A Short Introduction To Literature On Police Corruption

http://www.belui.ru/Doc/Mejdunar/Angl/33.pdf – full text Home Office

http://www.popcenter.org/problems/street_prostitution/PDFs/Newburn_1999.pdf – full text Home office

http://www.springerlink.com/content/vv5x0143017n1541/ Maurice Punch

This article has two themes. Firstly, that police corruption is not an individual aberration of an incidental nature that can be readily combated with temporary, repressive measures. The ‘new realism’ on this maintains that corruption and police misconduct are persistent and constantly recurring hazards generated by the organisation itself. Secondly, there is consensus on effective measures to tackle it and to promote integrity. Ingredients are strong leadership, a multi-faceted organisational strategy, a well-resourced internal affairs unit, proactive techniques of investigation, and persistent efforts to promote professional standards. The essence is a judicious and sophisticated balance between negative and positive social control. Policing is about the rule of law and due process: corruption and other forms of police deviance undermine the legitimacy of the police organisation and by implication the state. A ‘clean’ police is a crucial barometer of a healthy society. One can have few illusions about the difficulty of achieving this but a comparative review of the experience in four societies – USA, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands – provides clear indicators about reform, control and leadership in fostering integrity and in tackling corruption.



The literature on police corruption tends to be dominated by North American studies of widespread “grass-eating”. By contrast, this article examines scandals in three European societies (Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain) requiring analysis at the system level. In all of these instances, police deviance was unlike much of that in North America: there was either gross failure in the system to perform adequately or systemic rule-bending to achieve formal or informal institutional ends. The cases reveal that misconduct and/or failure to perform fostered significant scandals that implicated others within the criminal justice system and even beyond it. Understanding such upheavals requires cross-cultural attention to the specific social-political context. In addition, reform of police and justice agencies after major scandal demands proposals at the system level. Institutions often rationalize excesses with the “rotten apple” metaphor (human failure is the cause and can be swiftly rectified by removal). Here, the systemic emphasis is conveyed by the alternative metaphor of “rotten orchards”

Police Corruption: Deviance, Accountability and Reform in Policing – book, Maurice Punch:

The book portrays police corruption as consisting of many deviant and criminal practices in the context of policing that may change character over time. Corruption is defined in a broad, multifaceted way that has the common thread of abuse of policing authority and the trust of the community. Its most serious forms involve criminal conspiracies that use specialized professional knowledge, contacts, and power to both commit crimes and evade detection. Typologies of corruption are identified, along with the forms of corruption that emerge in diverse policing environments. Also discussed are the pathways officers may take into corruption and their rationalizations for their corrupt and criminal behaviors. The book rejects the overarching portrayal of police corruption as caused by a few individual “bad apples” while promoting the metaphor of “bad orchards,” meaning that police corruption stems from corrupting police subcultures and temptations related to institutional failures and the nature of policing. Comparative analyses are made of police corruption, scandal, and reform in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. The analyses examine issues of control, accountability, and the new institutions of oversight, such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for England and Wales, at a time when external oversight of police has become a prominent feature of anticorruption efforts. This book is intended as an overview of the topic of police corruption for students, academics, police and criminal justice officials, and members of oversight agencies. Chapter notes, approximately 400 references, and a subject index.

An examination of the ‘blue code of silence – http://www.mendeley.com/research/corruption-blue-code-silence-7/  This paper examines the ‘Blue Code of Silence’ and its contribution to police corruption. After offering evidence for the existence of such a code, the paper locates the origins of the code in the work and culture of policing. The paper also examines cases, commission reports and an original case study to understand how the code is reinforced. Based on ‘participant observation’ research of the New York County Prosecutor’s Official Corruption Unit, the paper also illustrates how the code impedes investigations by police overseers. Finally, the paper discusses various measures to address the code of silence.



full text on Australian management changes.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/q20337257371gw76/ – This paper examines issues concerned with police corruption and its control in England and Wales. The topic of defining police corruption is addressed, some current areas of risk are described and anti-corruption strategies, particularly those pursued by the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), are examined. What appears qualitatively and quantitatively different in the approach of services such as the MPS and Merseyside Police is the use of an adequately resourced, dedicated anti-corruption unit. This strategy has been buttressed by preventative measures involving management/administration and ethics/training. Dedicated units have been controversial, and preventative measures raise questions concerning evaluation. Nevertheless the approach to corruption bears comparison with that adopted by other major police services in other jurisdictions and represents a break with previous and unsuccessful efforts at corruption control in major police forces in England and Wales.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/mv1j0482g3217r34/ – a recent review with the first page available free.

