Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

10 Most Corrupt Police Forces in the World

Just about every country deals with corruption in one way or another, but some can’t even trust the people whose sole job is to protect them. All around the world, police forces have been plagued by deep-rooted corruption and criminal activity that have hurt society and endangered its citizens. Many policemen are underpaid and turn to corruption to make more money, but their selfish deeds have wreaked havoc on countries that desperately need help. Here are the 10 most corrupt police forces in the world:

  1. Haiti: Haiti is notorious for having one of the most corrupt police forces in the world. The Haitian police have negatively influenced society and Haitian culture with their unethical practices for quite awhile. In recent years, the Haitian National Police have violated various human rights and broken numerous laws, such as kidnapping, drug trafficking and police brutality. They have even resisted preventing or responding to gang-related violence. The lawlessness of the HNP appears to have died down slightly after the catastrophic earthquake in January 2010, but only time will tell if it will stay this way.
  2. Mexico: Mexico has one of the most corrupt police forces in the world and it continues to get worse every day. Crime is at an all-time high in Mexico City and border towns, but many police officers are only making it worse. Mexican police turn to corruption to find other means of money because the pay is low. Police will bribe criminals and extort tourists and have been known to give victims the option of “plata o plomo,” which means they can either accept a bribe or be killed. Mexican police also work with drug cartels to protect them and enforce drug trafficking. They often ignore reported crimes and do not investigate them, often imprisoning innocent citizens to cover up their dirty work.
  3. Kenya: Kenya has one of the most corrupt police forces in the world. According to a Transparency International repot, an astounding 92 percent of Kenyans ranked their police as the most corrupt and many of them have paid a bribe to Kenyan police within the last 12 months. Citizens are bribed into paying police for access to various services, such as Customs, healthcare, police, education, registration and permits, and even utility services. Kenyan police have even targeted Somali refugees who’ve crossed the border in desperation by raping, beating and blackmailing them.
  4. Uzbekistan: The Ministry of Interior (MOI) controls the police in Uzbekistan, which has a long history of corruption. The Uzbekistan police have been known to detain citizens to extort bribes and take away their human rights. Police brutality and bribery have also been committed by Uzbekistan law enforcement. Bribery is used in Uzbekistan for just about everything – traffic stops, civil lawsuits and even admission to leading educational institutions. With the rise of the bribery system, police protection does not come free to the people of Uzbekistan.
  5. Burma: Burma is another country with a troubled police force. Corruption among police is nothing out of the norm here. The Burma police force has been known to make victims pay for criminal investigations and often extort money from civilians. Burma is ruled by a highly authoritarian military regime, which has a direct hold on the police force and the rights of citizens.
  6. Iraq: The Iraqi police have had a long history of corruption and, despite funds and retraining efforts, they’ve managed to maintain their corruption. Iraqi police continue to be highly sectarian and participate in kidnappings, ransom payments and bribery. They have proven to be ineffective at controlling terrorism efforts and protecting civilians in the ways they need to be.
  7. Somalia: The Somali police force is one of the most corrupt agencies in the world. This war-torn country continues to face a great deal of adversity and civilians are at the greatest risk. Somali police have been known to be ineffective and crooked. Because they are underpaid, many Somali police officers steal, extort, bribe and harass individuals to get money. They’ve also had a history of police brutality and often ignore societal violence. In 2009, nearly 1,000 Somali police officers went missing after receiving extensive training funded by the German government. It is believed that the police officers escaped to join the Islamist militia Al-Shabaab.
  8. Afghanistan: Afghanistan has had one of the most corrupt police forces in the world, and it seems like it’s only getting worse with time. Graft has made it impossible for Afghan police to improve and effectively do their job, but corruption is witnessed within the police force, as well. Afghan police have been known to extort money and inflict violence on civilians at police checkpoints around the country. Police also bribe civilians into paying them for their release from prison or to avoid arrest. Although police corruption has gotten slightly better with international efforts and retraining, it continues to suffer at the whim of governmental corruption and power.
  9. Sudan: Sudan is one of the most corrupt countries for various reasons. Not only has their former president Oman Al-Bashir been indicted for war crimes and genocide, but this nation suffers from a corrupt police force. Sudanese police have been known to extort bribes from civilians in order to supplement their incomes. Police rarely file reports or investigate crimes, and often use violence and retaliation against people who complain about police abuses.
  10. Russia: Russian government is no stranger to corruption, especially within its police force. Within recent years, facts have surfaced about the corruption and crimes being committed by Russian police officers. Police brutality, extorting bribes and arresting innocent citizens are all crimes that have been committed among Russian police forces. In order to ensure monthly quotas and make ends meet, Russian police turn to corruption and bribery.