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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Tim Prenzler

The purpose of this paper is to report on a search of criminology and related databases to identify fraud prevention intervention projects that showed promising…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a search of criminology and related databases to identify fraud prevention intervention projects that showed promising achievements in reducing offences.

Design/methodology/approach

A keyword search of Criminal Justice Abstracts was supplemented by searches of related databases and case study repositories – conducted up to 31 May 2019. The paper includes some attention to indicators of “what doesn’t work” as well as “what might work” or “what should work”. Selection criteria were open about evidence, rather than exclusively applying strict scientific standards.

Findings

Overall, the literature is marked by inferences regarding what should work, based on diagnostics about opportunity factors in fraud and victim characteristics. In terms of evaluated intervention projects, only two were identified that met best practice scientific standards. However, a further 17 projects were included where there was some evidence of a likely benefit.

Research limitations/implications

Available evaluations of intervention projects are predominantly within-in group studies. Pre- and post-intervention time frames are often short, limited to one year or less; with only one follow-up study.

Practical implications

The findings demonstrate the need for applied experiments to build knowledge about effective fraud reduction strategies. The main lesson from the content of the 19 projects concerns the value of a situational crime prevention framework for designing and testing interventions, especially through enhancing rule setting, reducing anonymity, extending guardianship and formal surveillance, and facilitating compliance.

Originality/value

This appears to be the first systematic literature review of applied counter-fraud intervention projects.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2020

Tim Prenzler

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Tim Prenzler

This paper aims to identify key learnings around the concept of “grey corruption” by systematically reviewing the extant literature. The concept is addressed in terms of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify key learnings around the concept of “grey corruption” by systematically reviewing the extant literature. The concept is addressed in terms of areas of alleged misconduct often considered “minor” or “borderline” in relation to “black corruption”. Common examples include favourable treatment of friends and relatives by public officials, receipt of gifts, excessive expenditures and pork barrelling, influence peddling through donations and lies and false promises. The focus of this study is on definitions, extent, public perspectives, explanations and evidence of promising prevention strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

Relevant sources were sought using systematic keyword searches of major criminological and political databases, a media database and relevant government and non-government websites, up to the end of December 2019.

Findings

The main findings were that there is no single accepted definition of grey corruption but that the concept remains useful, practice is often extensive, it is generally at odds with public opinion, opportunity is a key factor in its incidence and prevention requires the enactment and enforcement of clear principles.

Research limitations/implications

Media-reported cases were too numerous to analyse in detail for the present study.

Practical implications

Efforts to improve integrity in government need to take account of the concept. Rules require clarification and communication. Enforcement needs improvement. More experiments are needed in prevention.

Social implications

This paper captures a range of integrity issues of importance to the public but often downgraded or dismissed by politicians.

Originality/value

This paper is unique in reporting the results of a systematic search of the international literature on the topic.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Tim Prenzler, Tyler Cawthray, Louise E. Porter and Geoffrey P. Alpert

From 2002 to 2014, the Portland Police Bureau reported large reductions in complaints against officers and use of force indicators. The purpose of this paper is to develop…

Abstract

Purpose

From 2002 to 2014, the Portland Police Bureau reported large reductions in complaints against officers and use of force indicators. The purpose of this paper is to develop a case study to document these changes and explore possible influences.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper maps the changes in conduct indicators against the developing relationship between the Bureau and the Portland Independent Police Review Division, and changes in policies and procedures.

Findings

Public complaints reduced by 54.4 per cent, while the rate of specific allegations per officer fell by 70.1 per cent. Quarterly use of force incident reports were reduced by 65.4 per cent between 2008 and 2014. Annual average shootings decreased from a high of nine per year across 1997-2002 to just below four per year in 2009-2014. Fatal shootings also trended downward but remained two per year in the last three years on record. Reforms instituted during this period that may have influenced these trends include a more rigorous complaints process, an early intervention system (EIS), enhanced external and internal review mechanisms, policy changes and training initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

The researchers were unable to control for a range of additional variables that may have influenced the findings, including police deployments and changes in officer demographics.

Practical implications

The study provides support for strategies to improve police conduct including external oversight, diagnostic research, training focussed on de-escalation and minimal force, and complaint profiling and EISs.

