Britain's bribery boom: One in 20 has bribed a public official as corruption rises

 

Creeping levels of corruption in Britain have resulted in a worrying increase in the bribery of public officials, according to a major new report released on Tuesday.

One person in 20 claims to have paid a bribe in the past year to access public services ranging from health and education to justice. The figure, while well below the global average of more than one in four, is a five-fold increase on the one in 100 who paid bribes in 2010.

It is part of a growing problem, with two-thirds of Britons stating that levels of corruption in Britain have increased in the past two years. The findings are from Transparency International’s global corruption barometer – the biggest survey of its kind in the world, involving 114,000 people in 107 countries.

It reveals a crisis of trust in Britain’s political system, with 90 per cent of Britons believing the country to be run by “a few big entities acting in their own best interests”.

One in five of those who came into contact with people working in the judicial system resorted to paying a bribe. And more than one in 10 bribed officials involved in issuing permits and licences for registry and land services. Eight per cent of those in contact with the police reported paying a bribe, just ahead of the 7 per cent who bribed people in the education system. Four per cent paid bribes to tax and customs officials, slightly more than the 3 per cent who did so in their dealings with the medical profession and utility companies.

Britain has been “complacent about corruption,” and needs to “accept there is a problem in the UK rather than claiming it is only a problem overseas,” said Robert Barrington, executive director, Transparency International UK. “This means having someone specifically in charge of tackling corruption, drawing up a national action plan and making sure that all areas of the public sector have in place the kind of anti-corruption procedures that the government expects of the private sector,” he added.

In terms of the parts of British society most seen as corrupt, the media and politicians come out on top, at 69 per cent and 66 per cent.

They are followed by Parliament, business, civil servants, police and religious institutions. One in four view the judiciary as being corrupt. Charities, schools and doctors are cited by less than one in five people, with the military coming out best – at just 17 per cent.

Anas Sarwar MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on anti-corruption, said that politicians “have the responsibility to ensure that the systems we have in place are open, accountable and reflect the societies we seek to represent”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test