Textbook cost of crime chapter

Publication Type: Edited Books and Chapter

Commissioned by:

Principal Investigator/lead organisation: Cohen M & R Bowles

In collaboration with:

‘Estimating Costs of Crime’ in D Weisburd & A Piquero (Eds.) Handbook of Quantitative Criminology, Springer, 2010

This chapter reviews the theory, methods, and evidence on estimating the costs of crime. The topic is of growing importance in the criminal justice policy world in an era when policy makers not only want to know ‘does it work’ but also ‘at what cost?’ While this chapter focuses on the underlying theory and methods for researchers who are interested in generating estimates of the cost of crime, it is also meant to be of value to ‘users’ of cost of crime data. Since there are many different types of cost estimates in the literature – including many that are ‘incomplete’ – it is important that users be informed about the different approaches and their limitations. This chapter is primarily limited to estimates of the cost of traditional “street crime,” and largely ignores white collar, corporate and regulatory crimes. However, many of the techniques discussed here are also appropriate to estimating the costs of these other types of crimes.