as every constabulary officer can be the accelerator for alteration, to further unity and be a portion of an administration that the community trusts.

South Australia Police Strategic Direction and Service Delivery Charter

The South Australia Police ( SAPOL ) Service Delivery Charter ( n.d. ) clearly sets out the outlook of a civilization of service excellence. To accomplish this SAPOL demand to be seen to be ethical and devoid of corruptness. Through community battle and proactive community policing, as outlined in their Strategic Direction ( 2012 ) , SAPOL opens itself up to public examination and offer a degree of transparence into the manner in which consequences are achieved. It is indispensable that the consequences that are expected by both the community and the section are achieved reasonably, professionally and ethically.


Judicial enquiries, whistle blowers and fact-finding news media have shown that constabulary sections are sometimes non absent of corruptness and misconduct. At times this corruptness and misconduct is borne from a civilization characterised by a codification of silence, dedication, trueness and pessimism.

However, the being of such an organizational civilization is non needfully par for the class. By set uping a moral and ethical civilization in a constabulary administration misconduct and corruptness can be controlled and prevented. The stairss needed to set up a civilization of this type includes: a philosophy of community policing ; a zero tolerance attack to dishonesty, misconduct and averageness ; acknowledgment and wages for virtuous behavior and exceeding work ; ethical preparation ; and careful recruiting.

The acceptance of the above recommendations can help to cheer leading, propagate an ethical and morally rich organizational civilization and trade constabulary sections which are unfastened and accessible to their communities.

Key facets for presentation

Some elements of the community believe that all constabularies are corrupt. Whilst this is at the utmost terminal of the graduated table, it would be foolish to presume that a big per centum of citizens don’t suspect that there are still corrupt elements within SAPOL. Corruptness or misconduct occurs for many grounds, and sometimes those grounds are because of the constabulary civilization – an mute regulation sing the codification of silence ( or looking out for your couples because of some ill-conceived sense of trueness ) , or turning a blind oculus to catch a criminal or guarantee a successful prosecution ( because the tribunals aren’t capable of making their occupation decently ) . It is of import that the section, and the people in it, do all they can to distance themselves from being the root cause of corruptness and misconduct due to an unethical organizational civilization. SAPOL can accomplish this by go oning its policy of community policing, guaranting that it remains unfastened to public examination, maintain rigorous enlisting procedures and provided ongoing preparation in relation to the behavior expected from officers. Police officers can assist to guarantee a civilization free from corruptness and misconduct by following a zero tolerance attack to dishonesty, misconduct and averageness, and talking out about such behaviors without fright of requital.

Word count: 1765


Barry, D. ( 1999 ) .Managing Police Misconduct in and Ethical Way. Maestro. University of Nevada.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, ( 2012 ) .Leading Culture Change – Employee Engagement and Public Service Transformation. Policy into Practice. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Cox, S. , McCamey, W. and Scaramella, G. ( 2014 ) .Introduction to patroling. 1st erectile dysfunction. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Fitch, B. ( 2011 ) . Understanding the Psychology of Police Misconduct.The Police Chief. [ on-line ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm? fuseaction=display_arch & A ; article_id=2290 & A ; issue_id=12011 [ Accessed 1 Jun. 2014 ] .

Fleming, J. and Rhodes, R. ( 2004 ) . It’s situational: the quandary of constabulary administration in the twenty-first century. In:Australasian Political Studies Association Conference. Adelaide.

Gilmartin, K. ( n.d. ) .Ethical motives Based Patroling – Undoing Entitlement. [ on-line ] Emotionalsurvival.com. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //emotionalsurvival.com/ethics_based_policing.htm [ Accessed 1 Jun. 2014 ] .

Lawson, C. ( 2011 ) .: : SCAN | diary of media humanistic disciplines civilization: :. [ on-line ] Scan.net.au. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //scan.net.au/scan/journal/display.php? journal_id=159 [ Accessed 28 May. 2014 ] .

Loree, D. ( 2006 ) .Corruptness in Patroling: Causes and Consequences A Review of the Literature. Ottawa: Canadian Mounted Police.

Martin, R. ( 2011 ) .Police Corruption – An Analytic Look into Police Ethical motives. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Murray, T. ( 2000 ) . Police and the challenge of the twenty-first century: managing alteration in constabulary administrations.Platypus Magazine. [ on-line ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.afp.gov.au/media-centre/publications/platypus/previous-editions/2000/september-2000/2-21century.aspx [ Accessed 28 May. 2014 ] .

OmbudsmanSA, ( 2013 ) .Whistleblower Protection. Adelaide: OmbudsmanSA. [ on-line ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.ombudsman.sa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/policy_part_2_2013.pdf [ Accessed 28 May. 2014 ] .

South Australia Police, ( 2012 ) .South Australia Police Strategic Direction 2012-2015. [ study ] Adelaide: Government of South Australia.

South Australia Police, ( n.d. ) .Service Delivery Charter. [ study ] Adelaide: Government of South Australia.


I'm Amanda

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out