Public perceptions about the prevention and management of corruption in the policing sector.
As defined by Transparency International as “the abuse of entrusted power for private benefit,” police corruption is often referred to broadly in the literature. In general, “acts of misbehavior by police personnel intended to receive financial rewards or other personal gains in exchange for selectively enforcing or manipulating rules, as well as the execution of investigations and arrests,” are referred to as “police corruption.”
However, any investigation into police misconduct must take cultural factors into account. In the course of their duties, police officers frequently face ethically complex decisions, and as will be briefly explored below, corruption in the police can manifest itself in a variety of ways and in a variety of contexts across a variety of cultural contexts.
Police corruption types
Petty corruption and small-scale acts of bribery are two types of corruption in the police, along with criminal infiltration and political corruption (Chêne 2010). Several reports go into further detail about the various forms of police corruption (see, for example, USAID 2007; DCAF 2012; Transparency International 2012; Council of Europe 2015). However, there are commonly four categories of police corruption:
Acts of bribery committed by police personnel at lower ranks include those committed during routine contacts with individuals (for example, by traffic police). The police are the institution that receives bribes the most frequently, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer (Pyman et al 2012). For instance, one in four Middle Eastern and African citizens who interact with the police paid a bribe.
The manipulation of internal policies, administrative processes, and resources for personal gain—such as granting licenses or failing to address public complaints against police officers—is referred to as bureaucratic corruption or administrative corruption.
Integrity violations like falsifying evidence or deceiving investigators are examples of corruption associated with criminal organizations.
High-level or political corruption, often known as criminal infiltration of the state, occurs when high-ranking police officers misuse their authority for personal gain or the advantage of political organisations to which they are nominally or informally linked. Police investigations, fraudulent investigations, and the “framing” of political opponents are all instances of political involvement.