“La Loi n’est pas Appliquée de Façon Equitable”: a thematic analysis of police complaints in Quebec amidst an era of corruption scandals

New, Elizabeth (2015) “La Loi n’est pas Appliquée de Façon Equitable”: a thematic analysis of police complaints in Quebec amidst an era of corruption scandals. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The aim of this dissertation is to explore the nature of police complaints in Quebec, where provincial-level corruption scandals have plagued the political sphere for the last decade. The research at hand will examine police complaints submitted to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, a public sector entity that handles complaints pertaining to the conduct of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. Previous research is reviewed pertaining to the research setting and various aspects of police complaints, including theory, and will inform the research at hand. While perceptions and trust towards police institutions are often the subject of research, little existing research has attempted to draw conclusions pertaining to police misconduct via the analysis of complaints, and no such research has been performed in the province of Quebec.
    A thematic analysis of all complaints received by the Commission pertaining to Quebec between 2010 and 2013 (n=53) was performed for the purpose of this research. Conclusions from the analysis provide support for various theories relating to police corruption; namely the ‘Slippery Slope’ theory and that of organizational corruption. Most (72%) complaints presented in the data contained at least one allegation of ‘grave misconduct’, conduct which potentially caused significant negative effects on the well-being of the complainant(s). Few setting-specific trends were identified from the data.
    The accountability of police is of utmost importance because of the unique and coercive power bestowed unto them. While the situation in many developing states is much worse than that of Quebec, with the content of police complaints from such states being ripe with instances extreme violence and police brutality, it is concluded that police misbehavior in Quebec remains a serious issue that remains to be adequately addressed by policy makers. This research may be useful in informing police decisions and to specify what is required of subsequent research in the field.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 10:22
    Last Modified: 22 Feb 2016 10:22
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/19838

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