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Author (up) Marchant, P.R. url  openurl
  Title Investigating whether a crime reduction measure works Type Journal Article
  Year 2006 Publication Radical Statistics Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 91 Issue Pages  
  Keywords Public Safety  
  Abstract Crime is a serious business. It causes great distress and fear. It costs a lot

to deal with its consequences. In these regards crime shares much with

the problem of ill-health and disease. The application of sound science and

statistics has allowed great strides to be made in dealing with problems of

ill health. Medical statistics is one of the recognised, established

disciplines involved in researching healthcare.

The parallels between research in crime reduction and in healthcare do

appear to differ in terms of quality. Although there is still room for

considerable improvement in researching health-care, an investigation

into the underpinning of statistical methods used indicates that the

problems are substantially worse in the study of crime. The consideration

given to statistics in crime studies seems rather flimsy, yet important

claims are made which are statistical at source and may affect policy, and

so can have considerable costs attached. Therefore, for example, it is

important to know whether the underlying crime level has really changed,

rather than just being the result of perhaps sampling variation or some

artefact giving rise to statistical bias or systematic error. This is necessary

when trying to determine whether a Crime Reduction Intervention (CRI)

has actually worked.

I started examining the scientific basis of the claim for the effectiveness for

one particular CRI, basically because I was concerned about negative side

effects and I thought the claim implausible. I remain concerned and

unconvinced. The statistical issues and concerns I raise apply also to

investigating other CRIs and to existing published analyses.

This piece extends work presented in Marchant (2006); earlier work on the

statistical issues involved can be found in Marchant (2005a, b; 2004).
 
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  Call Number LoNNe @ christopher.kyba @ Serial 452  
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