An evaluation of the Suspect Target Management Plan
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The Suspect Target Management Plan (STMP) is a New South Wales Police Force initiative designed to reduce crime among high risk individuals through proactive policing. There are two types of STMP: STMP-II, which was introduced in May 2005 and aims to reduce general offending; and DV-STMP, which was introduced in October 2015 and aims to reduce domestic violence related offending.
The objective of the present study is to determine: (1) whether these programs reduce crime; (2) how these programs reduce crime (i.e., through deterrence or incapacitation); (3) to determine whether (1) and (2) differ for juveniles or Aboriginal people.
This study compared the outcomes of individuals in the 12 months before and after placement on STMP-II (n=10,103) and DV-STMP (n=1,028). The investigation of STMP-II focuses on a subset of violent and property crimes to avoid reporting/detection bias. The investigation of DV-STMP focuses on domestic violence related crimes since they are the focus of the program. These crimes are, however, likely to be influenced by reporting bias. As such, caution is recommended when interpreting these estimates.
The findings can be summarised as follows:
- STMP-II is associated with large, practically and statistically significant reductions in property crime.
- DV-STMP is associated with large, practically and statistically significant reductions in domestic violence related crime.
- Although STMP-II is associated with an increased risk of imprisonment, the program predominately reduces crime through deterrence rather than incapacitation.
- DV-STMP is not associated with an increased risk of imprisonment, and therefore, operates through deterrence.
- The reduction in crime associated with STMP-II for juveniles is larger than it is for adults. There is no increase in the risk of a prison sentence associated with STMP-II for juveniles. Therefore, STMP-II operates through deterrence for juveniles.
- The reduction in crime associated with STMP-II for Aboriginal people is smaller than it is for non-Aboriginal people. The increase in the risk of a prison sentence associated with STMP-II for Aboriginal people is largely consistent with the increase for non-Aboriginal people. STMP-II primarily operates through deterrence for Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people.
Both STMP-II and DV-STMP are effective in reducing crime. The crime reduction benefit for both programs occurs predominately through deterrence. These claims are also true for juveniles and Aboriginal Australians.
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