Police Corruption


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Whenever a Police Officer is involved in an illicit practice it tends to be labelled ‘Police Corruption’ albeit there is no satisfactory universal accepted definition of Corruption. In many definition of ‘Police Corruption’ the issue of ‘Misuse of Office’, ‘Personal Gain for one self or another’, is evident the question is who gains. The use of the term ‘Noble Cause Corruption’ is an example of where Police action is deemed to be Corrupt but for a Noble Cause, does this make the issue more acceptable. It is evident that corruption is a general collect term for many types of phenomena that break the established acceptable boundaries of society such as ‘Legislation’, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct. The key is to understand the differentiation between ‘Police Corruption’ and ‘Police Misconduct’. The differentiation can be seen in the legislative process where Corruption Legislation exists alongside Misconduct legislation. In many cases a Police Officer would be charged with a criminal corruption offence and also charged with a misconduct offence. There exists a grey area between ‘Police Corruption’ and ‘Police Misconduct’ where the only difference is the interpretation of the evidence. The illegality of the act in itself does not necessarily denote corruption it is the purpose of the illegality that adds the substance to the act of corruption. To hit a suspect is an illegal act but would not be deemed as corruption. Many studies and reviews of corruption have quite clearly identified that corruption is pervasive and undermines the integrity of the establishment in which the corruption occurs. Corruption in its many manifestations has been evident through history and will remain an ever present element in society as it feeds the needs of those who do not want to engage in ethical decision making with integrity but would rather achieve their personal ends regardless of ethics or the impact of their actions on others by acting corruptly.

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