Crime Deterrence: Evidence from the London 2011 Riots

27 Pages Posted: 23 May 2014

See all articles by Brian Bell

Brian Bell

University of Oxford - Department of Economics; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Laura Jaitman

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

Significant riots occurred in London in August 2011. The riots took place in highly localised geographical areas, with crime going up hugely in the affected sub‐wards. The criminal justice response was to make sentencing for rioters much more severe. We show a significant drop in riot crimes across London in the six months after the riots, consistent with a deterrence effect from the tougher sentencing. More evidence of general deterrence comes from the observation that crime also fell in the post‐riot aftermath in areas where rioting did not take place.

Suggested Citation

Bell, Brian and Jaitman, Laura and Machin, Stephen J., Crime Deterrence: Evidence from the London 2011 Riots (May 2014). The Economic Journal, Vol. 124, Issue 576, pp. 480-506, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2441390 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12137

Brian Bell (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Laura Jaitman

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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