Women linked to organised crime may be able to infiltrate Australia’s police ranks after a push for gender equality, a new report suggests.
The investigation by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity found that women are ‘no less likely than men to engage in corruption,’ but the belief they are could make workplaces more vulnerable.
It comes just weeks after the Australian Federal Police continued their push for more female officers, as they aim for a ’50/50 representation of men and women’.
Women linked to organised crime may be able to infiltrate Australia’s police ranks after a push for gender equality, a new report suggests (stock image)
The paper, titled ‘Corruption and the changing opportunities for women in law enforcement’, refutes previous studies findings that a ‘stereotype of feminine morality and ethics’ exists.
Instead, it claims the assumption that women are a lower corruption risk – based only on gender – creates the potential for ‘serious misconduct or corruption’.
Among those links that can go undetected are those to organised crime, with deliberate targeting said to occur at both state and federal levels.
‘Increased female representation in law enforcement offers new opportunities for organised crime groups,’ the report states.
‘If there is a significant demographic shift, in both equal and proportional representation of women in law enforcement, there is little to suggest that female officers will be less susceptible to corrupt activity than their male colleagues.’
‘Assumptions about gender stereotypes as proof of higher ethical standards amongst women may ultimately be more harmful than beneficial to gender equity goals.’
The investigation by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity found women are ‘no less likely than men to engage in corruption,’ but the belief they are could make workplaces more vulnerable (stock image)
It comes as the AFP continue their push for more female officers, with a promotion for the ‘female recruitment round’ on social media stating they want to reach a ’50/50 representation’
However motivations for undertaking such corruption varied, from financial gain to social capital in the form of career progression.
Case studies made in the report also showed that women who engaged in corrupt behaviour were more likely to receive lenient sanctions than their male counterparts.
While the women were considered ‘vulnerable’ and ‘exploited’ in the experiment, similar real-world examples resulted in young men being fired or receiving criminal charges.
‘During the case study exercises a greater consideration of mitigating circumstances occurred where the subject was female,’ the report said.
Case studies made in the report also showed that women who engaged in corrupt behaviour were more likely to receive lenient sanctions than their male counterparts (stock image)
The report’s findings come after the AFP continued their push to get ‘more women in their ranks’, opening a women’s only recruitment round until Christmas.
‘We’re looking for smart women. Agile women. Keen women. Women who want to take advantage of the unique opportunities we provide,’ a post on social media read.
The law enforcement agency argued they were not being sexist with the promotion, stating women currently comprise just 22 per cent of sworn police and 13.5 per cent of protective service officers.
An AFP spokesperson said the welcomed all research and information that ‘contributes to greater knowledge of corruption trends and changes.’
‘The AFP will consider this report and any information it provides that contributes to a strengthened integrity and anti-corruption regime within our organisation.’
Deliberate targeting of law enforcement by organised crime is said to occur at both state and federal levels, with the increased female representation offering new opportunities (stock image)