General Description of Police Corruption.
Corruption is a common disease which diffuses every feature of a society. Unfortunately, it also flows in the law enforcement agencies, which is a source for concern for political administrators and citizens. All experts and researchers have been failed to discover reasons behind police corruption. They have not yet produced precautionary measures to overcome on it. Therefore, the question of police corruption is a secret so far.
In this article, I will take a look on the various types of corrupt practices in police department. The ext
ent and nature of police corruption in different areas and its legal, procedural and remedial measures to combat corruption. Moreover, recommendations for improving services of the police department will also be tabulated.
Corruption is an immoral act which losses public faith over government machinery. It becomes more sever when these acts involve in police because the public relies on the police to uphold the law, protect the community and help it in times of need. Police are also the most visible arm of government. When an officer acts illegally, he dishonors both himself and his law and justice system. Police corruption is a complex phenomenon. It is a problem that has and will continue to affect us, whether we are civilians or law enforcement officers. Many aspects of policing have changed with the passage of time. However, one aspect that has remained relatively unchanged is the presence of corruption in the piles of police.
To carry out an in-depth analysis of existing police corruption and to suggest remedial measures for its elimination.
Definition of Corruption.
A proper legal definition of corruption is unclear. It included corrupt behaviors, bribery and extortion. Some of the legal departments consider theft, fraud and tax evasion as corruption also. However, some countries do not consider certain acts completely as corruption. Since there is no proper legal definition of corruption that is fraught with demographic and socio-cultural perspectives, therefore, corrupt practices within law enforcement agencies such as the police department becomes challenging. There is no working definition of the concept of corruption in police. At best corruption is considered to be manifestations of behavior i.e. immoral, illegal or inappropriate. However, I will try to define corruption in the succeeding paragraphs:-
- An incentive to wrong by bribery or other unlawful means is called corruption.
- Act of commission or omission by a public servant for getting monetary benefit or other material advantage, indirectly for himself, his family or friends, is also called corruption.
- The most often used definitions of corruption is a well-hidden / alternative way of living. The scholars have clearly defined all sides of corruption . One is offering the bribe and the other is taking the bribe.
Reasons of Police Corruption.
We cannot eradicate corruption from our society completely because it is a process of decay. Following are the most important reasons contributing to this decay:-
- Bad interaction between the specialized bodies for combating corruption and the citizens.
- The extensive privileges/ rights of public officials.
- The widespread bureaucracy relations with each other.
- Insufficient and inappropriate political dealing with corruption.
- The low payment of public officials.
- Lack of effective precautionary measures and sanctions.
- The possibility for public officials to get illegal benefit.
- Weaknesses of the legislation and its implementation.
- Lack of willingness and support of citizens with government in process of fighting against corruption.
Above mentioned reasons leads everyone towards corruption and everyone wants to fulfill their needs / wishes in illegal way.
Types of Corruption.
Many analysts are of the opinion that corruption is the misuse of personal power or position. Some of the analysts have distributed corruption into following two types:-
- Internal Corruption. It is a corrupt agreement among a group of police officers for illegal administrative decisions. Internal politics and unjustified removal of officials or carrying out behavior within prison that may not be completely legal or even releasing prisoners by accepting a bribe given to a group of police officials are all part of internal corruption. This practice badly spoils the entire police system. It can involve several policemen or police of one state or region. Misuse of authority, official capacity and personal attainment are the types of internal corruption.
- External Corruption. Non-criminal elements are paying bribe to police in this type of corruption. For example: people are paying bribes for repeated violations of traffic rules, narcotics smuggling, and street crimes. The people are giving special favors to police to get special services in return. This practice creates disbelief of public on law enforcement departments.
Keeping above in view, this practice can be rationalized with knowledge and credibility. Also, the act must be motivated by the want to achieve some form of personal gain.
Unfortunately, politicians count themselves as most superior figures. They are interrupting in legal issues with force, which is not encouraging for law enforcement agencies. Police could not implement the policies in this way. If the political leadership wants to have an honest police force, it requires regular and symptomatic measures. Police requires a comprehensive reform for betterment. Recommended measures for betterment of police system are:-
- Tabulate transparent and free political interference rules for appointments of key police positions.
- Ensure professionalism during the process of giving important promotion / appointment to police officers.
- Form Police complaint authority for strict punishment, random checks on police officers and credible accountability of all ranks.
- De-politicization of the police may be encouraged through the increased involvement of civil society. Include civil society members in police safety commissions at district, provincial and national levels.
- Draw special attention towards improvement of living standard and service conditions of police.
- Do immediate reforms in police training with special emphasize of service and rule of law.
- Monitor the selection of professional officers for key posts through a transparent and accountable system.
- Code of conduct be prevalent in internal atmosphere and external environment as well.
- Maintain the salaries of police persons in accordance with the price hike so as to make them able to fight against corruption.
- Enroll all new employees for any job on merit .