Australian Police Change and Policy Implementation
Over the years, societies have transformed in understanding the negative influence brought about by corruption and bribery. States, private organizations and civil society are no exception they have tailored their efforts towards challenging the trend. This corruption phenomenon has been their utmost priority. Specifically, Australia, like any other country in the Asia-Pacific region, has tirelessly expressed its commitment to thwart police corruption by endorsing anti-corruption action policy. This policy is in agreement with local, regional through Convention on the Association for Economic Co-operation and Growth Countries, OECD, and covers the international framework. The policy is envisioned to transform the police sector among other critical public and private sectors in the country and improve Australia’s global integrity (Australian Government, AusAID, 2007). Besides, the policy aims at strengthening anti-bribery initiatives, surge integrity in police service delivery and encouraging citizen’s involvement.
Corruption in the police force in Australia is expressed in various ways depicting some resemblance in other jurisdictions. Hence, as elsewhere, corruption in the Australian police force is rife in places such as corridors of justice, to gain favors and drug-related activities.
Background of Australian Police Corruption Policy
Australia has recognized the impact of corruption in society thus promptly acting by developing a strengthened anti- corruption policy, which also covers the police force. This policy began in 2003 when it signed the United Nations Convention against corruption UNCAC thereafter ratifying it in 2005 (Wood, 1997). Over time, the government has endlessly executed binding requirements in line with the UNCAC agreement. The anti-corruption policy is anchored on four important elements. These elements include; constitutional protections, responsibility and transparency, illegalization of corruption and global support and assistance (Wood, 1997).
The constitutional structure of Australia stipulates the control mechanism aimed at checking against corruption. The detailed separation of command and the rule of law within the structure guide the country in minimizing massive corruption besides granting fundamental human rights. The responsibility and transparency of the government approach in combating corruption are crafted on the notion that no entity should benefit from the proceeds of corruption. In fact, the constitution is strengthened by arrays of agencies that oversee responsibility and transparency (Pearce, 2009). The government has also enacted laws that criminalize corrupt conduct by instituting strategies to guarantee adherence to these laws. These laws are diverse but not restricted to; domestic bribery; trade-in earnings of corruption and breach of obligation among other legislations.
According to Pearce (2009), the Australian police corruption policy is strengthened through global assistance and cooperation. The government argues that corruption is a kind of global offense that has no mercy for nations, allegiance, autonomy and confines, hence; the government has formed a strategic partnership with other like-minded countries to curtail the vice both locally and on international standing.
Current Situation of Australia Police Corruption Policy
The current situation of Corruption policy has done little to curtail police corruption in Australia. Hence, various loopholes in the policy have been exploited by the police force with an intention of benefitting from where they have not sowed. The law has minimally or failed to handle various critical elements. One of the elements is the influence of neoliberalism. Australian government for more than twenty years has embraced the neoliberal trend in the police force (Pearce, 2009). Three facets of this element have contributed to direct police connection to corruption. First, the neoliberal prioritizes the final results rather than alternatives of achieving the anticipated goals. Often, the finest cost-benefit quotient assumes the antecedence over the ensuing process. This conceptual context in Australian society has encouraged a focus on achieving definite objectives rather than embracing ethics (Fishman, 1978). This situation has cultivated an unethical mindset, prompting the rationalization for widespread corruption in the police sector. Secondly, neoliberalism is anchored on cogent assessment; and has limited interest in the “independent” notions such as loyalty. Whereas police sector have not been affected by the radical downsizing that is a common trend with other government officers in the recent times, they have become the subjects of similar neoliberal socialization as the larger society. Consequently, the police force has been forced to engage in corruption to receive some funding from the private sector and individuals.
. Also, the current Australian judiciary system is adulterated. Because police officers supplement the evidence needed to acquaint a person, they are in a position to compromise a verdict when assured of monetary or other favors from the culprit (Wood, 1997).
The Australian government should enhance legislations which hold the police officer account for his or her actions. Although the present legislations for police officers is in tandem with what is being done in other parts of the world, severe punishments such as heavy fines and long jail sentence for the police officers got in the corruption acts should be legislated to deter the vice.
Moreover, adequate measures through legislation should be enacted to guide funding from genuine private sponsors (Fishman, 1978). A police sponsorship fund should be established to which interested sponsors and individuals can channel their support. Police officers should not be allowed to know the details in regard to the source of sponsorship. This will minimize the probability of collusion between the police force and the sponsors.
Consequently, the government should aim at aligning the police attitude with the judicial system. The government should devise a mechanism in fostering dialogue between the police and the courts. This will make each side understand one another’s viewpoint and rationale. Strategies such as workshops, seminars, public campaigns and other forums that offer a direct interface between the police and judiciary should be encouraged.
The implementation of this policy will be achieved by strengthening partnerships between the government and the stakeholders. The government experts and the senior police officials can devise a legislative framework, which can aid, in implementing the process.
The Australian treasury through the department of finance and administration will be critical in the implementation process by providing the financial support required.
Consequently, partnering with bilateral agencies, sponsors, regional and international organizations will be an important aspect of improving the implementation program.
Australian Government, AusAID, (2007). Tackling Corruption for Growth and Development, A Policy for Australian Development Assistance on Anti-Corruption
Fishman, J (1978). Measuring Police Corruption. New York: John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Pearce, R. (2009), ‘Operation Capri’, paper delivered to the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference. Web.
Transparency International (2007). Global Corruption Barometer. Berlin: Transparency International
Wood, J (1997). Final Report of the Royal Commission Into the New South Wales Police Service, Government of the State of New South Wales (2)