Ethics in policing

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Ethics in policing is often misconstrued as either a remedial effort needed by immoral officers or as a moralising exercise in telling police what they should and should not do. Properly understood, police ethics is neither of these. Rather, it is an exploration of the specific ethical obligations that arise out of the role of police officers, obligations that may sometimes be in tension with the obligations of ordinary morality. Moreover, police ethics draws attention to the ethical significance of police-work, a significance that police can lose sight of in the 'routine-ness' of their work. And finally, moral vulnerability is an occupational hazard for police, given their regular interactions with the wrong-doing of others. This chapter will survey the areas just mentioned, to provide students with a view of police ethics that 'makes sense' of and in their everyday practice and can, therefore, contribute to the enhancement of that practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicing in practice
EditorsPhilip Birch, Victoria Herrington
Place of PublicationSouth Yarra, Vic, Aust
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781420256468
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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