Peer influence on misconduct

Reassigning officers due to misconduct tends to have a detrimental effect on co-workers in the new unit, according to a UK study summarized here. The researchers calculated that “For every 10 percent increase in the proportion of a police officer’s peers with a history of misconduct (for instance, adding one allegedly misbehaving member to a group of 10), that officer’s chances of engaging in misdeeds in the next three months rose by nearly 8 percent.” Effects go both ways, though — “when the number of deviant officers in a cohort went down, so did the chances of its remaining members engaging in misconduct.”

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