RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ILLICIT DRUG ENFORCEMENT POLICY AND PROPERTY CRIMES
BRUCE L. BENSON
DAVID W. RASMUSSEN
Some justify the law enforcement emphasis on controlling illicit drug markets by contending that drug users attempting to finance their habits often are responsible for property crime. Yet, in Florida at least, the increased effort to control drug markets has been accompanied by increasing property crime. The fact is that law enforcement resources are scarce, and many resources now being devoted to enforcing drug laws have been shifted away from enforcing laws pertaining to other crimes. This has reduced deterrence for property crime and, as a result, such crime has increased. Thus, the resource reallocations accompanying strong drug law enforcement lead to more property crime. Copyright 1991 Western Economic Association International.
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