Welcome to this blog. Policing reform poses a dilemma that is unique to the subject. The police have to ensure that law and order are enforced. To do so, they must have the trust and consent of citizens. In return, the police’s own behaviour must be above reproach. But what happens when they fail: when they themselves are guilty of brutality, corruption, harassment and racism? Who brings them to account? This is a challenge that currently defeats most societies, as shown recently in the US and UK.
This blog contributes practical ideas and experience of good police accountability: the institutional mechanisms and the laws that govern behaviour standards, control investigation of wrong doing, and enforce the values that all officers must follow. This includes both internal control, through police Professional Standards Departments (PSDs) or Internal Affairs Departments (IADs), and external control, where the town, city, state or some authorised body exerts independent or semi-independent oversight of police. Neither form of control works well enough today.
This blog is a pro-bono effort from CurbingCorruption, working together with Matt Gardner, who used to lead the PSD command in London’s Metropolitan Police. We welcome blogs from citizens, law enforcement officers, politicians, researchers, anyone. To comment or to submit a draft blog, use the ‘Email us’ box to the left.