Sniff out, lock up rotten cops

2011-02-12 09:17

Not all police officers are bad apples, we are told. But a new study on police involvement in serious and violent crimes, published in this newspaper today, argues that we have only scratched the surface of this disturbing trend.

Rooting out criminal police officers is the task of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD).

However, in its current form the ICD only ­reactively investigates complaints against cops and makes recommendations to the police to take action against their own.

A watchdog, but with little bite. We need a sniffer-dog approach to pro-actively investigate and apprehend those bad apples in our police force.

As it is, our good police men and women have enough on their plates without getting demoralised because some corrupt and criminal colleagues instil fear in communities.

The study suggests a “hunter force” similar to that of Internal Affairs in the United States – a totally independent body, with its own investigators using methods such as undercover assignments to catch the bad cops.

The new Independent Police Investigative ­Directorate Bill, which is due to come into effect this year, will be a step closer and will hopefully put some teeth into fighting police criminality, for the sake of the good police officers out there. 

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