Police corruption may be inevitable, but is it foreseeable?

Merrilyn Beer

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This research looks to determine whether the “Continuum of Compromise” idea, or something like it, correctly describes the transition of a police officer from being honest to being compromised and how this transition may be identifiable and even predictable. This research explores this transition, and lends itself to enable the development of a predictive model that can be deployed for the identification, prevention and intervention of police corruption. If controls can be developed, effective interventions can then be designed to reduce the extent and frequency of police corruption, ultimately, intervening at the earliest onset of behaviours which may lead to or constitute police corruption.
A predictive capability for identifying potential police corruption, or behaviours leading to such corruption, would enable policing organisations to affect a suite of targeted, effectual and timely preventative intervention strategies. Preventative interventions that result in a reduction of police corruption would enhance public confidence whilst reducing the negative impacts that damage organisational reputations and impact adversely on the security of the very community police serve. The body of work relating to police corruption has grown progressively, however, current knowledge that exists with regard to controlling police corruption is more limited than is generally recognised. Even less is known about either the contextual conditions or programmatic tactics that determine success in corruption reform. A further reason for undertaking this work is to contribute to the under-examined body of work on controlling police corruption. This research is important as a means of breaking the code of solidarity and understanding the causal chains of corrupt behaviours. This research can provide for a greater understanding of this code and enable strategies to be identified or developed to break down this wall of solidarity (the blue wall of silence), thereby enhancing corruption prevention and allowing predictive systems to be developed. The ability to predict police corruption and therefore reduce the prevalence and/or extent of corruption would significantly contribute to the limited body of knowledge in this narrow field of police corruption.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Policing and Security
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Whitford, Troy, Principal Supervisor
  • Corbo Crehan, Anna, Principal Supervisor
Award date01 Apr 2020
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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