In the view of the proven prevalence of corruption outlined in this report it is important for the modern police service to have in place a plan to prevent corruption. Currently the Western Australian police service doesn't have such a plan but on the recommendations of this inquiry one should be introduced by the start of the next financial year. In New South Wales Wood recommended ten key reform areas in an attempt to create a corruption resistant police service.
These ten key areas are going to be taken into account when the Western Australian plan is formulated. The inquiry came to recommend that a multi tiered approach was required that targeted the entire police service including specific subgroups, this recommendation will no doubt be in the corruption prevention plan (Kennedy, 2004). The issues that were raised in this report have been varied and general. The areas were categorised by reference to issues that have known or have apparent connections to criminal conduct (Kennedy, 2004).
The aim of creating corruption resistance within the Western Australian police service involves three main areas; improving the culture of the organisation, enhancing the leadership and management and implementing and applying corruption prevention strategies. Although corruption prevention is the main goal of these three areas they also focus on the basis of building a sound management structure which results in a sound organisation (Kennedy, 2004). Some specific recommendations affect the individual officer more than the service as a whole but as a reform strategy help to give the community a better image of the police service.
These include integrity and alcohol testing which affect the rights of the individual but are warranted in the interests of the community and rest of the service as their image can be tarnished by the actions of a few (Kennedy, 2004). The inquiry tabled various key reform areas that would assist the Western Australian police service become a leader in policing within the country. These reforms were as follows; the process of recruiting needs to be changed in order to make sure that the right people are being employed. The recommendations were that entry levels be increased as a means of attracting a more diligent applicant.
According to the inquiry the changes could include, increasing the minimum age to twenty one, make the minimum education level year twelve and raise the level of fitness required (Kennedy, 2004). The next recommendation tabled by this inquiry was the introduction of more civilians into police stations to take care of paperwork and other tasks to free up as many officers as possible for operational duties. Secondly, develop a greater union between sworn and unsworn members by creating better working conditions and giving similar pay for similar work (Kennedy, 2004).
The royal commission recommended that the Western Australian police service incorporate lateral entry of both civilian and police staff as a means of attracting high quality individuals into the organisation. This means that the best person for the job will ultimately be in that job (Kennedy, 2004). The education and training of police officers was another outcome of the commission, meaning that with more education on the new strategies of corruption prevention the better the service is prepared.
The changes recommended were, the attainment of tertiary qualifications by officers be encouraged and assistance schemes be developed, the delivery of educational and training programs to utilise mixed modes of delivery to best cater for those police performing shift work, police trainers should attain the relevant qualifications prior to their commencement as a trainer and finally there needs to be a requirement for compulsory continued education for all staff (Kennedy, 2004).
Another key reform area was in the managerial side of the police service where the commission states that the service needs to develop managers and leaders who are capable of bringing the service into a new era of professionalism and into new relationships.
The key areas that needed attention in this area are; the leadership within the police service needs to be strengthened with the creation of an additional deputy commissioner's position tasked with strategic management and reform implementation, there be instituted a system of accountability in managers and supervisors for failure to adhere to or implement strategies, or fail to adequately supervise officers who are suspected of corrupt conduct (Kennedy, 2004).
The royal commission into the Western Australian police service found that there has been some corrupt and criminal conduct over the years and that the way the service has been run is partly to blame. The results of the commission were that with the implementation of new reforms and strategies outlined in the report the police service will be able to prevent corruption from occurring in the future (Kennedy, 2004).
With the results of the royal commission it is clear that the police service in Western Australia needed to change in order to become more efficient in both preventing corruption and satisfying the community with the work that they do. Through thorough investigation commissioner Kennedy came to the conclusion that the police service needed to implement some structural changes so as to bring about permanent changes in the organisation that would in turn lead to smoother operations (Kennedy, 2004).
With some of the recommendations already being implemented by the police service it is clear that the calls for change have not fallen on deaf ears. In conclusion, the royal commission into the Western Australian police service showed the community that although there was some corruption evident the amount of perpetrators were few. However, the report also showed that the running of the police service was not up to the same standard as other states but with detailed recommendations on how to rectify the problem over time this should be overcome.