Policing and ethics

Authored by: Peter Neyroud

Handbook of Policing

Print publication date:  August  2008
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9781843925002
eBook ISBN: 9780203118238
Adobe ISBN: 9781136308529


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In the introduction to the Council of Europe's European Code of Police Ethics published in September 2001, the Committee of Ministers identified a number of factors that highlight the importance of such a code of ethics for policing. First, that criminal justice, within which they include policing, plays an essential role in safeguarding the rule of law. Secondly, that police activities are ‘performed in close contact with the public and police efficiency is dependent upon public support’. Finally, public confidence in the police is ‘closely related to their attitude and behaviour towards the public and in particular their respect for human dignity and fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual as enshrined in particular in the European Convention on Human Rights’. The Ministers recognised the importance of police ethics, an importance that has been increasingly highlighted in a number of studies through the last 10 years (Kleinig 1996a; Neyroud and Beckley 2001).

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