The long arm of the law: An examination of the utility of police post-separation discipline processes

Terrence Goldsworthy, Sara Trainor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In Australia, a number of police services haveextended or are considering extending the reachof discipline sanctions to officers who have left theemploy of a service. The purpose of such processesis to enable disciplinary action to be taken againstformer police officers who commit serious breachesof discipline or misconduct and resign, retire or otherwisecease employment prior to the matter beingfinalised. There has been little examination of theeffectiveness of such processes or the use of such.The issues that led to the implementation of postseparationprocesses in the Australian context arediscussed. This article examines the usage rates ofpost-separation processes and also the organisationalresponses of Australian police services to such. Thefindings revealed that there has been little use ofpost-separation discipline processes in AustralianPolice Services. The article discusses the utility ofprosecuting officers who have left employment interms of the costs of preparing and pursuing thesematters and the outcomes achieved by such actions. Acomparative analysis of the policy approach of policeservices in Australia determined that it is unlikelythat post-separation processes will emerge as an effectivetool to combat misconduct and corruption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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