Joining Forces? Crewing Size and the Productivity of Policing

Prof. Tom Kirchmaier1

1Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom


This paper studies the impact of crewing size on the productivity of policing. Exogenous variation in crewing size originating from the introduction of the ‘Banded Pattern’- an initiative by which West Midlands Police boosted deployment in Response Teams in 2018 – is exploited empirically. In comparison with single-crewing, double-crewing generates net improvements in crime clearance rates. Estimates also show that double-crewing reduces the risk of serious injury of police officers during an assault. This reflects greater proactivity and safety of police officers in dangerous situations. In addition, benefits from team complementarities in terms of experience, gender and seniority are documented.


Tom is Director of the Policing and Crime research group focusing on understanding the full spectrum of questions relating to policing and crime, with a special focus currently on Domestic Abuse, Demand Prediction, Police Organizational Efficiency, AML and Organised Crime, as well as Knife Crime, Gangs, and Drug Markets. He works with very large datasets from the police and other sources. Prior to the CEP, Tom was with the Financial Markets Group, and the Manchester Business School. Tom holds a PhD in Management from the LSE.