WHAT HAPPENED WITHIN THE POLICE SERVICE WHEN THE GOVERNMENT CREATED THE OFFENCE OF “CORRUPT OR IMPROPER PRACTICE” IN SECTION 26 OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND COURTS ACT 2015?
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Title. What happened within the police service when the government created the offence of “Corrupt or Improper Practice” in section 26 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015?
Author Brendan P. Brookshaw
Purpose. This PhD thesis offers explanations for the way in which the offence of Corrupt or Improper Practice by police officers was implemented within the service and is analysed through a framework of the psychology, ethics, and management of implementation. Using autoethnographic data as policing parables, it explores stories of police misconduct and suggests theoretical underpinnings for the drivers of corruption and how the police may react to it.
Design/methodology/approach. This research is an autoethnographic examination of the author’s last two years as a serving police officer leading the Professional Standards Department of a large rural UK police force. The data consists of reflections on the emotional and philosophical impact on the author created by day-to-day interactions with police officers recorded in personal journals.
Findings. The paper offers the new concepts of The Honest Cop Belief, the Ethical Trihedral, and Hyper-Procedural Pseudo-Compliance which are presented through an encompassing model of policing implementation named the Triangle of Kakistocracy. This model is offered as an original theoretical lens for other researchers to consider when examining the workings of the police. It discusses organisational and personal arrogance arising from the psychological impact on officers of ingrained cultural icons such as the Blue Wall of Silence. The Ethical Trihedral is presented as a model for analysing ethical incompetence in the police which is the suggested outcome of tension arising from conflicting philosophical paradigms. The impact of neoliberal managerialism in liquid modernity is examined to offer explanations for perceived moral cowardice in police managerial decision making which takes the form of hyper-procedural pseudo-compliance.
Originality/value. Autoethnographic insider-research on police corruption is rare in the literature. Public trust and consent are vital to the British policing model, so divining esoteric police attitudes towards the harms perpetrated by abuses of their power is increasingly valuable in understanding police/public relationships.
Keywords. Autoethnography, corruption, police, implementation, culture, ethics, management Paper type. PhD Thesis
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