Corruption among police officers is a rampant vice in contemporary times. It can take two forms. First, the police officers may demand payment in order to provide services or to avoid arrest and/ or prosecution. Additionally, the police officers may solicit bribes to deter the law enforcement process. Corruption among the police officers is detrimental to the performance of their roles in the nation. For instance, corruption by the police reduces the public trust in the system. This leads to loss of trust by the public especially with reference to crime prevention capacity.
In addition to this, police corruption may also tarnish the image of the entire public service, making it difficult for people to trust the service. Corruption by police officers also encourages the thriving of criminal activities. Crimes such as drug selling and prostitution thrive well where there is protection especially by the law enforcement authorities. The involvement of the police in corruption results in reduced capacity to enforce laws since the police themselves are the criminals and accomplices in crime (Franklin and David, 2005).
There are two major theories used to explain the origin of corruption among the police. The rotten apple theory asserts that a few corrupt officials in the police force taint the image of the entire force. Another theory postulates that criminal activities that are unabated form the basis for encouraging police corruption. Activities such as drug selling, whose proceeds are used to bribe the police are the driving factors for police corruption. To curb the ice, it is essential to carry out procedures that lead to the prosecution of corrupt police officials. This can be achieved successfully be beginning with the decriminalization of the police force (Herman, 2004).
Franklin, E. Z., & David, T. J. (2005). On the Comparative Study of Corruption, British Journal of Criminology 45(6), 793–809
Herman, G. (2004). Police Corruption: A Perspective on Its Nature and Control, Washington, DC: The Police Foundation
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