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Monitoring the Impact of Economic Crisis on Crime

NCJ Number
Steven Malby; Philip Davis
Date Published
70 pages
This United Nations report examines the effects of economic stress on crime.
This analysis is an exploratory attempt to consider whether changes in specific crime types over time may be associated in some sense with economic changes as at least one component of underlying factors. This report identifies the possible effects of economic stress on crime at global, regional, and national levels. Analyses are provided through the development of an online tool for reporting of high frequency data, and the statistical time series analysis of crime and economic data. In this report, retrospective analysis of time series for up to the last 20 years, often including the 2008/2009 period of financial crisis, is used to look for possible associations between crime and economic factors. Where prima facie evidence of such an association exists, a statistical model is used to explore whether knowledge of economic changes can be used to predict possible changes in crime events. In addition to economic variables, changes in a large number of other factors, including the availability and degree of protection of potential crime targets, presence of youth gangs, drugs and weapons availability, drug and alcohol consumption, willingness to report crime, as well as methods and capacities for recording crime are examined since all may significantly affect police-recorded crime trends. Tables, figures, and annexes