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Viche 2014 12

12, 2014

Ensuring of Security of the Law Enforcement Officers Exposed to Corruption Attacks

Issues regarding the formation of a mechanism for ensuring the personal security of law enforcement officers exposed to corruption attacks are explored. The key reasons for the usage of official positions by law enforcement officers for their personal benefit or the benefit of other people are provided. The primary methods for avoiding such situations in Ukraine are proposed.
Keywords: corruption, personal security, corruption attack, corruption influence, prevention of corruption offenses

The Constitution has declared Ukraine to be a sovereign and independent, democratic, social state governed by the rule of law (Article 1) [1]. A person, their life and health, honour and dignity, integrity and security are recognized as the highest social values (Article 3) [1].

These provisions are of crucial importance to the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine acting not only as subjects to ensure the security of society and its individual members, but also as objects of this practice. As is with all citizens of Ukraine, law enforcement officers have a constitutional right to the preservation and protection of their life and health while both discharging their duties and acting in everyday situations.

Under modern conditions of state development, the issues regarding the reformation of the law enforcement system is kept up to date. So, the state of the personal security of law enforcement officers which partly depends on such a phenomenon as corruption is one of the important indicators of its effectiveness.

Corruption, corruption manifestations and phenomena are essentially categories of social life. Of course, they are not new to our state but in recent years such problems have become particularly acute. Considering law enforcement activities one can unambiguously state that these negative factors inter alia affect the personal security of law enforcement officers. The preconditions of this phenomenon arising within the law enforcement system can be specified as follows: the desire of a person to avoid responsibility for committed misconduct by all means; a low level of legal consciousness, disregard of the briber for legal requirements and their conviction of the expediency of paying bribes; the unreasonable credulity of a person and their propensity to act on the advice of the others; the belief that even legitimate demands cannot be satisfied in a lawful manner; the insufficient funding of the work activities of law enforcement officers; and others.

Typical reasons for corruption on the part of law enforcement officers include: self­interest and efforts to obtain additional benefits by using their official powers; unjustified meekness of nature, the inability to demonstrate integrity or to deny the illegal requests of other people; conformity, propensity for acting under the influence of others, avoidance of taking independent decisions; urgent need for costs due to a coincidence of complex personal (family) circumstances. Among this number of determinants, the insufficient financial support of law enforcement officers can be named as the primary one.

Legal theorist Z. Kisil believes that corruption is a phenomenon which harms both the development of the entire law enforcement system and the professionalism of every law enforcement officer. Under the conditions when this negative phenomenon is spreading out within the above­mentioned sphere, on one hand, society faces social tensions and the distrust of citizens to the whole law enforcement system, and, on the other hand, law enforcement officers become subject to professional deformation.

According to the Law of Ukraine On Principles of Preventing and Counteracting Corruption [2], corruption is the use of official powers conferred to a person (their list is contained in Part 1 of Article 4 of the Law) and the opportunities emanating thereof in order to obtain illegal benefit or accept the promise/offer of such benefit for themselves or other people; or, accordingly, the promise/offer or extension of illegal benefit to the person (specified in Part 1 of Article 4 of the Law) or, upon the latters request, to other physical persons or legal entities with the aim at disposing this person to the unlawful use of their official powers and the opportunities emanating thereof.

In its turn, in accordance with the above­mentioned Law, illegal benefit is the monetary funds or other assets, advantages, privileges, services, intangible assets that are promised, offered, given or received for free or which is lower than the minimum market price without appropriate legitimate grounds.

In other words, in order to improve their material conditions, law enforcement officers use their positions for personal benefit or the benefit of other people and, as a result, receive rewards in the form of monetary funds, services or gifts, etc. More often than not, most employees having low wages act so.

As O. Sosnin stipulates in his article The Need for Global Experience in Counteracting Corruption in the National Practice, international studies have proven that all states having a high level of corruption in their societies belong to the category of countries with low incomes for citizens. Therefore, one can trace the inversely proportional relationship between the amount of total income of the population and the level of their corruption perception. Consequently, any effort to fight corruption would be ineffective and always doomed to failure in the absence of measures aimed at the economic development of a country and an increase of the so­called middle class within the total amount of the population.

The settlement of issues concerning morality, ethical education and the quality of the vocational training of civil and municipal servants should be considered as a basis for measures to promote adhering to high moral and ethical principles by officials, as that affects the efficiency of their official activities [Sosnin, 2014: 16­17].

