Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS


MMECC Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 44422
Financé au titre de: FP6-POLICIES
Pays: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - MMECC (Mainstreaming Methodology for Estimating the Costs of Crime)

Criminal justice agencies in a few European Union (EU) Member States make significant use of cost of crime methodology and incorporate the resulting estimates in the appraisal (ex ante) and the evaluation (ex post) of interventions, projects and pilots. But in many states the methodology is not employed, resulting in a lack of means for developing an evidence base documenting the benefits of criminal justice interventions.

The aim of the MMECC project was to extend awareness of the methodology for estimating the costs of crime. Agencies in some Member States make significant use of this methodology and incorporate the resulting estimates in the appraisal and evaluation of criminal justice interventions, projects and pilots. But other countries do not as yet have estimates available to use for these purposes and some remain uncertain as to the methodology and raw materials required.

The website that has been created as the principal output from the project outlines the methodology needed to make cost of crime estimates. It also offers examples to illustrate how the findings can be, and have been, employed to help develop an evidence base documenting the benefits of criminal justice interventions.

There is a degree of controversy as to how best to go about estimating the costs of crime. Economists incline instinctively to employ 'top down' methods based on ascertaining consumer willingness to pay for reductions in crime levels. In practice, criminal justice analysts tend to employ 'bottom-up' methods that rely on identifying individual components of the costs incurred by victims and estimating each in turn. The website refers to both possible approaches but the model it outlines is based on the bottom-up approach used to develop most of the estimates of the costs of crime available on government sites.

The website contains a review of the literature which reviews both approaches, providing a review of theory and practice to date. The largest single section gives a fully disaggregated treatment of cost of crime components. The website also has a section devoted to 'making your own estimates' with advice about how to go about the task of constructing cost of crime estimates. A further section outlines the principal tools for appraising and evaluating criminal justice interventions and projects. It goes through the principal techniques including cost-effectiveness analysis and cost benefit analysis and demonstrates how these methods can be and have been used in practice. The website also contains a future development section which offers some speculations about how the methodology might be developed and applied in the future.

The costing model at the heart of the website is, as far as we can ascertain, the most complete publicly-available tool for estimating the cost of crime. A number of institutes or government departments, including the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Home Office, publish cost of crime estimates. But in neither case is it possible to view the models in worksheet or similar format. Books on the subject are less detailed and less friendly to the analyst setting out to make or apply their own estimates.

There have been many encouraging signs that this has been an applied research project of substantial interest to the criminal justice policy making community. Policy makers have attended a number of the presentations given by project participants. A number of projects are being discussed as a result of contacts made on these occasions. In addition to pilot work based in Poland, there have been discussions with policy makers in Denmark, Hungary and Northern Ireland about the possibility of developing cost of crime estimation projects in those countries.

Informations connexes

Reported by

University of York
Heslington -
YO1 5DD York
United Kingdom
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