Hidden in Plain Sight: What Cost-of-Crime Research Can Tell Us About Investing in Police

This paper summarizes existing high-quality academic research on the cost of crime and the effectiveness of police in preventing crime. It serves as a bridge to help policymakers understand what the current social-science literature can tell them about the value of investments in police. As such, it translates what is in the social-science literature, providing nontechnical descriptions that highlight the approaches and limitations of existing studies. It then demonstrates a method for comparing the costs of police personnel with the expected benefits generated by those police in terms of reduced crime.

Publication Date

January 2010

Publication Name

Rand Corporation

Violence type

Paul Heaton