Police corruption definition urged
A clearer definition of what constitutes police corruption is needed to improve public confidence, a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found.
It revealed that while police corruption is not endemic, "it is corrosive of the public trust that is at the heart of policing".
The report was requested by Home Secretary Theresa May in July last year amid concerns about the relationship between the police and media. It examines the public view of the nature, extent and effect of corruption in the police and analyses corruption-related complaints in England and Wales.
Dame Anne Owers, chairwoman of the IPCC, said the overriding message was that corruption is not widespread or considered to be widespread, but corrodes the public trust that "is at the heart of policing by consent".
She said: "There are strong links between public trust and perceptions of police corruption.
"A serious focus on tackling police corruption is important, not just because it unearths unethical police behaviour, but because of the role it plays in wider public trust, views of police legitimacy and, on a practical level, co-operation and compliance with the police."
The report found police corruption is not at the top of public concerns about crime, but that the public has a "sophisticated view" of it.
It also revealed there is a general acceptance that serious cases require independent investigation, but less serious cases can be dealt with locally - though there were some concerns about police investigating themselves.