An expert on police ethics from the University of Warwick has welcomed the Home Secretary’s announcement today that she will change the laws on police whistleblowing. Dr. Katerina Hadjimatheou works on the ethics of criminal justice and in particular police ethics at The University of Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies.
She said: “The single most important thing police can do to improve public confidence in the profession is to improve the way whistleblowers are treated. Police want to be viewed by society as professionals deserving the respect given to doctors and engineers. For that to happen, they need to show that they can police themselves. That means coming down hard on misconduct and corruption. More importantly, it means dealing with it in-house, before so much harm is done that the IPCC and the media need to get involved.
“Police whistleblowers in this country have been persecuted mercilessly for far too long. Their victimisation has been justified via a cynical interpretation of the notion of 'bringing the profession into disrepute' to mean shining a light on corruption, racism, sexism or just plain laziness. In fact, the most serious threat to the reputation of the profession is the systematic nature of its attempts to smear and silence whistleblowers. The sooner this is recognised and dealt with, the better.”
Dr Christopher Nathan, also from the Department of Politics and International Studies and an expert on police ethics, added: “There have been a raft of reforms in policing in recent years, with the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, the new College of Policing, two decades of legislatively active governments in the area of criminal law, budget cuts and a critical HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. Whistleblower legislation is another way the authority in police is being diversified and scrutinised.”
Note to Editors:
Dr Katerina Hadjimatheou is available for interviews. Contact +44 (0)2476 528 032. Email: K.Hadjimatheou@warwick.ac.uk.
Dr Christopher Nathan is available for interviews. Contact +44 (0)2476 528 033. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued by: Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email: email@example.com.