Show simple item record Prinsloo, Johan Kingshott, Brian 2012-02-23T13:38:09Z 2012-02-23T13:38:09Z 2004
dc.identifier.citation Prinsloo, J. 2005 "Ethics in policing" Phronimon : Journal of the SA Society for Greek Philosophy and the Humanities, vol. 5, no. 1, 49-70.
dc.description.abstract A number of ethical issues and dilemmas are to be found in policing. Police officers do engage in unethical behaviour which often originates from the norms of the organisational culture. However, the working in the world of policing provides officers with the ability to rationalise excuse and justify unethical behaviour, while maintaining a moral self image. Culture, values and norms as unconscious and conscious feelings are terms which have different, though not unrelated meanings and manifest themselves in human behaviour. In this article the significance of tensions between the organisational culture and the dynamics of ethical dilemmas inherent to public policing are discussed. However, and despite evidence provided by structural and procedural theories, it is important to understand that accountability, especially individual level accountability, has profound implications for the development and sustenance of police culture and ethics. Firstly, it misdirects problems away from organisational sources towards the individual. The intense focus on individual responsibility prohibits organisational assessments of problems that might create conditions for their resolution. Secondly, it is argued that to protect themselves officers will develop strategies that obstruct external enquiry into their personal affairs. Then efforts aimed at the external imposition of accountability will always engender the paradox of personal accountability. The more officers are held responsible for the outcome of police-public interactions, the more difficult it will be to hold them administratively accountable. Ethics provide the theoretical basis for the principles of moral behaviour and sustain both the boundaries for morality and the pathways for proper thinking about real life choices. Both ethics and morality are concerned with the distinction between right and wrong. The difference between the terms is similar to the difference between thought and action. Ethics are concerned with analysis and reflection on the problems of human conduct. Morality is more about the nature of the conduct itself. There should be a clear relationship between an appropriate ethical system, individual and organisational moral values, judgement and decision-making. Ethics are, therefore, concerned with making the right judgements and do things right (rather than ritualistically doing the right things) for the rights reasons. The outlined principles provide a comprehensive ethical framework in which a balanced way of thinking about policing, the need to consider problems applying all the approaches and the consideration of a wider set of arguments can be realised. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Policing en
dc.subject Ethics en
dc.title Ethics in policing en
dc.type Article en

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