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Crime and Police Resources: The Street Crime Initiative

  • Machin, Stephen

    ()

    (University College London)

  • Marie, Olivier

    ()

    (Maastricht University)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1853.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2011, 9 (4), 678 - 701
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1853
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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. 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.
  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. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
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