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Journal article

Crime Deterrence: Evidence From the London 2011 Riots


Significant riots occurred in London in August 2011. The riots took place in highly localised geographical areas, with crime going up hugely in the affected sub-wards. The criminal justice response was to make sentencing for rioters much more severe. We show a significant drop in riot crimes across London in the six months after the riots, consistent with a deterrence effect from the tougher sentencing. More evidence of general deterrence comes from the observation that crime also fell in the post-riot aftermath in areas where rioting did not take place.


Brian Bell, Laura Jaitman and Stephen Machin

1 May 2014


The Economic Journal 124(576) , pp.480-506, 2014


DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12137

https://academic.oup.com/ej/article/124/576/480-506/5077338

This Journal article is published under the centre's Community Wellbeing programme.

This publication comes under the following theme: Combating and preventing crime, Crime