The long arm of the law: an examination of the utility of police post-separation discipline processes.
Date of this Version
In Australia, a number of police services have extended or are considering extending the reach of discipline sanctions to officers who have left the employ of a service. The purpose of such processes is to enable disciplinary action to be taken against former police officers who commit serious breaches of discipline or misconduct and resign, retire or otherwise cease employment prior to the matter being finalised. There has been little examination of the effectiveness of such processes or the use of such. The issues that led to the implementation of postseparation processes in the Australian context are discussed. This article examines the usage rates of post-separation processes and also the organisational responses of Australian police services to such. The findings revealed that there has been little use of post-separation discipline processes in Australian Police Services. The article discusses the utility of prosecuting officers who have left employment in terms of the costs of preparing and pursuing these matters and the outcomes achieved by such actions. A comparative analysis of the policy approach of police services in Australia determined that it is unlikely that post-separation processes will emerge as an effective tool to combat misconduct and corruption.
This document has been peer reviewed.