Originality/value

There are very few studies available showing large long-term reductions in adverse police conduct indicators.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2020

Sanja Kutnjak Ivković, Maria Haberfeld, Wook Kang, Robert Patrick Peacock, Louise E. Porter, Tim Prenzler and Adri Sauerman

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contours of the police code of silence, a critical component of the ability to control misconduct and enhance integrity within…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contours of the police code of silence, a critical component of the ability to control misconduct and enhance integrity within any police agency. Unlike the extant research, dominated by single-country studies, this paper provides an in-depth exploration of the code across five countries and tests the relation between the code of science and societal characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

A police integrity survey was used to measure the contours of the code of silence among police officers in Australia (n=856), Croatia (n=966), South Africa (n=871), South Korea (n=379) and the USA (n=664). The respondents evaluated 11 hypothetical scenarios describing various forms of police misconduct.

Findings

Bivariate analyses reveal considerable divergence in the code of silence across the five countries. Multivariate models of the code of silence show that, next to organizational factors (i.e. the respondents’ assessment of peers’ willingness to report, evaluations of misconduct seriousness and expected discipline) and individual factors (i.e. supervisory status), societal factors (i.e. the Corruption Perceptions Index score and the percent of irreligious citizens) are significant predictors of the respondents’ willingness to report.

Research limitations/implications

While the same questionnaire was used in all five countries, the nature of the data collection differed somewhat across the countries (e.g. online survey vs paper-and-pencil survey), as did the nature of the samples (e.g. representative sample vs convenience sample).

Practical implications

Perceived peer pressure, measured as the perceptions of whether other police officers would adhere to the code of silence, is the key variable explaining the police officers’ expressed willingness to adhere to the code of silence. Changing the police officers’ perceptions of peer culture and potentially changing the peer culture itself should be critical elements in the toolbox of any administrator willing to curtail the code of silence.

Originality/value

Whereas the study of the code of silence has started several decades ago, no prior study has tested the effects of organizational and societal variables on the code of silence in a comparative perspective.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Louise E Porter and Tim Prenzler

The purpose of this paper is to explore Australian police officers’ perceptions of unethical conduct scenarios with the aim of understanding unwillingness to report…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore Australian police officers’ perceptions of unethical conduct scenarios with the aim of understanding unwillingness to report infractions.

Design/methodology/approach

The responses of 845 officers were compared across 11 scenarios to explore variation in the extent to which they understood the behaviour to violate policy and their hypothetical willingness, or unwillingness, to report the behaviour. Particularly, it was hypothesised that non-reporters may justify their inaction based on the misperception that other officers hold even less ethical beliefs.

Findings

Five scenarios emerged as least likely to be reported, with a substantial minority of officers stating their decision was despite their understanding that the behaviour constituted a policy violation. Contrary to predictions, these “non-reporters” were aware they were less likely to report than their colleagues, but believed they held the same views as their colleagues in terms of the seriousness of scenarios. Comparisons between non-reporters and other survey participants, however, found this belief to be false, with non-reporters viewing the scenarios as significantly less serious. A perceived self-other difference, along with a belief that others will report were shown to reduce the likelihood of not reporting.

Practical implications

The results are discussed in terms of increasing willingness to report misconduct through organisational efforts to communicate values and support officers to make ethical decisions.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to understanding the “code of silence” in perpetuating police misconduct and how it may be reduced.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Tim Prenzler

To ascertain the attitudes of senior police managers toward the deployment of integrity tests, and drug and alcohol tests, in misconduct prevention.

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Abstract

Purpose

To ascertain the attitudes of senior police managers toward the deployment of integrity tests, and drug and alcohol tests, in misconduct prevention.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire‐based survey was conducted of 114, mainly Australian, senior police managers.

Findings

Responses revealed very high levels of support for targeted testing in more serious cases of suspected corruption. There was also moderate support for random testing in serious cases. Views were divided on both targeted and random testing in less serious cases. There was very strong support for alcohol and drug testing. Overall, the results show willingness on the part of police leaders to embrace radical measures to combat corruption.

