An exploratory study of street-level police corruption in Ghana: Why does it exist?

Kofi Odei Addo

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Abstract

A culture of corruption within an institution, such as the police, could be indicative of a failure from various directions. The Ghanaian public often views the police service as the most corrupt of all their institutions. This paper aims to explore the issue of street-level police corruption and why it exists from the perspective of police officers, delving into their understandings, critiques, and explanations of this phenomenon. Based on qualitative interviews with Ghanaian police officers, this article reveals two factors that characterise street-level police corruption in Ghana. First, corrupt practices may be instigated by members of the public (e.g., through bribes) without any pressure from the police themselves. Second, police officers adopt various neutralisation techniques to rationalise their involvement in corruption. This article examines how police officers interviewed for this study normalised corruption to gain a better understanding of the prevalent nature of police corruption in Ghana.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-62
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Criminology
Volume3
Early online date10 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2023

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