Press release 16th Nov 2016

Fear of consequences preventing Brits from reporting corruption

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16th November 2016, London – Over 40% of UK citizens think people are too scared of the consequences to report corruption when they experience it, according to a new survey from Transparency International (TI).

TI’s Global Corruption Barometer also found that 1 in 6 UK respondents thought that corruption isn’t reported because the authorities wouldn’t do anything or it wouldn’t make a difference.

The results also showed concern about how corruption is being tackled in the UK with:

  • 57% thinking the UK was performing ‘fairly badly’ or ‘very badly’ when it came to fighting corruption within government
  • 45% thinking corruption in the UK had risen ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’ in the past year

Steve Goodrich, Senior Research Officer, Transparency International UK, said:

“These results paint a damning picture. Whilst corruption is perceived to be on the rise there is a widespread feeling that people aren’t coming forward because they’re worried about what might happen to them. Our research has found that whistleblowing is one of the most effective ways of unearthing corruption, so it’s imperative the UK Government does more to protect those who can call it out.”

Cathy James, Chief Executive, OBE Public Concern at Work, said:

“It is worrying that 40% of people are scared to speak up against corruption but this mirrors findings in Our Time for Change report which highlights the personal cost remains high for whistleblowers. Urgent legal and cultural change is needed in the UK. We need to combat the challenge of how to encourage and celebrate whistleblowers and the broader acceptance and protection of whistleblowing.''

Across Europe and Central Asia the survey found that corruption is a key issue for many citizens with one in three highlighting corruption as one of the biggest problems in their country. Nearly a third of citizens across the region believe that their government officials and lawmakers are highly corrupt and a majority of people say their governments are not doing enough to stop corruption. Yet two out of five who’ve blown the whistle on corruption said they have faced retaliation.

Jose Ugaz, Global Chair Transparency International said:

“Corruption is a significant problem all across the Europe and Central Asia region. In EU countries many citizens see how the wealthy and those in government distort the system to their advantage. Governments are simply not doing enough to tackle corruption because individuals at the top are benefiting. To end this deeply troubling relationship between wealth, power and corruption, governments must require higher levels of transparency, including around who owns and controls companies through public beneficial ownership registries.” 


Dominic Kavakeb
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020 3096 7695
079 6456 0340