Routine Crime in Exceptional Times: The Impact of the Olympic Games on Calls for Service and Crime Reports

Scott H. Decker, University of Missouri - St. Louis
Jack R. Greene, Northeastern University
Sean P. Varano, Northeastern University
Jeff Rojek, St. Louis University

Little is known about the impact of exceptional events on routine crime. Some evidence suggests that violence may be influenced by the occurrence of extraordinary events such as executions, wars or prize-fights. However, considerably less is known about the influence of major events on routine crime activities. While there is speculation that the presence of events such as the Super Bowl, national political conventions or the Olympics reduce crime in the hosting jurisdiction, there is little empirical evidence regarding this issue. Calls for service and crime report data for Salt Lake City, Utah are used to examine the impact of the presence of the Olympic Games on these activities. A time series analysis is presented.

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Updated 05/20/2006