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Panic on the streets of London: police, crime and the July 2005 terror attacks

Draca, Mirko, Machin, Steve and Witt, Robert (2008) Panic on the streets of London: police, crime and the July 2005 terror attacks. CEPDP (852). London School of Economics and Political Science. Centre for Economic Performance, London, UK. ISBN 9780853282464

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In this paper we study the causal impact of police on crime by looking at what happened to crime before and after the terror attacks that hit central London in July 2005. The attacks resulted in a large redeployment of police officers to central London boroughs as compared to outer London - in fact, police deployment in central London increased by over 30 percent in the six weeks following the July 7 bombings. During this time crime fell significantly in central relative to outer London. Study of the timing of the crime reductions and their magnitude, the types of crime which were more likely to be affected and a series of robustness tests looking at possible biases all make us confident that our research approach identifies a causal impact of police on crime. Implementing an instrumental variable approach shows an elasticity of crime with respect to police approximately -0.3, so that a 10 percent increase in police activity reduces crime by around 3 percent.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 the authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H0 - General > H00 - General
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2008 10:27
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:11

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