The Politics of Police Reform: Ten years after the Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service

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Abstract
In 1997, the Wood Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service concluded that a state of `systemic and entrenched corruption' existed in the police organization. Major reforms were introduced in the wake of the Commission, including the appointment of a new Police Commissioner, organizational restructuring, a complete revamp of recruit education, as well as increased monitoring and accountability. The magnitude and scope of the Commission's reform programme was bold and ambitious by international standards. This article takes stock of the impact of the Commission 10 years after the publication of its Final Report. Drawing on interviews with key informants, official reports and other documentary sources, the article analyses the activities of the Commission, the intentions of its recommendations and the implementation and consequences of reform. The lessons of the NSW experience are salutary not only for understanding the vagaries of police reform, they also demonstrate the complex relationship between police organizations and the volatile political environments in which they increasingly need to operate.
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Chan, Janet
Dixon, David
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Publication Year
2007
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Journal Article
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