Crime is Terribly Revealing: Information Technology and Police Productivity
67 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2017
Date Written: February 20, 2017
An increasing number of police departments use information technology to optimize their patrolling strategies. Quasi-random assignment of individual crimes to predictive policing leads to a sizable increase in clearances. Detailed information on individual crime incidents coupled with offender-level identifiers shed light on the mechanisms behind the productivity improvements. Patterns with respect to type of victims, location, time of the offence, and frequency of offending are revealed.
Auxiliary city-level data show that the introduction of predictive policing coincides with a large negative trend-discontinuity in crime. The benefit-cost ratio of this IT innovation appears to be large.
Keywords: predictive policing, IT, police, crime, quasi-experiment
JEL Classification: O33, K42, L23, H1, H41
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