COSTING CRIME: What value is there for policy making?

  • Cheryl Frank Open Society Foundation
Keywords: crime, South Africa, cost


Studies that purport to count the cost of crime have wide appeal in the private and public sectors, and in the media. Information on the cost of a particular problem and its solution can no doubt assist decision makers. But in the case of crime, assessing the ‘cost’ is so fraught with difficulty that the results hardly seem worth the effort. Some kinds of ‘cost of crime’ studies are more beneficial to the policy process than others, and the findings need to be used with great care.

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