People dislike crime but society requires the existence of a certain amount of criminals. The function to balance the crime rate would bring up our attention. In this case, economic analysis can be a valuable tool. In order to determine whether a specific crime regulation is economically efficient, then its benefit to society has to exceed its cost. However, the measurement of intangible and non-feasible cost has always been a difficult task which is mainly due to a lack of available information.
One of the most remarkable issues would be the measurement of pain and suffering from crime. In most cases, the cost of pain and suffering differentiates in terms of individual perception and attitude. From an economic perspective, humans tend to only satisfy with things that contribute to them with happiness. On the other hand, most individuals would like to sacrifice a higher risk for a higher premium return. According to the economic literature, victim costs are based on two data sources: one would be the contingent valuation sets on safety by the public, and another one would be the compensation of suffering from the crime. The major task of this study would be the estimate of the cost of pain and suffering from crime in Canada.
In order to estimate the pain and cost of crime in Canada, the following three kinds of information are very important：the number of incidents of crime, the proportion of crime victims expressing fear about safety, and the willingness of crime victims to pay for safety. First, the number of crimes is very important to this study. It can help us to accurately count the total crime rate and the crime rate in various regions. But one problem is very difficult. It is not that all the crimes can be accurately counted. According to the data, about 60% of the victims have not been informed. Police, including theft, murder, sexual harassment, sexual assault and so on.
In this data, the crime rate of property is very high, about 20%. Second, pain and suffering of crime victims. Studies have shown that crime can cause great trauma to the victims, and it can make the victims ‘hearts become very fearful and frightened. Even though 91% of Canadians are satisfied with their lives and support the local police, crime is still happening, and they still have a great impact on the victims, so reducing the number of crimes and avoiding the danger of victims is the primary task of the local police. Last, estimation of the cost of pain and suffering from crime. The author shows in his research that crime has brought a certain degree of psychological blow to the victim, but this cost is very difficult to calculate. He needs to evaluate the victim’s recovery status, mental state, and finally give a certain amount of sympathy and compensation.
To acquire the total cost of pain and suffering from crime it required three components that mentioned: number of incidents for a certain type of crime (Nj), the proportion of the population feeling worried about safety (Pwj), the value of perceived and actual mental distress as a result of the crime experience (Vj). Number of crime incidents (Nj) can be obtained from two sources that is police statistics from the UCR which is consistently report lower rates of victimization and the 1999 GSS on victimization where participants were asked to stipulate whether they were victims of any certain types of crimes in the 12 months prior to the survey. For certain crime information such as homicides. Drug offences and criminal code traffic offences incidents are done.
Then, police statistics and records provide information accordingly. Proportion of Population Feeling Worried about Safety comprises different measures of feelings about safety individually. The GSS on victimization further implies that victims of various crimes are more likely to express worries about safety. Furthermore, the proportion of the population worried about safety can be considered in two different measures i.e. direct and indirect cost meaning cost of pain and suffering on direct crime victims and the existence of crime affect the surroundings.
Expected Value of Distress and Worry is hard to determined. In this analysis, surveys organized in such a manner, the individual shows eagerness to pay for reduction of fear and worry as well as, police services to minimize the risk of being a crime victim. According to Viscusi, the pain and suffering alludes to fatal and non-fatal risks. Risks related to death are known as fatal injuries and there are risks that worried about unpleasant in other respects. From an economic point of view, whenever a human life is lost that implies loss of value of society.
Sensitivity Analysis is relying on assumptions that are carried from different types of crimes under various different scenarios and circumstances. This analysis is mainly used for comparison purposes including different categories for crime held to evaluate the cost of pain and suffering that valued for a human life.
The numbers provided here were obtained from police statistics recorded in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and from the General Social Survey (GSS). There are limitations with both , since the police statistics tend to underestimate the number of crimes due to underreporting and resource constraints and the GSS information may present sample selection problems which can bias the estimation and inflate the numbers.
Violent crimes include assault, sexual offences, robbery and homicide. the numbers for the first three are provided by the GSS while the number of homicides is from police records. for non fatal injuries, the average cost of pain and suffering is $72,000 per victim.the cost of pain and suffering from non fatal injuries from assault, sexual offences and robbery are $2.79 billion, $400 million, and $455 million respectively based on incidents reported by police statistics, with a total of $5.84 billion . The cost of 536 homicides reported by the police in 1999 is $2.2 Billion. When cost is based on GSS data the numbers are much higher, the costs from assault, sexual offences and robbery are estimated to be $7.73 billion, $5.93 billion and $4.57 billion respectively, with a total of $20.43 billion for non-fatal injuries.
Property Crimes included are breaking and entering, motor vehicle theft, non-vehicle theft, and vandalism. Both GSS and police statistics offer information about all types of crimes.
using information from police statistics, the costs are $1.02 billion for breaking and entering, $383 million for motor vehicle theft, $1.44 billion for non-vehicle theft, and $788 billion for vandalism, with a total cost of $3.63 billion for property crimes. Using GSS statistics, the cost of pain and suffering from breaking and entering, motor vehicle theft, non-vehicle theft, and vandalism are $3.42 billion, $3.51 billion, $5.31 billion, and $2.81 Billion. Based on GSS data, the total cost of property crime is estimated to be $15.04 billion.
The cost of pain and suffering from drug offences and traffic offences is estimated to be $131 million and $225 million respectively.
The total cost of pain and suffering calculated in this paper’s analysis is based on varying types of violent crime and property crime. In addition, the analysis also takes into account drug offences and criminal code traffic offenses. The most conservative estimate is based on an assumption that victims have a low concern for crimes. The total crime bill for all crimes, in this case, varies from $9.83 billion if based on police report statistics and $35.83 billion when based on data from the GSS. Estimated costs of crime are positively correlated with the perceived risk of a violent crime. If the perceived risk of crime is fatal, then estimated corresponding cost estimates increase.
The final estimation for cost of various crimes can vary greatly depending on the assumptions made and the value attributed to crimes taken into account. Due to this vulnerability, it is important to perform some sensitivity analysis.