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Comparing Methods for Measuring Crime Harm/Severity

Ashby, MPJ; (2018) Comparing Methods for Measuring Crime Harm/Severity. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice , 12 (4) pp. 439-454. 10.1093/police/pax049. Green open access

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Abstract

Ensuring police resources are focused where they are most needed requires understanding of the consequences of crime in relation to offenders, victims, and places. Most crime analysis is based on counts of crimes, but not all crimes are equivalent to one another. Researchers have recently developed two methods—the Crime Harm Index and the Crime Severity Score—for weighting crime counts according to the severity of different crime types. This article compares these two methods by applying them to two common crime-analysis scenarios: focusing resources on the most-important types of crime and in the areas most affected by crime. The two measures are found to produce substantially different results when other factors are held constant. The results of severity-weighted crime analysis (and the decision made based on them) could therefore be greatly influenced by the method chosen. The implications of this are discussed and future research avenues outlined.

Type: Article
Title: Comparing Methods for Measuring Crime Harm/Severity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/police/pax049
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/police/pax049
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076721
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