Public Opinion on Police Corruption


             Corruption can be defined as the misuse of public power for private or personal profit. Corruption can be by people many different ways. One cannot assume that corruption always means the same thing or has the same impact on society (Goldstein). .

             There are two very different types of corruption. The first type occurs where services or contracts are provided "according to rule.” The second is when transactions are "against the rule.” In the first type, an officer is receiving private gain illegally for doing something that he or she is ordinarily required to do by law. In the second type, the bribe is paid to obtain services that the officer is prohibited from providing. "According to rule” and "against the rule” corruption can occur at all levels the policing system. They can also range in scale and impact. Another way that corruption can be defined is the behavior involved on the part of officials in the public sector, whether police officers or civil servants, in which they improperly and unlawfully, enrich themselves, by the use of public power that was entrusted to them (Ades). These are not the only way to look at corruption.

             Public opinion is also a large influence on the attitudes of the people in the community. They can surpass many different legal definitions of police corruption. If public opinion and legal definitions do not conform, the likelihood is that officials will act in accordance with the public view, and in doing so, violate the law (Goldstein). As a result of this, the public should be completely aware of the damage corruption can cause to society.

             Causes of Police Corruption.

             There are many causes of police corruption. One cause of police corruption is the wide authority that is throughout the system. A way to prevent this is to limit the authority. Increasing the competitive bidding of the selection process could do this. Another cause is that police officers are offered wrong incentives for their work.

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