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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Machin, Steve & Marie, Olivier, 2005. "Crime and Police Resources: The Street Crime Initiative," CEPR Discussion Papers 5390, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5390
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    4. 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 270-290, June.
    5. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-660, November.
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    7. 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.
    8. Brand, Sam & Price, Richard, 2000. "The economic and social costs of crime," MPRA Paper 74968, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Marie, 2005. "Reducing Crime: More Police, More Prisons or More Pay?," CEP Election Analysis Papers 002, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Tom Kirchmaier, 2015. "The Effect of Police Response Time on Crime Detection," CEP Discussion Papers dp1376, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:28-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gerson Javier Pérez V., 2012. "Plan Colombia’s Onset: Effects on Homicides and Violent Deaths," Borradores de Economia 746, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    5. Hope Corman & Naci Mocan, 2015. "Alcohol Consumption, Deterrence and Crime in New York City," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 103-128, June.
    6. Gerson Javier Perez, 2012. "Primera versión de la política de seguridad democrática: se cumplieron los objetivos?," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, December.
    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. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Paul Bisschop & Stephen Kastoryano & Bas van der Klaauw, 2017. "Street Prostitution Zones and Crime," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 28-63, November.
    11. Vidal, Jordi Blanes I & Kirchmaier, Tom, 2015. "The effect of police response time on crime detection," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64979, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & Robert Witt, 2011. "Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime, and the July 2005 Terror Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2157-2181, August.
    13. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Sunčica Vujić, 2011. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 463-484, May.
    14. 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.
    15. Federico Masera, 2016. "Bringing War Home: Violent Crime, Police Killings and the Overmilitarization of the US Police," 2016 Papers pma1994, Job Market Papers.
    16. Lu, Fangwen & Zhang, Jinan & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2016. "General and specific information in deterring traffic violations: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 97-107.
    17. repec:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. 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.
    19. Emiliano Tealde, 2015. "Do Police Displace Crime? The Effect of the Favela Pacification Program in Rio de Janeiro," Department of Economics University of Siena 717, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    20. Guha, Brishti, 2013. "Guns and crime revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-10.
    21. Philip J. Cook, 2008. "Assessing Urban Crime And Its Control: An Overview," NBER Working Papers 13781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Aaron Chalfin & Justin McCrary, 2017. "Criminal Deterrence: A Review of the Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 5-48, March.
    23. Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Key Players," CEPR Discussion Papers 10277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    24. Ater, Itai & Givati, Yehonatan & Rigbi, Oren, 2014. "Organizational structure, police activity and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 62-71.
    25. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cost effectiveness; police resources; street crime;

    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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