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NCJ Number: 203685 Find in a Library
Title: Policing and Ethics (From Handbook of Policing, P 578-602, 2003, Tim Newburn, ed. -- See NCJ-203671)
Author(s): Peter Neyroud
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter on police ethics in Great Britain addresses personal ethics and police professionalism, performance ethics, participation in policing, and policing in action, particularly in the use of force, followed by a discussion of where and how ethical policing is and can be approached.
Abstract: In both the United Kingdom and the United States, there has been a series of cycles of concern about crime and disorder, followed by pressure on the police to produce short-term results, leading to concerns about police corruption, followed by a rule-tightening reaction and possibly a reorganization with commitment to new norms. Part of the problem with each of these cycles is an overemphasis on one aspect of policing instead of a focus on a wider, more authoritative framework of policing ethics. Describing a scheme of ethics that fits across policing and that copes with the variety of policing contexts is difficult and controversial. Neyroud and Beckley drew from ethical theory and Lawton and Gillon relied on their professional experience in public service to suggest a set of principles that might be used as a framework for policing. These principles are respect for personal autonomy, beneficence and non-malevolence, justice, responsibility, care, honesty, and stewardship. The introduction of the Human Rights Act into British law in 1998 brought both a new language to policing and a new decisionmaking process that links with the aforementioned ethical principles. The British police service has responded to human rights with a significant shift in training, a comprehensive process of auditing policies and practices against an ethical and human rights framework, and codification of decisionmaking and decision logs. This has turned the theory of human rights into a routine daily practice. The removal of police immunity from civil action, the creation of a legal duty to act in compliance with human rights, and a structure for complainants to challenge police compliance with human rights have served to reinforce ethical principles in police practice. Ethics involves making the right judgments and doing the right actions for the right reasons. Performance management is the process by which police leaders and stakeholders consider police judgments and the resulting performance. Police leaders are responsible for looking at police performance and comparing it to the expectations specified in the established framework of professional and ethical principles. Gaps between performance and expectation must then be corrected through training and supervision. Public participation in assessments of police performance must be encouraged and incorporated into ethical expectations for police. The roles of the police in covert policing and the police use of force are particularly important spheres for ethical analysis, since each area has the potential for significant violations of human rights. This chapter proposes a multilayered framework for creating ethical compliance in both of these areas. This framework, which is also applicable to other areas of policing encompasses elements of professional practice, performance management of professional practice, and public participation incorporated to from a credible approach to monitor progress in ethical policing. 81 references
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Great Britain/United Kingdom; Police corruption; Police misconduct; Police professionalism; Professional conduct and ethics
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