Why Don't Rogues React on Less Police Surveillance?

Henk Elffers, NSCR

When the 2000 United Nations International Climate Conference was organised in The Hague (The Netherlands), a substiantial part of the regular police force had to be reallocated for security tasks around that conference. Regular police tasks hads to be put on a minimum scgedule. Rational choice theory would predict that criminals, especially those engaged in planned crimes, would take this opportunity when the probability of being caught and sanctioned is substantially decreased. However, analysis of police records shows that this has not occurred. I discuss how we should interprete this surprising result. Does it falsify the rational choice theory? Or is it an artifact of police recording practices? Or is deterrence so low anyway that a further diminshing makes no difference?

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Updated 05/20/2006