Community Policing and Public Trust: A Field Experiment in Colombia
Last registered on July 18, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Community Policing and Public Trust: A Field Experiment in Colombia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002708
Initial registration date
February 03, 2018
Last updated
July 18, 2019 6:59 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Princeton University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Columbia University
PI Affiliation
University of Florida
PI Affiliation
University of Pennsylvania
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-02-19
End date
2019-09-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We propose to use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of two treatments—police-community dialogues, and provision of information related to citizen security—on citizen attitudes toward the police, police perceptions of citizens, and rates of reporting of crimes and of suspicious activity. Each of 347 police precincts are randomly assigned to one of four groups: control (no intervention), police-community dialogues only, information provision only, or both dialogues and information provision. In addition to administrative data on crime reporting, we will use surveys to understand whether and how the dialogues and the provision of information affect community attitudes and police perceptions.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Arias, Eric et al. 2019. "Community Policing and Public Trust: A Field Experiment in Colombia." AEA RCT Registry. July 18. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2708/history/50234
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The community meetings treatment consists of holding bi-monthly town-hall meetings with citizens and local leaders, with the goal of allowing residents, local leaders, other community stakeholders, and the police to discuss local crime and disorder problems and to engage in problem solving using standard problem-oriented policing approaches.

The information part of the intervention involves providing factual information about local crime trends.Along with crime trends, we will also provide information about police performance and about the availability of crime reporting platforms.
Intervention Start Date
2018-06-26
Intervention End Date
2019-07-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes of interest are (1) trust in the police and the state, (2) citizen cooperation with the police and (3) crime rates.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes of interest are support for the government-led peace process, and police behavior.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We propose two interventions to identify the importance of community dialogues and information provides for the citizen-police relation, namely police-community dialogues, and provision of information related to citizen security. Each of 347 precincts in our sample will be randomly assigned to one of four groups: control (no intervention), police-community dialogues only, information provision only, or both dialogues and information provision.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Cuadrante (police beat).
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
347 precincts (cuadrantes)
Sample size: planned number of observations
347 cuadrantes and 5,205 individuals (baseline survey)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
87 cuadrantes control, 87 cuadrantes to police-community meetings only, 87 cuadrantes to information provision via leaflets only, 86 cuadrantes both treatments.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Florida Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2017-09-29
IRB Approval Number
IRB201701883
IRB Name
University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2018-01-31
IRB Approval Number
Protocol #827913