Guest Post: Fighting Police Corruption in London, and Beyond

Today’s guest post is from Matt Gardner, who previously served as the Head of Anti-Corruption at New Scotland Yard, Metropolitan Police, and who is currently covers police-related issues or CurbingCorruption.Com (whose launch in October 2018 GAB covered here).

The Metropolitan Police in London (the “Met’) is a large city force, with 30,000+ officers policing a city of over 10 million on any working day. Even in a well-trained professional force like this one, keeping police corruption down to low levels is a constant challenge. The ordinary difficulties of tackling corruption are compounded by the authority that the police are entrusted with: If you are a thief, a sexual predator, a bully, or lean towards corruption and criminality, joining the police service in any country is an excellent career choice. You can hide behind your warrant card, police ID, or uniform.

So what can police departments do to keep corruption within their own ranks in check? In this post, I want to highlight the four most important tools for keeping police corruption at low levels, using the Met’s experience to illustrate each of these elements: Continue reading

A Dull, Boring, Humdrum, Unimaginative, Prosaic Proposal to Combat Corruption

David took Alexander Lebedev and Vladislav Inozemtsev to task in a recent post for a scheme they proposed in an on-line issue of Foreign Affairs to combat corruption.  Ignoring the several international anticorruption conventions now in place and the slow but steady improvements these agreements have produced, the authors called for a brand new convention that would grant extraordinary powers to a supranational team of investigators, prosecutors, and judges to arrest, prosecute, and try those suspected of corruption no matter where they are.  The harebrained idea is so full of holes and so unrealistic that David labeled it “absurd,” a conclusion with which any serious analyst would surely agree.

In closing David urged the anticorruption community to stop advancing unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky proposals that waste readers’ time and scarce space in learned journals in favor of more realistic, if less catchy, ones.  In that spirit I offer the following dull, boring, humdrum, unimaginative, prosaic proposal — one not likely to capture the uninformed reader’s imagination or gain space in Foreign Affairs or another prestigious policy journal. On the other hand, my proposal will help crackdown on corruption, particularly corruption by powerful officials in developing states.  It is simple.  Developed nations should copy a program the British government began in 2006. Continue reading