SSR Glossary


A process which contributes to good working of the organisation and which may encourage or discourage corruption. There are two types of control in a police organisation: 1) external and 2) internal. External oversight is exercised by political authorities, the judiciary and public opinion. This control aims at verifying the conformity of police actions with the laws and policies established by the government and checking the efficiency of their implementation.

Glossary Entry

Noble cause corruption

The term refers to a perception among police officers that some aspects of their improper behaviour are acceptable. This notion is a classic example of ‘grey’ corruption. In this situation, police officers will knowingly “bend”, circumvent or even break the law on the basis of a notion of ethical relativity. They may cut a deal with a criminal – promising a lighter sentence or even to overlook that person’s lawbreaking – in return for information that will help them find, arrest or convict someone they suspect of having committed a more serious crime.

Glossary Entry

Police culture

Culture, generally, is defined as the collective beliefs, values, attitudes and knowledge of a society.  Culture can manifest itself in the form of common behaviour patterns within a society. A definition of police culture is: ‘Police culture covers the values and standards that affect behaviour patterns and work practices, as they are applied by the police officers

All cultures have subdivisions (subcultures) and police services are no different. There are differences between dominant values and attitudes – the culture – of homicide detectives and traffic police, and between uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. There is also often tension between national and local police services. These differences in values can manifest themselves in different behaviour among various police subcultures.

Glossary Entry


Police is defined as a civil force of a state responsible for prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of public order. The term police, therefore, includes all law enforcement agencies: national and local and specific services (e.g. traffic police, financial police, etc.) that exercise “police powers”, particularly the power to arrest and detain.

Glossary Entry

Systemic corruption

Systemic corruption is characterised by extensive corrupt activities, ranging from small to big.  In this case, corruption is no longer the exception. Sometimes, systemic corruption can be part of a specific type of management or governance system. Systemic corruption is characterised by both the magnitude of corrupt activities and by rules and norms that facilitate these activities.

Glossary Entry