Methods for Ensuring Police Integrity: A Comparative Analysis

  • Leslie Holmes
Part of the Political Corruption and Governance book series (PCG)


Police integrity matters.1 If law enforcement officers break or bend the rules to their own advantage, there are numerous negative ramifications. One is a series of security-related aspects — for the state, for society, and for the international community. A prime example of how police misconduct can constitute a security issue is that officers sometimes collude with organized crime groups in drug, arms, and human trafficking, which can be either domestic or transnational. There have also been claims that police (and border guard) collusion with terrorists was an aspect of the 2004 Beslan siege in southern Russia. A second negative effect is on crime solving rates. As David Bayley (1994: 7–8) says,

the critical ingredient in solving crimes is whether the public — victims and witnesses — provide information that helps police identify the suspect … On their own, police are relatively helpless, regardless of the resources they devote to criminal investigation.

Corruption among police officers can reduce public trust and confidence in law enforcement, increasing the distance between the police and the public and hence the willingness of citizens to assist the police, with negative knockon effects for crime rates. Leading on from this, police misconduct can undermine the legitimacy of law enforcement, and even of the state. In many transition countries, where relatively


Police Officer Unethical Behavior Police Force Former Soviet Union Organize Crime Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Leslie Holmes 2015

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  • Leslie Holmes

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