What Are Some Types of Police Corruption?

The major types of corruption include accepting gratuities or bribes, theft and burglary, internal corruption, and brutality, according to an outline of "The Police in America" published on the McGraw Hill Learning Center website. Corruption general arises as a combined result of misuse of authority and personal gain, and it is itself only one type of police misconduct.

Accepting gratuities is the most common form of police corruption, and it can involve simple activities such as accepting free meals or discounts, McGraw Hill Learning Center explains. Not all police forces ban gratuities, as some instances merely constitute a thank-you from citizens and businesses. However, givers may expect police to return the favor by offering preferential treatment such as additional local patrols. Moreover, gratuities can act as a gateway to more serious forms of corruption and can create a sense of entitlement amongst officers, leading them to demand such treatment in the future.

Bribes can include irregular as well as systematic payoffs, and they may result in the police returning favors by offering personal protection, feigning forgotten testimonies, destroying evidence or revealing information about prosecutors' cases, the McGraw Hill Learning Center notes. Theft and burglary can take the form of robbing the vulnerable, such as inebriated persons, but can also include theft of evidence from police premises and crime scenes. In extremely corrupt environments, internal corruption can involve bribes for promotions and preferable assignments. Finally, brutality normally involves violence against others, either as an escalation of targeting known criminals or against law-abiding citizens.