There is NO professionalism in the police force of South Sudan

Posted: June 2, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Daniel Deng Mario, Juba, South Sudan

police in love

police in love while the traffic goes haywire

June 2, 2017 (SSB) — Speaking from the point of view, I fell one day in the hands of South Sudan wolves (Police) that tells me there is no professional police in South Sudan that keeps laws and orders but police corruption exists.

Police corruption is a form of police misconduct in which law enforcement officers end up breaking their political contract and abuse their power for personal or departmental gain. This type of corruption can involve only one officer, or it can involve a group of officers in a coordinated effort.

South Sudan internal police corruption is a challenge to public trust, cohesion of departmental policies, human rights and legal violations involving serious consequences. Police corruption can take many forms.

Soliciting or accepting bribes in exchange for not reporting organized drug or prostitution rings or other illegal activities and violations of law, county and city ordinances and state and federal laws.

Flouting, the police code of conduct in order to secure convictions of civilians and suspect, for example, through the use of falsified evidence. There are also situations where law enforcement officers may deliberately and systematically participate in organized crime themselves.

Selective enforcement

In most major cities there are internal affairs sections to investigate suspected police corruption or misconduct, including selective enforcement, but there are situations where Internal Affairs also hides departmental and individual corruption, fraud, abuse and waste by individual officers, groups of officers or even unwritten departmental policies.

There are also Police Commissions who are complicit in the same cover-ups, often to hide internal and departmental problems, both from public view, and also from inter-departmental reviews and investigations.

Certain officers can be fired, then rehired by petition after they accrue enough signatures, often from the very criminals and violators from whom corrupt officers have garnered previous favours in exchange for officers “turning a blind eye”, resulting in selective enforcement of violations being deterred, but actually promoted.

Similar entities include the South Sudan Independence police complaints commission. Police corruption is a significant widespread problem in many departments and agencies worldwide.

It is not possible to measure the level of corruption in a country. Surveys of police officers, citizens and businesses can be used to provide estimates on levels of corruption.

These are often inaccurate, as respondents involved in corruption are reluctant to provide any information implicating themselves in criminal activity.

Despite this limitation, information collected from International Crime Victim Surveys and surveys conducted by the Global Corruption Enumerated Barometer can be used to estimate the level of police corruption.

South Sudan police officers have several opportunities to gain personally from their status and authority as law enforcement officers. The investigated Corruption in few months ago, divided corrupt officers into two types: meat-eaters, who “aggressively misuse their police powers for personal gain”, and grass-eaters, who “simply accept the payoffs that the happenstances of police work throw their way.

The sort of corrupt acts that have been committed by police officers have been classified as follows:

Corruption of authority: When police officers receive free drinks, meals, and other gratuities, because they are police officers, whether intentionally or unintentionally, they convey an image of corruption.

Extortion/bribery: Demanding or receiving payment for criminal offenses, to overlook a crime or a possible future crime. Types of bribery are protection for illegal activities, ticket fixing, altering testimony, destroying evidence, and selling criminal information. Bribery is one of the most common acts of corruption.

Theft and burglary: Is when an officer or department steals from an arrest and crime victims or corpses. Examples are taking drugs for personal use in a drug bust, and taking personal objects from a corpse at the scene of a crime. A theft can also occur within a department. An officer can steal property from the department’s evidence room or property room for personal use.

Shakedowns: Can be classified under theft and burglary, Stealing items for personal use from a crime scene or an arrest.

“Fixing”: undermining criminal prosecutions by withholding evidence or failing to appear at judicial hearings, for bribery or as a personal favor.

Perjury: Lying to protect other officers or oneself in a court of law or a department investigation.

Direct criminal activities: a law enforcement officer engages in criminal activity himself/herself.

Internal payoffs: prerogatives and prerequisites of law enforcement organizations, such as UNMISS and other international NGO, being bought and sold.

The “Frame up”: the planting or adding to evidence, especially in drug cases.

Ticket fixing: police officers cancelling traffic tickets as a favor to the friends and family of other police officers.

Behavior

Corrupt behavior can be caused by the behavioral change of the officer within the department’s “subculture”. A subculture is a group of individuals within a culture that share the same attitudes and beliefs. Police officers within the department share the same norms and that new behavioral development can be attributed through psychological, sociological, and anthropological paradigms.

Psychological paradigm: The psychological paradigm suggests that behavior is based and structured through an individual’s early stages of life. Those attracted to the police occupation tend to be more “authoritarian”.

The authoritarian personality is characterized by conservative, aggressive, cynical, and rigid behaviors. Corruption may involve profit or another type of material benefit gained illegally as a consequence of the officer’s authority. Psychological corruption can be a part of a department’s culture or from the certain individual.

Sociological paradigm: The sociological paradigm focuses on individual exposure to a police training academy, regular in-service training, and field experience all shape occupational character. Police learn how to behave, discretion, morals and what to think from their shared experiences with other police officers.

New recruits develop definitions with their peers either positive or negative. These definitions are then reinforced, positively or negatively, by the rewards or punishments (either real or perceived) that follow their behavior.

For example, a new recruit may be given an order by his peer to arrest an individual sitting in the passenger seat. This action can end up negatively or positively for the officer depending on how the situation is perceived by the court later on.

Anthropological paradigm: When an individual’s social character is changed when an officer becomes part of the occupational culture. The term culture is often used to describe differences among large social groups where they share unique beliefs, morals, customs, and other characteristics that set them apart from other groups.

Within the police culture, officers learn to be suspicious of the public. Police culture can also be quite racist, and shot through with assumptions about the criminal tendencies of certain minority groups, such as South Sudanese and Ugandans, or the competency of fellow officers from minority backgrounds, which can lead officers to make corrupted choices for personal benefits or gains.

Prevalence

Accurate information about the prevalence of South Sudan police corruption is hard to come by, since the corrupt activities tend to happen in secret and police organizations have little incentive to publish information about corruption.

Police officials and South Sudan politicians alike have argued that in some countries, large-scale corruption involving the police only exists but can even become institutionalized.

One study of corruption in the South Sudan police Department (focusing particularly on the Rampart scandal) proposed that certain forms of police corruption may be the norm, rather than the exception, in American policing. In the South Sudan, an internal investigation needs to be carried out into the largest South Sudan police force, the Diplomatic Police and Operation.

Where corruption exists, the widespread existence of a Blue Code of Silence among the police can prevent the corruption from coming to light. Officers in these situations commonly fail to report corrupt behavior or provide false testimony to outside investigators to cover up criminal activity by their fellow officers.

I call up on South Sudan government to override the Independent Commission against Corruption and the advice of senior police to establish a ground-breaking Corruption.

However, in a number of countries, such as China, Nigeria, Malaysia, Brazil or Mexico and South Sudan a head of them, police corruption remains to be one of the largest social problems facing all Countries.

The writer is a South Sudanese and he can be reached via mariodeng88@gmail.com/0956518990/0920393139

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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