Researchers have long examined the relationship between police levels (officers or spending per capita) and crime, yet consistent findings remain elusive due to the variety of methodological approaches employed. We present the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished longitudinal macro-level police levels crime research in order to ascertain the empirical status of this relationship. Twenty-four studies met the criteria for systematic review; 12 met the criteria for meta-analysis. Findings from a vote-counting procedure reveal mixed evidence of policings effect on crime; however, results from the meta-analysis suggest there is a small, inverse association between police levels and crime at the macro-level.
Questions that apply to this article:
What was the purpose of this article?
What confidence level did the authors use in their analyses?
Interpret the upper and lower confidence levels for one of the studies in their meta-analysis.