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NCJ Number: 186462 Find in a Library
Title: Property Crime and Drug Enforcement in Portugal
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:11  Issue:3  Dated:September 2000  Pages:195-216
Author(s): Silvia M. Mendes
Date Published: September 2000
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the effect of drug law enforcement on the property crime rate in Portugal.
Abstract: The article examines evidence that there is a trade-off in Portugal between efforts to control drug crimes and efforts to control property crimes. Data for this study, which covered 274 municipalities in Portugal in 1996, came from census reports and various Portuguese central government organizations. Findings show that the previous year’s level of property crime and the demand for drug control, reflected in the number of drug arrests, are important factors in allocating police resources. Findings also support the operation of deterrence theory in Portugal. Criminal behavior seems to respond to negative incentives, i.e., the probability of arrest and of conviction for property crime. The article claims that the main inference to be drawn from this study is that fighting property crime through vigorous enforcement of drug laws is ineffective. Allocating more police resources to the enforcement of aggressive drug policy and away from other areas of law enforcement hurts the property crime rate. In summary, exclusively targeting specific policy problems, in this case drug law enforcement, may have serious and unexpected effects on society. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): Controlled Substances; Foreign crime prevention; Foreign crime statistics; Foreign criminal justice planning; Foreign drug law enforcement; Foreign laws; Portugal; Property crimes; Research uses in policymaking
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