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When police patrols matter. The effect of police proximity on citizens’ crime risk perception

  • Daniel Montolio

    ()

    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Simón Planells-Struse

    ()

    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

Crime risk perception is known to be an important determinant of individual well-being. It is therefore crucial that we understand the factors affecting this perception so that governments can identify the (public) policies that might reduce it. Among such policies, public resources devoted to policing emerge as a key instrument not only for tackling criminal activity but also for impacting on citizens’ crime risk perception. In this framework, the aim of this study is to analyze both the individual and neighbourhood determinants of citizens’ crime risk perception in the City of Barcelona (Spain) focusing on the effect of police proximity and taking into account the spatial aspects of neighbourhood characteristics. After controlling for the possible problems of the endogeneity of police forces and crime risk perception and the potential sorting of individuals across neighbourhoods, the results indicate that crime risk perception is reduced when non-victims exogenously interact with police forces. Moreover, neighbourhood variables, such as proxies of social capital and the level of incivilities, together with individual characteristics have an impact on citizens’ crime risk perception.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2014/1.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-1
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  1. Hinkle, Joshua C. & Weisburd, David, 2008. "The irony of broken windows policing: A micro-place study of the relationship between disorder, focused police crackdowns and fear of crime," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 503-512, November.
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  3. 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.
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  8. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Klick, Jonathan & Tabarrok, Alexander, 2005. "Using Terror Alert Levels to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 267-79, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
  14. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
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