Police and thieves in the stadium: measuring the (multiple) effects of football matches on crime

O. Marie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Large sporting events affect criminal behaviour via three channels: fan concentration, self-incapacitation and police displacement. I exploit information on football matches for London teams linked to detailed recorded crime data at the area level to estimate these effects empirically. I find that only property crime increases in the communities hosting matches but not violent offences. There is a negative away game attendance effect on crime which is due to voluntary incapacitation of potential offenders attending a match. Police displacement during home games increases property crime by 7 percentage points for every extra 10000 supporters in areas that are left underprotected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-292
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A-Statistics in Society
Issue number1
Early online date3 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Crime
  • Football matches
  • Police displacement
  • Self-incapacitation

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