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NCJ Number: 163784 Find in a Library
Title: Estimation of Net Benefits of Residential Electronic Security
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1996)  Pages:153-170
Author(s): S Hakim; G F Rengert; Y Shachmurove
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 18
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from Tredyffrin Township in Chester County (Pa.) formed the basis of an analysis of the costs and net benefits to society of residential security alarm systems.
Abstract: The analysis used individual homes as the units of observations and considered police records on the characteristics of burglaries and alarm ownership. In addition, a mailed questionnaire gathered information on both burglarized and nonburglarized homes. The analysis revealed that benefits included the avoidance of property losses and personal injuries from both burglary and fire, while the costs include installation and utility charges for the systems and police responses to false alarms. Findings suggested that township officials should redistribute fees collected from alarm owners to the townships police departments that bear the costs. Alarm-related collections can be used efficiently if two conditions. First, the fines should represent the real costs to the police department; this cost was $69.68. Second, the police department should receive all money associated with alarms and should use the amount to provide alarm-related services. Taking this action would reduce friction between the police and residential alarm owners. The police would at least break even and the public would benefit from the increased security provided by alarm installation. Otherwise, the police should transfer the task of responding to false alarms to private security firms, which would charge at least the true cost of providing this private service. Tables and 31 references
Main Term(s): Physical crime prevention
Index Term(s): Alarm systems; False alarms; Pennsylvania; Police policies and procedures; Residential security
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