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Evaluating the push for tougher, more targeted policing in the Netherlands; evidence from a citizen survey


  • Ben Vollaard



In this study, we estimate the effects of a tougher, more targeted police response to criminal and disorderly behaviour ('proactive policing'). We use a citizen survey providing unique data on hard-to-observe dimensions of police work for every single municipality in the Netherlands. We relate variation in local policing strategies to individual data on victimisation of crime and experience of disorder and fear of crime over the period 1993-2001. The sample includes some 370,000 residents randomly selected from the Dutch population. We control for individual background characteristics and fixed municipality characteristics. We find evidence that stricter law enforcement is effective in reducing disorder, fear of crime, violent crime and property crime. Concentrating visible police presence at 'hot spots' is effective in combating disorder, fear of crime, and property crime. As a result of proactive policing during the period 2003-2005, crime and disorder went down substantially. Fear of crime has been reduced as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben Vollaard, 2006. "Evaluating the push for tougher, more targeted policing in the Netherlands; evidence from a citizen survey," CPB Document 119, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:docmnt:119

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ben Vollaard, 2003. "Performance contracts for police forces," CPB Document 31, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Ben Vollaard & Pierre Koning, 2005. "Estimating police effectiveness with individual victimisation data," CPB Discussion Paper 47, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Dur & Joël Van Der Weele, 2013. "Status-Seeking in Criminal Subcultures and the Double Dividend of Zero-Tolerance," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 15(1), pages 77-93, February.

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    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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