The Federation Press

Police Reform

Building integrity


Police Reform: Building Integrity is about the recurring problem of police corruption and contemporary efforts to find effective strategies to maximise ethical conduct. It draws on international experience, using Australia as a major source.

In the last fifteen years Australian policing has been of significant interest because of the combination of advanced democratic processes, exposés of serious police corruption, and extensive - sometimes radical - experimentation with prevention strategies.

The book begins with an overview of developments and issues in police integrity control globally, before giving close attention to special problem areas and to innovations in establishing and maintaining best practice. These innovations include modern methods of testing police applicants, assessing organisational integrity, mediating complaints, using stings to reveal secretive corruption, creating integrity profiles of officers and units, and developing effective independent oversight and investigation of complaints.

The book is for all stakeholders in police conduct: police managers, professional standards branch personnel, general duties officers, recruits, civilian oversight agencies, civil libertarians, politicians, police studies scholars and students, and the general public. The book brings together the latest research on types of misconduct in a form that is readily accessible to a wide range of readers; with short, clearly focused, chapters on specialist topics. It balances diagnostic and theoretical explanations of police behaviour with a series of expositions of specific practical strategies for creating ethical departments.


This new volume edited by two Queensland academics takes an innovative and practical approach to policing reform. In the first part ‘Challenges to reform’, the editors set out the nature and causes of police conduct, beginning with an excellent chapter on global trends and theoretical perspectives and moving on to specialised chapters on such themes as miscarriages of justice, race relations and sex discrimination. In the second part, ‘Innovations in creating ethical police departments’, each chapter looks at a different preventative strategy, from monitoring to changing procedures to situational or predictive testing or at a different complaint response mechanism, including independent investigation and alternative strategies. This collection of essays by different authors has distinct strengths. The writing style, format and chapter structure make the contents readily accessible to the wide readership targeted by the editors. Particularly impressive is the clear and cohesive style sustained throughout, especially in the consistent style of the introductory paragraphs and sub-titles in each chapter, The interdisciplinary approach, highlighting both the socio-legal aspects and political realities of policing in contemporary society, is also striking. ... Police Reform: Building Integrity makes a significant contribution to knowledge and insight into policing with its account and critique of the various strategies used to prevent or limit the scope for police misconduct. The value of this contribution is all the more for the thematic organisation, clear focus, breadth of content and depth of analysis of the chapters. - Reform, Issue 82, 2003

Police Reform brings together the latest research on types of police misconduct in a readily accessible form, with short, focused chapters on specialised topics, and with references throughout to the research on which the discussion is based. As well as analyses of issues of corruption and its prevention, there are chapters on race relations, means of recruiting new officers, monitoring police complaints, and litigation claims against the police. It is a very interesting and useful book ... - Law Society Journal (NSW), Vol 41 No 11, December 2003

Table of Contents

Part I - Challenges to Reform
Corruption and Reform: Global Trends and Theoretical Perspectives
Tim Prenzler
Miscarriages of Justice
Janet Ransley
Public Order Policing
David Baker
Race Relations
Rick Sarre and Syd Sparrow
Sex Discrimination
Tim Prenzler
The Politics of Reform
Jenny Fleming and Colleen Lewis

Part II - Innovations in Creating Ethical Police Departments
Monitoring Integrity
David Brereton
Alternative Strategies for Resolving Complaints
Andrew Ede and Michael Barnes
Complaint Profiling and Early Warning Systems
Meredith Basset and Tim Prenzler
Changing Police Procedures
Tess Newton-Cain
Integrity Testing
Ross Homel
Civil Litigation
Jude McCulloch
Independent Investigation of Complaints
Tim Prenzler
Predicting Misconduct Before Hiring Police
Michelle Karas
Situational Corruption Prevention
Andrew Ede, Ross Homel and Tim Prenzler

References/ Index

Of interest...