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UK fails corruption health check

A report published today by Transparency International UK reveals that corruption is a much greater problem in the UK than recognised and that there is an inadequate response to its growing threat. More than half of the public believe that UK corruption is getting worse.

The 3-volume report – the most extensive study into UK corruption ever undertaken - examines 23 sectors and concludes that key institutions are refusing to confront the problem.

Growing threat

The findings show that the tentacles of organised crime increasingly extend to sectors such as prisons and sport where criminal activity and corruption are inextricably linked, affecting businesses, communities, the economy, and society’s most vulnerable groups. The prison system is one of four areas singled out for concern, along with political parties, parliament, and sport;

  • There are an estimated 1000 corrupt prison officers working in the UK;
  • This facilitates organised crime to take place within and outside of the prison;
  • The prison service has reduced its capacity to monitor and investigate the problem.

Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK said “The research represents a ‘corruption health-check’ for the UK, in which the diagnosis is ‘growing threat, inadequate response’. Disturbingly, there is complacency and a lack of knowledge of the extent of the problem in key sectors. Some of our most trusted institutions are vulnerable, and there are inadequate procedures to detect and prevent corruption.

“My hope is that these findings, and our recommendations, will serve as a wake-up call to society and that the UK will seize this opportunity to adopt robust, coherent and coordinated policies to counter the growing threat of corruption.”

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