Police misconduct or unethical behavior by the police refers to the violations of the laid down rules and regulations in relation to carrying out official duties. In a legal perceptive, it can be termed as, the infringement of constitutional rights of individuals, by the police, when carrying out their official duties. Examples of some forms of police misconduct include wrongful detention, discriminatory arrests, use of excessive force when arresting a suspect, assault and many others (Pollock, 2012).
Most of the countries face the challenge of police misconduct. Many arguments have been voiced as to the cause of an the increase in police misconduct and what comes out clearly from these arguments is that, most police officers engage in unethical behavior such as corruption for personal gains. This has prompted the establishment of various mechanisms, both legal and institutional to fight police misconduct (Pollock, 2012).
In the UAE, there are established internal mechanisms such as formal codes of conduct within the police departments to curb unethical behavior by the police. There are also complaint departments where civilians, report incidences of police misconduct. The complaints are investigated and if found to be true the appropriate discipline is administered to the police officer (Pollock, 2012).
Apart from the internal mechanisms there are also external mechanisms through state laws that are enacted to protect civilians from police misconduct. The state laws, especially civil statutes, empower the civilians to sue the police for damages, while the criminal statutes criminalize some acts which the police tend to engage in such as corruption and the various forms of punishment stipulated. These include imprisonment, doing community service work, court fines, probation and many others (Pollock, 2012). For example, a police guilty of professional negligence in the UAE, would be suspended from service for some specific timeframe.
Pollock, J. M. (2012). Criminal Law. New York: Newnes.