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Police integrity in China

Guangzhen Wu (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)
David A. Makin (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)
Yongtao Li (Department of Criminal Investigation, Criminal Investigation Police University of China, Shenyang, China)
Francis D. Boateng (Department of Legal Studies, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Gassan Abess (John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 30 April 2018

Issue publication date: 26 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the contours of police integrity among Chinese police officers. Specifically, this study explores how Chinese police evaluate integrity based on official policy governing interactions, discipline governing infractions, views of seriousness, and willingness to inform when others engage in misconduct.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 353 police officers were surveyed representing those attending in-service training program at a Chinese police university in May 2015. Questionnaires containing 11 scenarios describing police misbehaviors were distributed to officers during classes.

Findings

There was a strong correlation between officers’ perceptions of rule-violation, misconduct seriousness, discipline, and willingness to report. Additionally, preliminary results suggest there exists a code of silence among Chinese officers, and that Chinese officers hold a lenient attitude toward the use of excessive force.

Research limitations/implications

This study utilizes a convenient sample, which restricts the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

The results indicate the existence of code of silence among Chinese officers and their lenient attitude toward the use of excessive force.

Originality/value

Although there has been a growing body of research examining police integrity in both western democracies and transitional societies, China as the largest developing nation in the world and with a unique police system (falls somewhere between the centralized model and the integrated model) is understudied. This study addresses this gap in previous literature by exploring the contours of police integrity among Chinese police officers.

Keywords

Citation

Wu, G., Makin, D.A., Li, Y., Boateng, F.D. and Abess, G. (2018), "Police integrity in China", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 563-577. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-01-2017-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited