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.