Openness benefits justice just like the dark and silence benefits corruption. At the heart of policing is the term of accountability which is more than the ability to justify operational decisions to decision makers in public. As AAAPPP is targeting corruption and bad faith in the decision making processes of police forces, the most efficient way to achieve that purpose is to engage the power of words. Much future wrongdoing can be avoided by the highlighting the previous cases and their outcomes. When there is widespread understanding of the repercussions, the wrong will find a lesser and lesser ‘habitat’ to exist in police forces. The primary ‘habitat’ of the wrongdoing / misconduct is in the minds of the police officers, whose ‘army’ in the UK consists of 130,000 people. Each officer has their own personal situations, emotional state and depth of understanding of ethics. Addressing these minds is much more efficient than actual fighting wrongdoing itself, which, of course, remains a bright purpose by itself as well.
At the same time, working with the power of words is dealing with the big powers, which must be done wisely and with proper diligence. Gradualness and conservatism in applying the power of publicity is the fundamental principle of AAAPPP in dealing with is the principle of openness. Three main stages will be recognized as part of that approach by AAAPPP, which are:
i) The desire to resolve every issue in a proper way without publicity and in accordance with proper guidelines, the Code of Ethics and National Decisions Model.
ii) An anonymized publication of the results of any successfully solved case; OR
iii) A non-anonymized publication of any unresolved case in which a police force had refused to act in accordance with the Code of Ethics and caused AAAPPP to unfold the whole arsenal of its instruments in pursuing the justice.
The third stage is ‘the last resort’ which will be activated only when all the rest options are exhausted.
2. Make the system work
AAAPPP recognizes that the UK’s legislation has a very well thought out system of safeguards, which is being continuously developed. The main risk to any developed system of safeguards is failures, incompetence and bad faith by decision makers exercising their powers when implementing those safeguards. AAAPPP is not a political organization, but it will focus on the enforcement of the legislation’s safeguards being a powerful instrument for members of civil society in the UK. Only by maintaining of a high watermark on the side of decision makers can we allow legislation to work with full power and to its deepest purposes. On the other hand, the lack of the high standards of integrity demanded of decision makers will always undermine any efforts by the public of enforcing justice in the public interest. In this case, the strength of a team is only equal to the strength of the weakest player.
One of the challenges which the UK system of justice has is that those operational decision makers in police forces who are entitled to ‘rule the game’ today, due to the accumulated years of work, started their careers when the perception of standards were much different – 20 or even 30 years ago. Pursuing and reminding these decision makers of the modern way of perception of those standards for those ‘stuck in the past’ is one of the goals of AAAPPP.
3. Justice for all
One of the main manifestation of bad faith in the work of police forces is considered by AAAPPP to be the existence of a double standard where members of police forces are served with double-faced approach aimed to bend the practice from what is being stated by the forces publicly. It is one thing to announce publicly that the forces are not tolerant of corruption, it is another thing to pursue that principle with proper diligence in practice.
AAAPPP is not a ‘punishment organization’ aimed at hurting police forces as much as possible, but it will always defend the rights of those affected by injustice and fight for appropriate financial compensations for those who are served unfairly and with abuse of power of the state.
4. Powerful and coordinated response
Police forces are well established, financed and coordinated internally. Those affected by abuse of power are, in most cases, left one-on-one when opposing powerful malice and corruption, having neither knowledge of their rights nor resources and, often, resilience to stand for their rights. This situation gives birth to a perception of certain a level of impunity for those police officers who know how the system works and, even worse – may have ‘the right connections’ and ‘certain respect from the right people’.
Such state of things is a lucrative precursor for the abuse of power to happen. With an understanding and a belief of impunity gives birth to the wrongdoing which otherwise could be avoided. The corruption starts in the minds of police officers when they feel lack of scrutiny leading to a lack of accountability and the risks of wrongful conduct. Once started, it will always develop into a vicious cycle that opposes the public interest.
AAAPPP will pursue justice through the principle of openness and with gradualness but without a desire to cause pressure on police forces just for the sake of it