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Crime and Police Resources: The Street Crime Initiative

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  • Machin, Steve
  • Marie, Olivier

Abstract

In this paper we look at links between police resources and crime in a different way to the existing economics of crime work. To do so we focus on a large-scale policy intervention - the Street Crime Initiative - that was introduced in England and Wales in 2002. This allocated additional resources to some police force areas to combat street crime, whereas other forces did not receive any additional funding. Estimates derived from several empirical strategies show that robberies fell significantly in SCI police forces relative to non-SCI forces after the initiative was introduced. Moreover, the policy seems to have been a cost effective one, even after allowing for possible displacement or diffusion effects onto other crimes and adjacent areas. There is some heterogeneity in this positive net social benefit across different SCI police forces, suggesting that some police forces may have made better use of the extra resources than others. Overall, we reach the conclusion that increased police resources do in fact lead to lower crime, at least in the context of the SCI programme we study.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5390.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5390

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Keywords: cost effectiveness; police resources; street crime;

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References

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  2. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-90, June.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," Working Papers 554, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effects of Police on Crime: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1244-1250, September.
  5. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  6. Justin McCrary, 2002. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1236-1243, September.
  7. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Sunčica Vujić, 2010. "The crime reducing effect of education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28727, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Gerson Javier Pérez V., 2012. "Plan Colombia´s Onset: Effects on Homicides and Violent Deaths," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 010348, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  3. Philip J. Cook, 2008. "Assessing Urban Crime And Its Control: An Overview," NBER Working Papers 13781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gerson Javier Pérez Valbuena, 2012. "Primera versión de la Política de Seguridad Democrática: Se cumplieron los objetivos?," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL 009385, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
  5. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & Robert Witt, 2008. "Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime and the July 2005 Terror Attacks," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0308, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  6. Hope Corman & Naci H. Mocan, 2013. "Alcohol Consumption, Deterrence and Crime in New York City," NBER Working Papers 18731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gerson Javier Pérez Valbuena, 2014. "La política de seguridad democrática 2002-2006: efectos socioeconómicos en las áreas rurales," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 16(30), pages 241-270, January-J.
  8. Gerson Javier Pérez Valbuena, 2013. "La Política de Seguridad Democrática 2002-2006: efectos socioeconómicos en las áreas rurales," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL 010361, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
  9. Olivier Marie, 2005. "Reducing Crime: More Police, More Prisons or More Pay?," CEP Election Analysis Papers 002, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Aaron Chalfin & Justin McCrary, 2013. "The Effect of Police on Crime: New Evidence from U.S. Cities, 1960-2010," NBER Working Papers 18815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & Robert Witt, 2010. "Crime Displacement and Police Interventions: Evidence from London’s “Operation Theseus”," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 359-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. John Smith & Olugbenga Ajilore, 2007. "Ethnic Fragmentation and Police Spending: Social Identity and a Public Good," Departmental Working Papers 200708, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  13. Ross, Amanda, 2012. "Crime, police, and truth-in-sentencing: The impact of state sentencing policy on local communities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 144-152.
  14. Guha, Brishti, 2013. "Guns and crime revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-10.

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