The Evolution of Citizen Security in Colombia in Times of COVID-19

49 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2021

See all articles by Nathalie Alvarado

Nathalie Alvarado

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Ervyn Norza

Policía Nacional de Colombia

Santiago M. Perez-Vincent

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Santiago Tobon

Universidad EAFIT

Martín Vanegas-Arias

Universidad EAFIT - School of Economics and Finance - Center for Research in Economic & Finance (CIEF)

Date Written: October 20, 2021

Abstract

This technical note examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on crime and law enforcement dynamics in Colombia. The analysis uses administrative data on police reports and arrests for different types of offenses. It applies a “difference-in-differences” model, comparing the number of reports and arrests during the quarantine against their pre-quarantine trend. The results show a marked decline in homicides, motor vehicle theft, and other theft types in the initial weeks of the quarantine. The strong initial declines attenuated over time. The results reveal differences in crime dynamics between different regions of the country. The analysis also shows how COVID-19 modified police activity: arrests for offenses such as homicide and robbery decreased, and arrests due to threats to public health increased. This article contributes to a growing number of studies on the pandemic’s social impact and provides data and tools to inform citizen security and criminal justice policies.

Keywords: public safety, crime, Colombia, COVID-19, quarantine, police action

JEL Classification: J18, K42

Suggested Citation

Alvarado, Nathalie and Norza, Ervyn and Perez-Vincent, Santiago M. and Tobon, Santiago and Vanegas Arias, Martín, The Evolution of Citizen Security in Colombia in Times of COVID-19 (October 20, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3946567 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3946567

Nathalie Alvarado

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Ervyn Norza

Policía Nacional de Colombia ( email )

Santiago M. Perez-Vincent

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Santiago Tobon (Contact Author)

Universidad EAFIT ( email )

Carrera 49 No. 7 South - 50
Bogota
Colombia

HOME PAGE: http://www.santiagotobon.co

Martín Vanegas Arias

Universidad EAFIT - School of Economics and Finance - Center for Research in Economic & Finance (CIEF) ( email )

Carrera 49 No. 7 South - 50
Bogotá
Colombia

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