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
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
The Private Realm: Relationships and 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