• Publication Date: April 28, 2008
  • EAN: 9780975196762
  • 320 pages; 6" x 8⅝"
Filed Under: Law Enforcement

Conflict of Interest in Policing

Problems, practices and principles


Product Description

Conflict of interest allegations have become a prominent part of the landscape of political and public sector ethics in Australia and overseas. The arena of policing has not been immune from this problem and this book is based on unique and unfettered access to ten years of internal investigation files held by Victoria Police.

Through detailed analysis of actual complaint cases it gives the reader a comprehensive map by which to chart the particular kinds of interests involved, the nature of conflicts with official police duties, and the particular contexts from which conflicts of interest emerge.

The book examines conflicts of interest across the private and public realm of the everyday lives of police officers. The author outlines how the problem of conflict of interest is an important aspect of police ethics, arguing that recognition of, and accountability for, conflict of interest may be a significant element in preventing upstream police misconduct and corruption.

Conflict of Interest in Policing seeks to provide a conceptual and practical understanding of how integrity and trust must be integrated into the profession of policing through processes of active responsibility, rather than more traditional passive obedience to prescriptive rules.


List of Tables

List of Figures

Preface by Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon (Victoria Police)

Foreword by Professor David Dixon


Conflict of Interest and Police Corruption

This Study

Conflict of Interest Defining the Problem and Its Dimensions


What is Conflict of Interest?

Manifestations of Conflict of Interest

Dealing with the Problem: The System of Accountability


Conflict of Interest and Police Misconduct

Accountability in Operation: The Victoria Police Discipline System

Building Accountability

The Private Realm: Relationships and Involvements


Organisational Involvements

Family-based Involvements

Problematic Personal Relationships


The Public Realm: Use and Abuse of Police Powers and Authority


Intervention, Action, or Involvement in Police Investigations and Processes

Use of Police Power to Harass

Exercise of Improper Influence in Civil Matters


The Public Realm: Use and Abuse of Police Resources


Misuse of Confidential Information

Misuse of Other Police Resources

Summary and Discussion

Conclusions and Reflections: Conflict of Interest, Police Ethics and Accountability


Defining the Problem and its Dimensions

Conflict of Interest and Police Ethics

References Index

…Quality empirical research on policing in Australia is still regrettably rare. The production of such work depends upon: academics who are prepared to get out from behind their desks; police departments which are willing to open themselves to external scrutiny; funding agencies which value such research; and publishers who are committed to increasing public knowledge and understanding.

This excellent book by Cindy Davids makes a significant contribution to the international, as well as the Australian, policing literature. Chief Commissioner Nixon and her colleagues in Victoria Police deserve great credit for allowing a researcher to have unrestricted access to such sensitive material as complaints files. …

– Professor David Dixon, Dean, University of New South Wales, From the Foreword

…Dr Davids provides useful and rigorous definitions of the wide range of conflicts of interest that lie in wait to ethically undo the unaware or ignorant police officer in the ordinary course of his and her public duties. She explores in great and useful detail the dimensions of the problem, the different types of cases, and, importantly, how through the complaints system those that are reported are internally investigated and resolved. She also reports on the great strengthening of the system of external review and investigation in Victoria as progressed through the creation of the Office of Police Integrity.

… This book will make a significant contribution to the education of future generations of police officers. I commend it to you. – Christine Nixon, APM, Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police, From the Introduction

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