Police Sexual Misconduct Essay

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Police sexual misconduct is a significant problem faced by police forces and citizens all over the world. Because sexual misconduct is often unreported, it is difficult to know just how many cases there have been, though studies show that they may be fairly common. Victims of these crimes often feel that they have no one to call for help, especially if the perpetrator is a police officer. Payne, defines police sexual misconduct as such: Any behavior by a police officer, whereby an officer takes advantage of his or her unique position in law enforcement to misuse his or her authority and power to commit a sexually violent act or to initiate or respond to some sexually motivated cue for the purpose of personal gratification. This behavior…show more content…
These include serious criminal incidents such as sexual assault (any non-consensual sexual touching of a person), sexual shakedowns (ignoring crimes in exchange for sexual favors), sex with juveniles, and rape, as well as less serious and non-criminal incidents such as unnecessary callbacks or making traffic stops just to get a better look at an attractive individual. Police officers who were interviewed reported that non-criminal acts were much more common than criminal acts, with each officer knowing on average 39 that happen each year. In a study of several police chiefs’ views on sexual misconduct, the results showed that the chiefs do believe sexual misconduct is a problem, but they believe the less serious, non-criminal incidents are more common. They were all very hesitant to discuss the topic of sexual misconduct, and had to be pressed in order to give examples of serious misconduct. Most of the chiefs believed that about 18.6% of officers are guilty of sexual misconduct, while 31.8% of officers are reported to be guilty by the other officers on the police force. This discrepancy shows us that many of the police chiefs think sexual misconduct is not as widespread as it actually is, probably because of the police chiefs’ limited exposure to the day-to-day activities of most police department

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