n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Measuring the integrity of the South African Police Service during transitional times

Special Edition 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Post-apartheid South Africa has undergone tremendous political and social changes since attaining full democracy in 1994. Developing a police culture of integrity - a culture intolerant of any forms of police misconduct - is a key ingredient of democratic policing. This article explores the contours of police integrity within the South African national police service. In 2005, questionnaires containing hypothetical cases of police corruption were collected from 379 police officers from seven provinces. It was found that a non-trivial percentage of respondents did not recognize even the most severe forms of police corruption as violations of official rules. The respondents expected relatively mild discipline to be meted out by the SAPS for even some of the most severe violations of official rules. Finally, the measurement of the code of silence lead the authors to believe that a substantial minority of SAPS supervisors would protect from exposure of different forms of police corruption. These results suggest the existence of an integrity-challenged police agency.

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