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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Policy culture and corruption: Ethics and integrity in action Seminar

Economic, Social and Political Sciences
27 November 2013
Building 58 Room 1065

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Caroline Andow at .

Event details

Institute of Criminal Justice Research

This paper draws upon a study of police ethics and integrity conducted across three UK police forces in 2012. The study used scenario based questionnaires to elicit views about the seriousness of certain police behaviours and to ask whether officers would report colleagues' misdemeanours.

The survey questions were primarily aimed at throwing light on the issue of the ‘blue code of silence’ or the belief that police culture demands that colleagues do not ‘blow the whistle’ on others. The study revealed that serving police officers were unwilling to report their colleagues when they witnessed excessive force or drink driving, reinforcing the notion that the 'blue curtain' of silence associated with police culture still exists. The discussion uses these responses as a starting point to think about the ways in which police culture has been viewed in the past as part of the 'problem' of police corruption.

Light refreshments available.

Speaker information

Louise Westmarland , Open University. Louise Westmarland is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University and is the Director of the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research. Louise is currently conducting an extensive survey of police officers' corrupt behaviour and associated beliefs about their actions and those of their colleagues. Dr Westmarland is the author of ‘Snitches get stitches’: US homicide detectives' ethics and morals in action. (2013) Policing & Society, 23(3) pp. 311–327.

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