Originality/value

Integrity tests involving simulated misconduct opportunities, and related drug and alcohol testing programs, have been used in a number of jurisdictions as a means of revealing and deterring police corruption. However, such tests have been criticised as being unethical, especially in terms of “entrapment”. There are also practical issues regarding allocating scarce resources to a testing program and potential pitfalls with unintended consequences such as conflicts and injuries. Policy level decisions to develop testing programs will therefore depend to a considerable extent on the beliefs of senior managers about the utility and fairness of these strategies.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2020

Michael King

The purpose of this study is to identify the attributes – skills, education and qualifications – required to be a contemporary corporate investigator.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the attributes – skills, education and qualifications – required to be a contemporary corporate investigator.

Design/methodology/approach

To address heretofore unexplored areas in the literature, this study used data collected from semi-structured interviews with 33 corporate investigators in Australia.

Findings

This paper highlights the complexities that surround corporate investigations and identifies nine attributes critical for investigative success. The findings identify some commonalities with police–detective skills and suggest that the corporate investigator needs the skills of an accountant and a lawyer to complement these investigative skills.

Originality/value

Studies of private investigators are rare as such; therefore, this paper fills a gap in academic literature by examining the skills necessary to conduct private investigations of corporate and white-collar crime.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Jing Sun, Tim Prenzler, Nicholas Buys and Marilyn McMeniman

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions using situational crime prevention approaches to reduce the smoking rate in outdoor areas of a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions using situational crime prevention approaches to reduce the smoking rate in outdoor areas of a university campus.

Design/methodology/approach

A prospective intervention design was designed for the study. Surveys and observations were used to measure the impacts of both the campaign generally and specific strategies on levels of smoking in public places and use of designated smoking areas. Pre‐ and post‐implementation measures were taken. The intervention strategies entailed encouraging voluntary compliance with a “Smoke‐less Campaign”, which asked staff, students and visitors to smoke only in nominated areas. The campaign was supported by “situational” strategies to facilitate compliance, such as making smoking areas available, setting rules and posting instructions, and using campaign ambassadors.

Findings

At the end of the three‐month trial the campaign was considered to have had a positive impact. After the campaign at the intervention campus there was a significant increase of 14.4 percent in the proportion of people who reported that they were not affected by second‐hand smoke – from 52.7 percent to 67.1 percent. In addition, 6 percent of survey respondents who smoked reported quitting, while 17 percent of smokers indicated the campaign had helped them to quit or cut down. Observational data showed that 98 percent of smokers complied with directions to smoke in nominated smoking areas.

Originality/value

This study is original in explicitly applying the techniques of situational crime prevention to the problem of smoking in public places. The results provide evidence for the effectiveness of the situational techniques, including “facilitating compliance”, through the availability of smoking areas, “setting rules” and “posting instructions”, and “extending guardianship”, through the use of campaign ambassadors.

Details

Health Education, vol. 112 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2009

Tim Prenzler

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of Strike Force Piccadilly, a New South Wales Police initiative to address an upsurge in ram raids targeting automatic…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of Strike Force Piccadilly, a New South Wales Police initiative to address an upsurge in ram raids targeting automatic teller machines (ATMs). Also, the aim is to understand the apparent success of the project in terms of a public‐private partnership, involving primarily police and the retail and banking sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

The New South Wales Police provided data showing the numbers of attempts and successful ATM ram raids on a monthly basis from August 2005 to April 2008. The preventive interventions are set against these data in a time series format. The paper is limited to within‐group data, with consideration of displacement effects by reference to recorded crime data and police intelligence. Interviews about the project process are also conducted with three key participants: the police manager leading the project (public sector), the security manager of a major retail shopping centre chain (private sector) and the commercial security operations manager of a major bank (private sector).

Findings

The increase in ATM ram raids is halted, and the number is reduced from 69 in the 12 months before the intervention to 19 in the final 12 months of the post‐intervention period – a 72 per cent reduction. For the same periods, successful raids are reduced from 30 down to two – a 93 per cent reduction. The research indicates that the main influences on the decrease are: the creation of a police priority alarm response system and the installation of situational prevention measures, including special bollards. The larger context for success is the partnership formed between police and industry. The interventions are developed through consultation, co‐operative research and commitment from all parties.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the potential significant crime prevention benefits of public‐private partnerships, especially when they are well organised and include research and information sharing. Additionally, the findings challenge the often pessimistic literature about police response times by demonstrating how rapid response can be highly effective in certain circumstances.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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