Ethics in Policing

Topics: Police, Ethics, Constable, Police officer / Pages: 10 (2265 words) / Published: Feb 21st, 2011
Police officer’s of NSW owe a duty to the community to act in a manner that demonstrates the highest level of ethics, integrity and professionalism. Police officers are always in the public eye. The ways in which police officers perform their duties are closely monitored and scrutinised by the community, the media, and their own peers at any and all opportunities available. This is why it is imperative that Police must always perform to a high standard in any action or decision they make. This essay will look at the ethical actions and decisions, Senior Constable Cullen and Constable Black make, in the Lane Cove Break and Enter case study. This essay will also discuss the roles and functions of police and how they must be approached ethically, as well as the use of discretion and reporting misconduct and corruption.

Ethics is described by the Webster’s online dictionary as a “motivation based on ideas of right and wrong”(n.d.). Simply put ethics is about the values and morals we hold and placing them into a right or wrong, good or bad category. The role and function of police in society is to keep the peace by maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, upholding and enforcing the law, providing social services and protecting life and property (PPP123 Team, 2010, Pg. 8). It is imperative that police perform these functions with an ethical approach. Fortunately police are guided ethically by legislations such as the ‘Oath of Office’ and the ‘Statement of Values’ as well as policy such as the ‘Code of Conduct and Ethics.’

In the Lane Cove break and enter scenario Senior Constable Cullen and Constable Black are faced with an every day run of the mill break and enter job in what appears to be an affluent area. As soon as Senior Constable Cullen accepts the job he states to Constable Black, “I am so over these rich people.” This very statement here directly breaches point four of the Code of Conduct and Ethics. Item four states an employee of

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