Corruption remains one of the global challenges facing the world community. Corruption is a person’s action or omission to make decisions in his own interests or selfish interests of another person associated with the use of public resources. This is a global problem that must be immediately resolved at the state level.
Thus, this paper introduces an “Us vs. Them” attitude and the reasons why police officers fall into corruption. It presents a discussion why officers develop the mindset that the community owes them, thus giving them the right to fall into corruption.
To start with, corruption is a term that means the use of the official’s powers and rights for own private purposes, which are contrary to the laws and moral precepts. Most often the term applies to the bureaucracy and political elite. According to Cuervo-Cazurra (2006), “Corruption, the abuse of public power for private gain, creates uncertainty regarding the costs of operation in the country” (p. 807).
The characteristic features of corruption are a conflict between the official’s actions and his employer’s interests or a conflict between elected persons’ actions and the public interests. Many types of corruption are similar to fraud perpetrated by an official, and are classified as crimes against the state.
Talking about an “Us vs. Them” attitude, it is possible to mention that there is no doubt that this term is existed and consequently widely used by police officers. They have developed this attitude in order to survive in their jobs. Mostly, they apply this term in their everyday life in order to justify their illegal acts and tactics. The word “Us” means police officers and “Them” is people, that is to say the rest of the country’s population.
Examining the theme about police corruption, it is important to say that police officers fall into corruption for many reasons. Let us focus our attention on some of them.
Most experts agree that the main cause of corruption is highly imperfect political institutions, which provide internal and external mechanisms of deterrence. In addition, there are some grounds to believe that the main reasons why police officers fall into corruption are the following ones:
- Ambiguous laws;
- Ignorance or misunderstanding of the laws by the population, which allows officials to arbitrarily create barriers to the bureaucratic procedures, or to overstate the appropriate payment;
- Unstable political situation in the country;
- Dependence of standards and principles that underlie the work of the bureaucratic apparatus, the policy of the ruling elite;
- Professional incompetence of the bureaucracy;
- Cronyism and political patronage, which lead to the formation of secret agreements that can weaken control mechanisms over corruption;
- Lack of unity within the executive branch, i.e. the regulation of the same work by different institutions;
- Low level of citizens’ participation in control over the state.
Furthermore, officers develop the mindset that the community owes them because they think that, being the defenders of law and order, they deserve better treatment by society and people are indebted to them.
Thus, if the government does not start active actions to fight against corruption, it “…will have a negative impact on GDP growth, holding other factors constant” (Drury, Krieckhaus, & Lusztig, 2006, p. 124).
Taking everything into consideration, it is possible to draw a conclusion that corruption is a huge problem that demoralizes the community and all measures and efforts should be aimed at its eradication.
Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2006). Who Cares about Corruption? Journal of International Business Studies, 37(6), 807-822.
Drury, A. C., Krieckhaus, J., & Lusztig, M. (2006). Corruption, Democracy, and Economic Growth. International Political Science Review, 27(2), 121-136.
Johnston, M. (2005). Syndromes of Corruption: Wealth, Power, and Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.