Home > Publications > Determinants Of Court Sentences For Police Crime: An Empirical Application of the Conceptual Framework for Police Deviance

Determinants Of Court Sentences For Police Crime: An Empirical Application of the Conceptual Framework for Police Deviance

Petter Gottschalk

Abstract
The great majority of individuals involved in policing is committed to honorable and
competent public service and is consistently demonstrating integrity and accountability.
However, in every police agency there exists an element of dishonesty, lack of
professionalism and criminal behavior. This article is based on empirical research of
criminal behavior in the Norwegian police force. A total of 56 police employees were
prosecuted in court because of misconduct and crime from 2005 to 2009. Court cases were
coded as two potential predictors of court sentence in terms of days imprisonment, i.e. crime
motive and damage. Scales for motive and damage were organized according to the
conceptual framework for police deviance. Empirical results suggest that the combined
effect of motive and damage significantly explain 18 percent of the variation in jail sentence.

Keywords: Police Misconduct, Content Analysis, Crime Motive, Criminal Court