Police corruption happens in just about every country. Unfortunately, people in some countries have to deal with more serious forms of police corruption and violence on a daily basis. As someone who was born and raised in Russia and lived in number of different countries including Mongolia, Turkey, Korea, and Canada, I have seen and experienced just about every kind of police corruption and violence there is. As most people know, Russian police has always been rather corrupt and use violence to the most extreme level possible. When it comes to Russian police and the internal affairs, the corruption takes many different forms and involves many individuals. They have all three types of corrupt officers as described by Punch, 2009.
Punch’s 3 categories include:
- Grass- eaters which are the ones who accept free meal, discounts and just a general perks.
- Meat- eaters are those officers who actually seek out opportunity for bribery and accept the bribes with no problem.
- Birds are the ones who are not mentioned that much. Those who don’t really have the right opportunity or they think about their future prospects.
From what I have seen and know, Russian and Mongolian police officers accept bribes and seek out bribes in order to support themselves and their families. Police officers in both of these countries are grossly underpaid and overworked which is the perfect recipe for those who are offering the bribes. If, for example, an officer decides to live and work “clean handed” he or she will most likely end up getting fired or killed. This is probably one of the reasons why I was so surprised when I learned that in Canada, police officers get a decent pay. I was so used to seeing illegal activities involving police officials back home that I could not wrap my head around as to why Canadian police officers seemed so into their duties.
In Russia, most serious police corruptions go underground and they are not reported on TV in detail. There is always the death threat for the officers who are involved in major bribes. For example, Russian mafia is so powerful because they have “friends” in police agencies. The drug dealers pay high price in exchange for “a blind eye” from police officials. This means it is a huge risk for anyone to disclose it.
Punch, Maurice. (2011). Police Corruption: Deviance, Accountability and Reform in Policing. New York, USA: Routledge.