Internal Investigations on Police Integrity Violations: An Overview

Terry Lamboo, Free University Amsterdam
Leo W.J.C. Huberts, Free University Amsterdam
M. Van der Steeg, Free University Amsterdam
A. Nieuwendijk, Free University Amsterdam

Our knowledge of the nature of police misconduct in its various forms is sketchy despite the history of research in this field. Several categorizations and typologies have been proposed in an effort to grasp the phenomenon. Some of these typologies are limited to specific forms, mainly corruption and violence/discrimination, most research is done on policing and police misconduct in the United States, and often research concentrates on serious police scandals. As a consequence, current research offers a limited view on the broad spectrum of integrity problems and violations that can be distinguished. In order to gain more insight in the nature of police integrity and the extent of different types of police misconduct, we did research in The Netherlands involving all 26 Dutch police forces. All forces submitted data on their internal disciplinary investigations undertaken in 1999 and 2000. About each investigation data were provided on the subject of the investigation, the type of investigation and the results and disciplinary measures taken. The data offer an overview of the scope of the forms of misconduct investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureaus and severity with which the misconduct is sanctioned. We conclude that the existing literature overestimates the importance of some integrity violations and neglects important others.

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Updated 05/20/2006