Public Safety through Private Action: An Economic Assessment of BIDs
Private actions to avoid and prevent criminal victimisation and assist public law enforcement are vital inputs into the crime-control process. One form of private action, the business improvement district (BID), appears particularly promising. A BID is a non-profit organisation created by property owners to provide local public goods, usually including public safety. Our analysis of 30 Los Angeles BIDs demonstrates that the social benefits of BID expenditures on security are a large multiple (about 20) of the private expenditures. Crime displacement appears minimal. Crime reduction in the BID areas has been accompanied by a reduction in arrests, suggesting further savings. © 2011 The Author(s). The Economic Journal © 2011 Royal Economic Society.
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