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posted on 12.08.2005by Leigh M. Drake, Richard Simper
The job of policing covers a wide range of activities including, traditional crime detection and punishment, and the non-traditional aspects such as community meetings. However, the major focus of policing is on crime detection and prevention. This paper specifically considers these functions with respect to Basic Command Units (BCUs) or ‘precincts’, and determines their relative efficiency in this key area using DEA and the little used stochastic distance frontier. Relative Efficiency is measured in the context of a ‘pure production approach’ relating the incidence of various crimes (inputs) to the corresponding clear offences (outputs). This type of efficiency ranking can also help in further analysing best practice in order to reduce crime and the fear of crime in many police forces. The powerful non-linearity established in this relationship has important implications for police resourcing and funding as highlighted by Houpis et al (2001)