SAGE Journal Articles

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LO 4-3

Noble Cause Corruption

Abstract: The historical background to and use of the expression ‘noble cause corruption’ to characterise certain types of police behaviour is explored. One account, in which it is understood to provide a mantle of respectability for certain kinds of police corruption is contrasted with another in which it describes a kind of corruption that is not ameliorated by its motivation. This divergence, however, points to some deeper problems and complexities in police decision-making that have not been fully acknowledged or explored in police work. These are most acute when general rules do not adequately accommodate the complexities of real-life situations.