June 14, 2006

Evaluating the push for tougher, more targeted policing in the Netherlands; evidence from a citizen survey

Bestrijding criminaliteit en overlast: 'beter blauw' effectiever dan 'meer blauw'

Press release
Strenger politieoptreden en politietoezicht dat is gericht op de meest onveilige plekken heeft in de periode 2003-2005 de overlast met 5 procent verlaagd en de criminaliteit met 2 tot 3 procent. Ook voelen mensen zich veiliger.

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We relate variation in local policing strategies to individual data on victimisation of crime and experience of disorder and fear of crime over the period 1993-2001. The sample includes some 370,000 residents randomly selected from the Dutch population.

We control for individual background characteristics and fixed municipality characteristics. We find evidence that stricter law enforcement is effective in reducing disorder, fear of crime, violent crime and property crime. Concentrating visible police presence at 'hot spots' is effective in combating disorder, fear of crime, and property crime. As a result of proactive policing during the period 2003-2005, crime and disorder went down substantially. Fear of crime has been reduced as well.


Ben Vollaard