Professional Reporting and Police Culture

  • Seumas MillerEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Ethics book series (BRIEFSETHIC)


In this chapter I discuss the matter of the morality and rationality of professional reporting: police reporting on the corrupt behaviour of their fellow officers. Historically, the so-called ‘blue wall of silence’ has been a barrier to such reporting and, therefore, to combating corruption in police services. I argue that since most police officers are not themselves corrupt and believe that they morally ought to report or provide evidence in relation to their corrupt colleagues, they will do so if conditions are created under which it will be rational for them to do so. These conditions include the following ones: A reasonable number, and a high rate, of convictions/terminations of corrupt police officers as a result of a well-resourced, high quality, internal investigations department focused only on criminal and serious disciplinary matters, and operating in the context of: (i) the normalization of the role of internal investigator; and (ii) the felt duty on the part of most police to report/provide intelligence/evidence regarding criminal/corrupt colleagues in the knowledge that if they do: (a) the persons in question are likely to be convicted/terminated; and (b) they themselves will suffer no harm or adverse career consequences.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Charles Sturt UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom

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