Friday, May 14, 2021

Less Policing = More Crime

Better policing is good. But police reform that winds up producing less policing is bad because that typically produces a rise in crime, especially violent crime. A new Axios study finds:
"Most police agencies in recent federally court-ordered reform agreements saw violent crime rates skyrocket immediately, according to an Axios examination of departments under consent decrees since 2012....
The increases in violent crime rates — in one case by 61% — suggest that there can be unintended consequences, at least in the short term, to the policing changes many Americans have demanded in the year since George Floyd's death."
This is related to, and consistent with an academic study by Tanaya Devi and Roland Fryer:
"This paper provides the first empirical examination of the impact of federal and state "Pattern-or-Practice" investigations on crime and policing. For investigations that were not preceded by "viral" incidents of deadly force, investigations, on average, led to a statistically significant reduction in homicides and total crime. In stark contrast, all investigations that were preceded by "viral" incidents of deadly force have led to a large and statistically significant increase in homicides and total crime. We estimate that these investigations caused almost 900 excess homicides and almost 34,000 excess felonies. The leading hypothesis for why these investigations increase homicides and total crime is an abrupt change in the quantity of policing activity. In Chicago, the number of police-civilian interactions decreased by almost 90% in the month after the investigation was announced. In Riverside CA, interactions decreased 54%. In St. Louis, self-initiated police activities declined by 46%. Other theories we test such as changes in community trust or the aggressiveness of consent decrees associated with investigations -- all contradict the data in important ways."
Another nail in coffin of "defund the police". We need better policing but also, in many cases, more policing. And if you think the rise in crime, besides the raw fact of hurting ordinary citizens, is not a problem for Democrats and the left, you are living in a dream world.

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