Thus, law enforcement officers are obliged to comply with legislative rules and regulations to ensure their personal security from corruption encroachments in spite of their own interests or material needs and the psychological impacts of their colleagues. In the case when an employee violates the requirements of the current legislation of Ukraine and irresponsibly executes their duties, he/she shall be brought to disciplinary, administrative and criminal responsibility resulting in their dismissal, amercement or imprisonment.

In this context, the requirements for civil servants are stipulated in the Order of the General Department of the Public Service of Ukraine 214 On Approval of the General Rules of Conduct of the Civil Servants of 4 August 2010. Section 4 of the document prescribes that a civil servant is obliged to persistently comply with the restrictions and prohibitions foreseen by the anti­corruption legislation and the Law of Ukraine On Civil Service, and to avoid actions that could be considered as grounds for suspecting them of maintaining corruption. His/her conduct should demonstrate that a civil servant abhors any corruption manifestations, rejects offers of illegal services, clearly separates their service and private life, and informs the head of their structural unit about the slightest sign of corruptive conduct.

A civil servant is forbidden to receive gifts from physical persons or legal entities that could be given directly or through other people:

for the decisions, actions or inactions that are taken or carried out in their interests directly by this civil servant or by the other officials and bodies which obtain his/her assistance;

if a person who gives the gift is a subordinate of such a civil servant;

in other cases, if this civil servant receives a gift on grounds relating to their official position.

If a civil servant found the gift in their office premises or got it in another way, he/she must immediately notify their direct supervisor thereof in written form.

The detection of a gift is formalized by a formal note taken in an arbitrary manner that indicates features of the gift and circumstances under which it was found. The formal note is signed by a civil servant who detected the gift, their direct supervisor, and the person held responsible for preventing corruption manifestations within the state authority [3].

Corruption should be considered not only as an object of legal study, but also as a psychological and moral phenomenon, as it represents not only certain actions, but also a system of negative attitudes, beliefs, prescriptions, and ways of thinking that determine the lifestyle of a law enforcement officer. Corruption is not exclusively bribes, abuse of official position and veiled kinds of suborning bureaucrats. This is a phenomenon that can also be called a personal disease of civil servants requiring constant preventive measures.

This negative phenomenon poses a threat to the professional security of law enforcement officers, as well as to the reputation of law enforcement bodies. Corruption might be eradicated in cases when law enforcement officers have high moral qualities, self­esteem and are incorruptible.

Such requirements are foreseen while preparing employees for working in the law enforcement sphere. In particular, they include: fidelity to high principles and the state; priority of public interests over individual private ones; constant readiness to defend the Constitution and laws of Ukraine; adherence to the oath of allegiance to the state and the people of Ukraine and unconditional performance of official duties; correct communication with citizens and colleagues; creation of a positive image of the civil servants of law enforcement bodies; prevention of abuses of official position and satisfaction of mercenary or other personal interests; deliberateness of expressed judgments and administrative decisions.

Misconduct that disgraces the honour and dignity of a civil servant and prevents them from further discharge of their official duties may be recognized as: the action or inaction which is not considered as a crime but is not compatible with the high rank of a civil servant by its nature; gross violation of generally accepted norms and rules of conduct that impairs the authority of the civil service; intentional violations of the law; dishonesty that has significant adverse effects; systematic actions or inaction that indicate intentional violations of the oath taken by a civil servant [Soboliev, 2007].

Under the current conditions of continuous performance of difficult tasks faced by law enforcement officers, it is hard to maintain a sufficient level of self­control and self­confidence, to think of official ethics and, at the same time, to assess risks arising in dangerous situations and to carry out the search for the most optimal actions. This is preconditioned by the peculiarities of the activities of law enforcement officers who perform them in the context of high emotional intensity, extremity, and stress. Thereupon, law enforcement officers are obliged to avoid any contentions and prevent any conflicts that may pose a threat to their own life and health by all possible means.

