The Effect of Police on Recorded Crime vs. The Effect of Police on Victimisation of Crime - Evidence for England and Wales

18 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2009 Last revised: 6 Jul 2009

See all articles by Ben Vollaard

Ben Vollaard

CentER, Tilburg University

Joseph Hamed

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 16, 2009

Abstract

Using two sources of crime data, police statistics on recorded crime and victimization data from the British Crime Survey, we provide evidence that measurement error in recorded crime statistics results in underestimation of the effect of police on violent crime. We do not find a similar estimation bias for the effect of police on property crime. Changes in the way the police record violent incidents rather than changes in reporting behaviour of the public are shown to be the underlying cause of the estimation bias. Our findings provide an explanation for the common finding of studies based on police recorded crime of a negative effect of police on property crime but no effect of police on violent crime. This type of measurement error in police recorded crime has been found in many countries, including the US. To address endogeneity in the relation between police and crime, we model the police funding formula, which is used to distribute police resources across police force areas in England and Wales. We use the difference between actual police levels and police levels predicted by the funding formula to identify the effect of police on crime.

Keywords: police effectiveness, victimization of crime

JEL Classification: H00, H5, K42

Suggested Citation

Vollaard, Ben and Hamed, Joseph, The Effect of Police on Recorded Crime vs. The Effect of Police on Victimisation of Crime - Evidence for England and Wales (April 16, 2009). TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2009-012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1387032 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1387032

Ben Vollaard (Contact Author)

CentER, Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Joseph Hamed

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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