Corruption is a problem that all major institutions around the world confront. But in the case of police forces, it is often rather difficult to get the full picture of what is going on. After all, being in a law enforcement position, powerful interests exist not to publicize details of bribery and other corrupt practices engaged in by officers. Some forces also operate an informal code of silence so that nothing that goes on behind the scenes should be released to the general public.
Nonetheless, it is possible to get an idea of which countries have the most corrupt law enforcement agencies. Along with researchers working to uncover reports of wrongdoing, major scandals occasionally break exposing the inner workings of the police. In addition, officers sometimes emerge with the determination to reveal what is taking place.
The consequences of widespread corruption within the police are extremely debilitating, as it is in any organization. Since they have so much power to act in the name of the law, corrupt practices pose a grave danger to the rights and freedoms of the entire population, for example if an investigation is halted or an individual is arrested unfairly. It can also leave the police open to being infiltrated or influenced by criminal elements, as a famous 2002 report produced on the British Metropolitan police force demonstrated. In it, the authors found that corruption was so bad in Scotland Yard that outright criminals could gain access to it by bribing corrupt officers. The following are ten of the most corrupt police forces from around the world.
10 United States
Acting with impunity, Iraqi police and security officers regularly arrest individuals who have committed no crime, fabricate charges and then extort money from friends and family members for their release. To increase the pressure, police frequently resort to torturing prisoners. In turn, the proceeds gained from this brutal practice are frequently used to bribe politicians so that a senior officer can gain the right to control law enforcement operations in a particular area. There are examples of individuals who have confessed to crimes under torture buying their freedom by paying bribes, and it has also been reported that some people have been arrested repeatedly because officers know that if a family has paid up once to have them released, they are more likely to do so again.
Sources: wsws.org, globalnews.ca, huffingtonpost.com, ibtimes.com
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