As prescribed in the recommendations providing for the physical security of the employees of law enforcement bodies, a lot of troubles can always be avoided by using of the trite three nos principle: no impatience, no provocation, no self­display. Taking into account this fact, law enforcement officers are recommended: to observe the accepted stereotypes of conduct; not to provoke contentions in their everyday life; not to demonstrate extra knowledge, extensive contacts and business skills; not to demonstrate audacity and conduct that would cause warnings (excessive curiosity, arrogance, obtrusion of their own opinions) or imperception (indelicacy, rudeness) of the people around them; to be straight and courteous to everybody; not to discuss official and professional problems even with their hostages to fortune (a wife, friends, relatives, etc.); not to forget alertness (what for and why) in cases when strangers try getting closer to them (incidental acquaintance, various courtesies, etc.); to interpret proposals of selfless services (favourable acquaintance, money, help, mediation in purchases, etc.) with some caution and suspicion; not to reveal areas (zones) of their vulnerability (a wife, kids, life habits), as improper awareness would allow other people to put pressure on or blackmail them; not to show their weaknesses (hobbies, excessive craving for alcohol, money, negative traits) which could be used against them in future; to be scrupulous and cautious regarding promises if their redemption requires using their official positions.

What grounds for conscientious service in law enforcement bodies do employees have? By knowing what law enforcement officers conduct is guided by, what induces their dynamic activities, and what grounds underlie their actions, one can develop, implement and apply effective methods regarding their work motivation management.

Motivation is a relatively stable system of incentives that determine the conduct of a particular employee. These incentives include factors that influence the attitude of a person to their official activities (organization of work, wages, rewards, etc.). Motives are factors that directly influence the essence of work (e.g., satisfaction with the creative, innovative nature of the work; a sense of respect of the people around; recognition of the results of the work; possibilities for professional advancement; job prestige, etc.) [Soboliev, 2007]. Professional motivation of law enforcement officers is their desire to satisfy their needs through service and working practices regarding the fulfillment of their law enforcement and security tasks and functions [Levchenko, 2008].

The motivation system designates a set of interrelated activities that encourage an individual employee or the staff as a whole to achieve individual and common goals of the units activity. By determining work motives, one can partially answer the questions on the grounds for the good or bad work of law enforcement officers, their full or partial working flat out, more or less satisfaction with their job or even its absence.

Administration specialists distinguish five relatively independent areas to improve professional motivation of the employees: 1) financial incitement; 2) advanced training; 3) improvement of the labour organization; 4) engagement of the staff into the process of administration; 5) use of non­cash (moral) incentives. However, the law enforcement system is characterized by a specific working environment and has its distinctive organization of the work process. Therefore, if it is possible, one should adapt the known and develop and implement specific (i.e., illustrative of the law enforcement system) methods to influence the labour motivation [Levchenko, 2008].

Thus, the study of the motivational conduct of law enforcement officers allows for detecting and promptly removing the drawbacks which arise while enhancing their professional activities, as well as making efforts for improving the motivation areas having such needs. There were no appropriate all­Ukrainian sociological studies conducted with due account for specific activities of the various services and differences between the state regions. But it is all for nothing, since the process of the motivation management of law enforcement officers aims at elaborating an individual approach to the usage of incentive measures based on values that are currently important to employees.

So, successful professional activities of law enforcement officers are possible under many conditions. One of the most important conditions is confidence in the reliable protection of their rights, freedoms, interests and responsibilities by the state which should consider them both as citizens and people exercising functions of the state authority staff. The absence of moral satisfaction with the content of work and confidence in legal and social protection; dissatisfaction with labour organization, conditions and payments have become the main reasons for the current drift of skilled workers from the apparatus of law enforcement bodies. In fact, the organization has a number of duties to its employees which are not properly performed nowadays. The point is not only and not so much in the low wages or delays in their payments but in the nature and content of the work, ensuring legal and social protection, providing possibilities for improving professional skills, and prospects of career development. It is indisputable to conclude that the more attractive for employees (in terms of their needs and satisfaction of their interests) the organization is, the more opportunities for its effective functioning exist.

 

References

1. 28 1996 . [The Constitution of Ukraine, 28 June 1996] (1996), ³ , 30, p. 141.

2. 䳿 . 3206­6 7 2011 . [On Principles of Preventing and Counteracting Corruption. The Law of Ukraine 3206­6, 7 April 2011], <http: //zakon2.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/3206­17>

3. . 214 4 2010 . [On Approval of the General Rules of Conduct of the Public Servants. The Order of the General Department of the Public Service of Ukraine 214, 4 August 2010], <http://zakon4.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/z1089­10>

4. Soboliev V., Soboliev O. (2007) [Management of personnel in the internal affairs bodies]. : .

5. Sosnin . (2014) [The need for global experience in counteracting corruption in the national practice], ³ 1­2: 16­18.

6. , : [State of protection of rights, fundamental freedoms and social security of employees of the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine: Monograph] (2008), Levchenko K. (ed.). : .

Anatoly SUBBOT