Parking tickets and police reform: an analysis of the development and impact of police scandals

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Title: Parking tickets and police reform: an analysis of the development and impact of police scandals
Authors: Mulcahy, Aogán
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Date: 28-Nov-2019
Online since: 2020-08-07T15:27:52Z
Abstract: While police scandals are often assumed to arise from major forms of misconduct, here I argue that minor or banal events can also precipitate scandals and mobilise significant reform initiatives. My argument is based on a case-study analysis of two scandals surrounding allegations of misconduct in relation to road traffic policing in Ireland. The first case involved allegations that ‘fixed charges notices’ (issued for various driving offences) were cancelled inappropriately. The second case emerged from disclosures surrounding the vast over-counting of the number of roadside breath-tests conducted by police officers. Although these events may appear banal at first glance, they had an enormous effect on the policing landscape. Drawing on analysis of the numerous inquiries and investigations into these events, I suggest that the impact of scandal is amplified when two factors are present. First, the scandal surrounding an issue grows when it serves as a catalyst, adding to the momentum of other concerns. Second, a scandal is also magnified when it raises systemic concerns that extend beyond any individual misconduct and call into question basic features of organisational competence and legitimacy.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Journal: Policing and Society
Copyright (published version): 2019 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: ScandalPolice reformAn Garda SíochánaRoad traffic policingWhistleblowers
DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2019.1696799
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 1043-9463
Appears in Collections:Sociology Research Collection

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