To examine the degree of homogeneity of police officers' evaluations of seriousness of police misconduct across various countries.
The authors surveyed police officers from Croatia (N=1,649), Finland (N=378), and the USA (3,235). Respondents evaluated ten scenarios describing police corruption and one scenario describing the use of excessive force by indicating how seriously they evaluated each described behavior.
Line officers' and supervisors' evaluations of seriousness of the 11 scenarios differ substantially across the three countries. The extent of disagreement varies across cases: opinions are the most heterogeneous for the least serious cases and most homogeneous for the most serious ones. By contrast, relative evaluations of seriousness – rankings of cases in each country – are quite similar across the three countries.
Future research could analyze how perceptions of seriousness vary across police agencies' characteristics (e.g. type, geographic location, and size) and respondents' characteristics (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, age, or education), as well as forms of police misconduct (e.g. perjury, and racial profiling).
Heterogeneity of evaluations of seriousness across the three countries suggests that country‐ and/or agency‐wide environments play a key role in the police officers' views about seriousness of misconduct. Consequently, by controlling agency‐related factors, police administrators may influence the level of seriousness with which police officers view police corruption.
This paper shows that a larger environment plays a crucial role in forming police officers' perceptions of seriousness of police misconduct. The findings also imply that there is shared hierarchy of seriousness of various cases of police misconduct across police officers from three diverse countries.
Kutnjak Ivković, S. (2005), "Police (mis)behavior: a cross‐cultural study of corruption seriousness", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 546-566. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510510614609Download as .RIS
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