– The police definitely make a difference to crime rates. One of the best studies showing this looked at the impact of flooding London’s city centre with coppers after the July 7th 2005 terrorist attacks.
– You can have less police and less crime. New York officer numbers fell by around 10% from 2000-2005, at the same time as crime plummeted
– The police matter less than other services when it comes to reducing crime. Place-based interventions (e.g. better streetlighting) and early years intervention (see here) are both probably more cost-effective ways of reducing crime
If you want to take a listen, start from 1 hour and 10 mins into the show here. Incidentally, I find it very strange that they got on Toby Young and Laurie Penny to talk about how cuts in spending will affect crime. Both rehearsing quite tired pro-cuts vs anti-cuts lines and clearly aren’t that interested in crime policy at all…