A question of scandal? The police and the phone-hacking business
journal contributionposted on 11.07.2017, 09:14 by Rob C. Mawby
Scandals have featured consistently in the development and operation of public policing in England and Wales. However, criminologists have rarely explored scandal as a concept or its attempted management by criminal justice organizations. This article contributes to the filling of this gap with the intention of initiating debate on the utility of scandal as a conceptual tool for the analysis of policing and criminal justice. It identifies the core components of a scandal using an analytical framework informed by scandal research undertaken across disciplinary areas. Taking a case study approach, this framework is applied to the Leveson Inquiry which explored a combination of potentially scandalous episodes within the overarching scandal of phone-hacking. The article concludes that phone-hacking was a scandal at macro and micro levels under this framework yet damage to the reputation of the police was mitigated through active impression management and enduring characteristics of the police image.