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Do neighbourhood renewal programs reduce crime rates? Evidence from England

Alonso, Jose Manuel, Andrews, Rhys and Jorda-Gil, Vanesa 2019. Do neighbourhood renewal programs reduce crime rates? Evidence from England. Journal of Urban Economics 110 , pp. 51-69. 10.1016/j.jue.2019.01.004
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Abstract

Neighbourhood renewal programs have transformed crime reduction strategies in many developed countries. These place-based initiatives emphasise the preventative value of multi-agency work to enhance community safety and social inclusion. The purpose of this paper is to present empirical evidence on the effectiveness of neighbourhood renewal programs by estimating the impact of the UK's Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) program on crime rates across England between 2000 and 2007. Because the NRF was only made available to the most deprived local areas in England, we are able to estimate its effects using a Differences-in-Differences (DiD) approach and a Regression Discontinuity (RD) design. Our DiD estimates indicate that the NRF led to improvements in the rates of property and violent crime of between 10 and 25%, with analysis of treatment intensity effects suggesting that for every £1 per capita of NRF monies, crime rates improved by 0.3–0.6%. Our RD estimates reveal that these improvements are especially strong around the threshold for program eligibility – a finding that is particularly robust for reductions in property crime. Furthermore, using a spatial DiD, we identify the diffusion of crime prevention benefits from areas receiving NRF funding to neighbouring areas that did not receive funding. Our results therefore suggest that neighbourhood renewal programs are effective strategies for reducing crime.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0094-1190
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 January 2019
Date of Acceptance: 20 January 2019
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 11:38
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/118576

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