The Perennial problem of police gratuities

public concerns, political optics, and an accountability ethos

Cindy Davids, Gordon Boyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the perennial nature of the problem of gratuities in considerations of police ethics, many prior analyses of this issue have rested on anecdotal, piecemeal or hypothetical considerations. This paper draws on a unique sample of actual complaint cases involving gratuities, providing evidence of a range of public concerns about the problem Gratuities are analysed and contextualised by reference to the concept of conflict of interest, which draws attention to the potential for the performance of public duty to be tainted in fact or appearance. In either case, public trust in the integrity of the police is damaged, giving rise to "political optics" as a key problem with gratuities. The paper argues that an accountability ethos must be developed to promote active responsibility and a preparedness to prioritise the public interest in policing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-69
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Perennial problem of police gratuities: public concerns, political optics, and an accountability ethos'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this