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Crime and police resources: the street crime initiative

  • Stephen Machin
  • Olivier Marie

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 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 did fall 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. 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 London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19902.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19902
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  1. 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.
  2. repec:oup:restud:v:65:y:1998:i:2:p:261-94 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  4. 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.
  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 648-60, November.
  6. 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.
  7. 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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