Meta-Analysis on the Relationship Between the Police Levels and Crime Rates

Hoon Lee, Florida State University

Most research on the relationships between the police levels and crime rates show that there are no effcts of increased number of police officers or police budget on crime rates. But recently adopting new control variables some study results demonstrate that police levels and outlays have significant effects on crime deterrence. I reviewed more than 15 articles about these studies since 1980 and revisited the police and crime relations using meta-analysisl My finding is that the relationships vary due to the units of analysis and existence of conditioning variables, and if we adopt more detailed unit of analysis and control more variables it is possible to conclude that increased police levels decrease the crime rates.

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Updated 05/20/2006