Procedural Justice, Trust and Institutional Legitimacy by Mike Hough, Jonathan Jackson, Ben Bradford, Andy Myhill and Paul Quinton – a free pdf can be found by hitting the link at – http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?start=10&q=police+corruption+uk&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5 – the IPCC in their ‘half-submission to the Home Secretary state little empirical research on public attitudes towards police corruption.  This paper demonstrates much work has in fact been done in relating empirical experience with explanatory theory.

This post represents half an hour of work by me done without any university access to what turns out to be a massive literature described in parts as ‘an industry’.  The IPCC ‘half-report’can be found at – http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/Pages/pr_150911_corruptionreport1.aspx by clicking the link there.

My own reading has been done as research for a novel.  I don’t believe our cops are substantially corrupt.  I do believe our CJS is and that our police are the best part of this wider system.  What’s wrong is subject to debate and the main problem is we aren’t getting this done in proper public scrutiny.  Any ‘blue code of silence’ is dwarfed by our pathetic secrecy practices (a theme of Heather Brookes) and the medieval ‘superiority’ our ‘authorities gone mad’ exhibit in covering up mistakes whilst blathering about ‘learning lessons’.

The IPCC make some mention of Cheshire detectives getting a felon out of prison to nod various crimes – he ends up with a mobile phone back in jail, drugs and was allowed to see his girlfriend.  I can find no full published report.  What they do say is known ‘gaming’ practice – you can get plenty of information at thinblueline (Steve Bennett).  Such reports need to be published in full and subject to academic scrutiny.  I witnesses much the same more than 30 years ago.  The big question is less about a couple of low-level jacks offering some perks to a chummy and his munter and more about how this is encouraged by more senior culture – we have no idea whether this is even entertained by the force PSD or IPCC worthies.  I’ll admit to having handed a few of my own ‘bodies’ over to this system – but then I can now.

The embarrassing truth is very few crimes are detected a la Jack Regan or though intelligence or detective case work.  Some ‘Plod’ (no derision intended from me) doing his or her job bravely spots some likely criminal and applies arrest – and this asset gets sweated.  Or despite a massive detective case, say, the ‘Black Panther’ or ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ remains free until ‘some Plod’ asks ‘what’s in that bag then’ (a phrase that leaves out much bravery).  Many detective efforts are huge feats of bureaucratic effort – like the Morecambe Cockle Pickers – which makes good examples no less brilliant.  I’d guess detection rates are nearer 4% than claimed figures if we take out TICs and other ‘clear up’ gaming.

When some awful tosser starts up on ‘illiterate cops’ we should remember that Plato himself wouldn’t have had the balls to ask ‘what’s in that bag then?’ – and no lawyers do that kind of asking or face the sawn-off pulled out.  We might get rid of a lot of corruption by making police work easier and doing something genuinely statistical with TICs- matters beyond scope here.  Most people would have no clue about getting nods,coughs and the rest out of a bent bastard.  Does anyone who has ever dealt with one think them likely to do so out of remorse (which they act) or ‘concerned citizenship’?  They do so through inducements.  Cops at the bottom of the scale doing what they do are not different in position to the phone hackers and their bosses no different than the ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ Murdoch-monkey species.  Finding a few who haven’t covered their tracks at the bottom is not a ‘corruption enquiry’ – finding out why they break the rules might be.  And we’ve known about TIC corruption for more than 50 years.

Just how many more cops would we need to get ‘real detections’ up to the claimed figures?  This might entail a ten-fold increase in on-street police activities.  The crooks I’ve interviewed all claim they get away with 99 out 100 crimes (they are, in part, wrong – as they all get nicked and TICed).  In a straight and naive system we could double street-policing to turn them over more often, triple burglary sweeps and so on.  Some of the corruption arises because we do policing on the cheap.  Where are the figures on detection where there has been a direct arrest and/or a direct evidence case for the offence?

There’s a can of worms here and what I think most unfair is probably decent cops at the bottom copping for discipline and harsh treatment doing what is the bidding of senior people and indeed the public.  The systemic problem needs to be addressed and maybe even something like an amnesty is needed to find out what is really going on.  I was good on TICs and you ca bet I was only smarter or luckier than the two Cheshire detectives.  They got no financial reward – something not true of some bureaucop taking a bonus on the basis of their work.