Corruption entails the abuse of power and authority for personal gains. While police corruption is a universal challenge, it is more rampant in countries recovering from political conflicts. Globally, police misconduct has been a major barrier to the growth and development of police organizations. As Holmes (2018) elucidates, the police bodies are entrusted with maintaining order in a society. Unfortunately, police corruption compromises the implementation of the rule of law. Hence, each nation must ensure that police corruption is fully eliminated if the dictations of law are followed.
Corruption is highly practiced in North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East’s newly independent states. In many countries, corruption is highly politicized and has been absorbed as part of their culture (Bayley & Perito, 2011). Unfortunately, corruption has had adverse effects on their economic progress, including slowing down economic growth and scaring away foreign investors.
Several factors favor police corruption. The federal government ensures that police officers are armed, which they opportunistically use to threaten the citizens who go counter their demands. Helmes (2018) shows how inadequate salaries lead to corruption cases. In most countries, police officers are underpaid: they hardly afford the basics for their survival. Financial struggles leave them with no other option but accepting bribes. Lack of trust with the law enforcement officers is another factor that nurtures corruption (Helmes, 2018). Citizens in any country expect the police to uphold the law and be in the frontline to curb crime. However, the contrary happens, and the citizens fail to cooperate with police officers, increasing the quantity of unsettled illegal cases, which fosters more corruption to clear them.
It is almost impossible to eliminate police corruption. However, countries can adopt various strategies to minimize such instances. One such strategy entails making reforms in the police force’s internal and external environment (Bayley & Perito, 2011). The internal environment can involve altering the corruption culture by changing the management, the recruitment and training procedure, and the whole disciplinary process. Restructuring the external environment will be accomplished by creating a permanent external oversight body to monitor police officers’ behavior. This would have an overall impact on the integrity of the police officers.
Additionally, integrity is possible through holding the senior supervisors in the police departments for any misconduct by their subordinates. This will enhance transparency and integrity from the police officers. Jawando and Parsons (2014) explain that proper implementation of training and development programs through all levels in police departments will ensure that new police recruits and continuing police officers recruits are taken through thorough training and orientations to ensure that they gain all the knowledge they require in handling citizens and matters affecting them.
Police corruption is a major problem that with complex formalities that can never be fully resolved. Though corruption is highly recognized, it is too unfortunate that information about controlling and curbing police corruption is limited. In addition, although different forms of corruption have similar characteristics internationally, it is crucial to consider various factors depending on who commits the crime, when they commit the crime, and how the crime is committed. However, countries can ensure that the level of corruption is manageable by working together.
Bayley, D. & Perito, R. (2011). Police Corruption: What past scandals teach about current challenges? United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved March 14, 2021, from https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR%20294.pdf
Holmes, L. (2018). Police Corruption. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology. Retrieved March 14, 2021, from https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.013.633
Jawando, L. M. & Parsons, C. (2014). 4 ideas that could begin to reform the criminal justice system and improve police-community relations. Center for African Progress. Retrieved March 14, 2021, from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/courts/reports/2014/12/18/103578/
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