Stakeholder Perspectives on Police Complaints and Discipline: Towards a Civilian Control Model
This paper examines the case for independent investigation and adjudication of complaints against police, and the implications for restructuring of public sector institutions concerned with integrity. The need for external review of police in-house investigations is well established. However, there is now an accelerating trend for civilian agencies to go beyond review to engage directly in investigations and to have much greater input into disciplinary decisions. This paper reports on the experiences and principles behind this trend, focusing on the points of view of specific actors and stakeholders.These include commissions of inquiry, oversight agencies, complainants, police, the public, civil liberties groups, government review bodies and miscellaneous bodies. The perspectives of each of the groups were analysed to develop a distinctive "civilian control model" for maximising stakeholder confidence in police integrity. The model entails police management responsibility for primary misconduct prevention and informal resolution of complaints, with external agencies having control over the investigation and adjudication of complaints.The paper also argues for efficiency gains from integrating police oversight within a larger public sector integrity commission, especially in countries with large numbers of small police departments.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology