December 18, 2004

Crime Data

So no one really knows whether guns increase crime, decrease crime, increase injury, or what. More research is needed! I've heard this holds true across the board for crime control research—it's always pitiful, the statistical departments are underfunded, and no one can really say with any degree of accuracy what methods work and what doesn't. For comparison, the Pentagon spends about 9 percent of its budget on R&D. The FBI and DoJ, by contrast, spend virtually nothing on data collection, and as a result, can't even get good statistics on crime rates. Boston Police Superintendent Paul Joyce says, "The reason we were able to bring violence down was our community policing." But I doubt he (or anyone) really knows why violence went down—more funding on statistical research and analysis would go a long ways here.
-- Brad Plumer 2:44 PM || ||