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Definition and Meaning of Police Corruption - Research Paper Example

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 This paper tries to find out the different kinds of police corruption that are prevalent and also tries to find out the solution to the problem through a systematic method. Fighting corruption has also been declared as an important objective in the US national foreign policy…
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Definition and Meaning of Police Corruption
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Download file to see previous pages Police have been vested with enormous powers; these powers are essential for maintaining the rule of law. However, these powers can also be the source of corruption as people are usually at the mercy of the police officers in many circumstances where they have been wronged.
People who have been fighting for democracy and governance regard the issue of fighting police corruption with utmost importance. Police must not only serve the common man but should also be seen as serving the common man. This is essential if basic human rights have to be protected and people have to live in safe and secure environments. When people who have been entrusted with the task of protecting people, engage in corruption themselves it leads to cynicism and may erode public confidence in democracy.
Police corruption is not a standalone issue. It is a function of the larger systematic problem which is compounded by lack of transparency, an absence of checks and balances and fragile institutions. Although the popular perception is always that police corruption is rampant and should be death with an iron hand it is not always possible to do this. The government and the judiciary have to always take sensitivities into account.  
Understanding Police Corruption In very simple terms corruption may be defined as the use of public powers in order to get personal gains. Police corruption occurs at both the levels – on the streets and also behind the scenes in offices. Officers corruption range from petty corruption to collusion with criminals where the look the other way and do not perform their constitutional duties. The extreme end is when police officers themselves take part in criminal activities in order to have financial or other benefits. Police officers have been vested with enormous powers in order to enforce the law. These include the powers to stop, question, search, arrest people and even use lethal force whenever circumstances deteriorate. The important thing is that police have an extraordinary amount of discretion in the exercise of these powers which give ample avenues for corruption. Backroom corruption in the police department does not consist of the use of these powers but involves irregular and illegal practices in the award of contracts, receiving kickbacks for favorable appointments and transfers and negligence in investigations and discipline. This corruption is done by supervisors and senior officers and thus the amount of money involved is also large. We will analyze each of these cases of corruption in detail here.   ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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