Is the police’s reputation in tatters?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

2013 will be remembered as the year that a series of scandals left the reputation of the Police in tatters, writes Archie Bland in The Independent.

From plebgate to Jimmy Saville, from the hacking scandal to undercover officers stealing identities of dead children, the Police appear to have lurched from one scandal to another, Bland writes. Earlier scandals, such as Hillsborough and Stephen Lawrence, have reappeared to further tarnish the reputation of the so-called 'last unreformed public service'.

Our Open University colleague Dr Louise Westmarland, who recently worked with us to promote her research on police ethics, is also quoted as saying:

'Police culture is all about catching the bad guys, making a difference, and they feel they know who the bad guys are, and they see what happens to victims. So they walk into a house and they have a hell of a feeling of authority and power. It’s only a short step from that to believing you can do all sorts of things. You might get a bit carried away‘.

Related items

Police ethics and behaviour (July 1, 2013)