We use data from the Province of Quebec to examine how the characteristics of a crime and the community context in which it occurs affect the likelihood that it will be cleared by the police. Based on a sample of 362,295 crime incidents clustered in 93 communities, multilevel analyses reveal that the police are more likely to clear crimes in small communities than in large urban areas and in communities with greater levels of poverty. Workload is not very important, having only a slight effect on the clearance of misdemeanors. The fact that offenders are much more likely to evade the law in some communities than others may have important implications for deterrence. Two methods to improve the evaluation of police departments at crime clearance are also proposed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine