The effect of police on crime, disorder and victim precaution. Evidence from a Dutch victimization survey
Using individual data from a large-scale Dutch crime victimization survey, we are able to expand the analysis of the effect of police on crime to crimes types that do not easily find their way into police statistics, and to public disorder and victim precaution. To address heterogeneity and simultaneity in the relation between police and crime, we model the police funding formula - used to distribute police resources across municipalities - to identify the endogenous variation in police levels. We use the remaining variation in police levels to identify the effect of police. We find significantly negative effects of higher police levels on property and violent crime, public disorder, and victim precaution. The effect on victim precaution is a hitherto largely ignored benefit of higher police levels not reflected in lower rates of crime and public disorder.
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