Headlines: June 15th, 1999

High standards of integrity are essential if public confidence in the police service is to be restored. This is the message from two reports. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary have produced ‘Police Integrity: securing and maintaining public confidence’ and a Home Office group published their findings on ‘Understanding and Preventing Police Corruption: lessons from the literature’.

The Inspectorate report examined integrity in its broadest sense looking at fairness, behaviour, probity and equal treatment, as well as a range of operational and management issues. The Home Office report focuses more closely on assumptions about police corruption and methods of prevention in the current literature and will form the basis of further longer-term research into crime prevention strategies.

The reports reveal that most police officers as honest, industrious and dedicated, delivering policing services with a high degree of integrity. In some places the reports make uncomfortable reading for Chief Police Officers. Examples were found of poor, rude or discriminatory behaviour shown by officers towards members of the public, unclear guidance about acceptance of ‘perks’ and ‘gratuities’ and invisible and inaccessible top leadership.

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