Dishonest officers could be jailed for 14 years under new proposals unveiled by the Home Office.Details surrounding the new offence of police corruption, which are being introduced following the Ellison Review into the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation, have been revealed.
If passed through Parliament successfully, the new law will cover cases in which a police officer acts improperly to try to obtain an advantage for themselves or someone else – or if they cause detriment to someone else.
It could also be used when an officer “fails to act” for a corrupt purpose. An example of this is if they know a suspect did not commit a particular crime but hide that knowledge because they have a relationship with the guilty party.
And it will apply when an officer threatens to do something, or not do something, for an improper purpose.
It will carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.
Policing Minister Damian Green (pictured) said: "The public expect the police to act at all times with honesty and integrity. That is why this government is introducing a range of measures to improve the integrity and transparency of the police.
"Where police officers fall short of the high standards we expect of them, it is right that the full force of the criminal law is available to punish and deter acts of corruption by police officers.
"We believe the best way to do this is to create a new offence of police corruption, solely applicable to police officers, to sit alongside the existing offence of misconduct in public office.
"Corrupt behaviour in the police should be deterred and punished so we can maintain their standing in the eyes of the public and underline the important work done by the overwhelming number of officers across the country."
The law would be used in addition to the existing offence of misconduct in public office and is being brought forward as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.
It will apply to all ranks and special constables in England and Wales, British Transport Police officers, Ministry of Defence police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and National Crime Agency officers who have the powers and privileges of a constable.
THIN BLUE LINE COMMENT
There are two points of view we would consider.
1. The new law will cover cases in which a police officer acts improperly to try to obtain an advantage for themselves or someone else – or if they cause detriment to someone else. Chief Officers who orchestrated, condoned or merely overlooked the disgraceful manipulation of police recorded crime are guilty of this offence, so this would mean prison for a large number of senior UK cops. THEY benefitted from extortionate bonus payments, political and career advancement to the obvious detriment of the taxpayer. Case proven m'lud.
It could also be used when an officer “fails to act” for a corrupt purpose. An example of this is if they know a suspect did not commit a particular crime but hide that knowledge because they have a relationship with the guilty party. Knowing the figures were being fiddled, and it many cases causing them to be fiddled, Chief Officers failed to act by stopping the practice, for a corrupt reason, their own financial and career gain.
2. Lets make this an offence for all in Public office not just the Police. Politicians, judges, lawyers and many more are corrupt and many of those can do more damage to a country than the bobby on the beat. Corruption in a Public Office only seems to be used against the police - We didn't see any of the 'honourable' MPs charged with that offence when they took our money - even a previous Home Secretary was involved and that person is a 'Right Honourable'!
The public also expect politicians to act with honesty and integrity and we know full well that there is more corruption in political circles than in any other theatre of work. Yet what sentences have we seen for the corrupt (perjury) thieving(expenses) politicians. At worst a few months in jail then out with a tag because they are suffering from ill health !!!! We need a complete overhaul in Westminster first, to root out the criminals therein. Then start with others !!