The Causes of Police Corruption and Working towards Prevention in Conflict-Stricken States

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The police are the initial faces of law enforcement and commence the criminal justice process and thus hold significant responsibility for functioning law and order. As key representatives of the state, the integrity of the police in all societies is pivotal to retain public trust in the rule of law and the preservation of internal security. When police corruption is exposed or is perceived by the public to be prevalent, confidence in and communal relations with the police force become disjointed. Poor credibility of the police also negatively impacts on the legitimacy of the government. Negative public perceptions of both the police and government are particularly troublesome in violently divided societies or states undergoing armed conflict. The article focuses on the main causes and consequences of police corruption in hostile environments to introduce a range of prevention strategies to combat it and restore public confidence in policing and governance. The article suggests that a holistic anticorruption strategy, rather than a linear one, has the potential to raise awareness, increase pay to deter petty forms of corruption, install independent anticorruption agencies, and periodically rotate police officers to increase police integrity and loyalty for the host country. It is recommended that these multifaceted prevention strategies are needed within a police force that is faced with a violently divided society to reaffirm public support and deter support for armed anti-governmental oppositional groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article number69
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2022


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