Around the World

These articles feature a comparative look at policing across the globe. 

Around the World 10.1

Source: “12 of 32 police in Wales kept jobs after breaking the law, figures show,” by Kevin Leonard, 2012. BBC News. Retrieved September 2012 from

Police officers in Wales are held to high professional standards. Officers have been dismissed or resigned for crimes, including “supplying drugs, possessing indecent images of children and drunk-driving.” However, many other officers who committed offenses, including “violence, traffic offenses and animal cruelty,” were not dismissed. Many argue that every incident or offense must be judged on the merits of the case. This often involves shifting the burden to the officer to prove why he or she should not be dismissed.

The Home Office believes “public confidence in the police is crucial in a system that rests on the principle of policing by consent.” Michael Levi, a professor of criminology, argues that the “figures indicate that police officers were less likely to commit crimes than the general population. The general statistics are that one in three males can expect to be convicted of something over their lifetime.”

  1. Police agencies invest considerable money and resources in identifying, hiring, and training law enforcement officers. Should law enforcement officers be dismissed any time an officer violates the law, regardless of the type of offense? Or should different offenses be treated differently?
  2. Considering the importance of public trust, what measure can a police agency take to regain the public trust in the event an officer is disciplined or dismissed for criminal activity?