Examining the Relationship between Crime Rates and Clearance Rates Using Dual Trajectory Analysis




Vovak, Heather

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Police agencies dedicate large amounts of resources, and place a great deal of importance, on criminal investigations and solving crimes. However, very stable clearance rates over time in the U.S., coupled with highly fluctuating crime rates begs the question of whether there is actually a relationship between these efforts and crime rates. Specifically, if police improve their ability to solve crimes, does this have any effect on crime rates over time? A deterrence relationship might indicate that an increase in clearance rates leads to a decrease in crime rates. However, while some prior research indicates evidence of a deterrent effect when examining the relationship between crime rates and clearance rates, other research using various methods has found that crime and clearance rates move in the same direction, or have found no clear relationship between crime and clearance rates.



Criminology, Clearance rates, Crime rates, Deterrence, Dual trajectory analysis, Police