Crime, poverty and police corruption: a review of issues
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Original versionAnnual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE). World Bank/National Treasury, Cape Town, South Africa, 9-11 June 2008
Crime and the fear of being hit by crime and small-scale violence are key economic and social problems in most developing countries, not least felt strongly by the poor. Extensive corruption in the police, experienced or perceived, contributes seriously to the problem. A key question raised in the paper is: How is police corruption linked to the wider processes of development - including crime, violence and poverty? The paper examines (i) how and why corruption may arise in the daily routines of the police and whether it may have impacts on crime rates; (ii) empirical indications of whether the police may be more corrupt than other groups of public officials; (iii) how and why police corruption may vary across countries; and (iv) the wider impacts of police corruption on development.