Incentives and Police Behavior: Domestic Abuse Response Commendation
Last registered on February 25, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Incentives and Police Behavior: Domestic Abuse Response Commendation
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005379
Initial registration date
January 31, 2020
Last updated
February 25, 2020 4:28 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
London School of Economics
PI Affiliation
London School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-10-01
End date
2021-12-10
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Domestic abuse (DA) is a pervasive problem worldwide. At the same time, police responses to DA calls for service are often criticized as too little and too late. We are working with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to implement a commendation program to reward officers for responding to domestic abuse calls and for doing so in a timely manner. We plan to measure how the experimental commendation program affects the number of DA calls to which officers respond, the share to which they respond within the timeframe prescribed by GMP operating procedures, and the share for which the officer completes a standard risk assessment protocol. We plan further to measure whether increased attention to DA calls results in delays in responses to other calls for service. Finally, we intend to measure whether the intervention reduces DA recidivism.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Grogger, Jeff, Ria Ivandic and Tom Kirchmaier. 2020. "Incentives and Police Behavior: Domestic Abuse Response Commendation." AEA RCT Registry. February 25. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5379-1.1.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Local police areas (LPAs) at GMP have been randomly assigned to administer a commendation program to reward officers for responding to domestic abuse calls and for doing so in a timely manner. Every three months, officers in each treatment LPA will be ranked on the basis of the number of calls they attend, whether they attended the call within the prescribed time frame, and whether they completed the customary risk assessment form for the call. Officers get 2 points for each call they attend, 2 points for each call that they attend within the prescribed timeframe, and 1 points for each risk assessment they complete. The top two officers with the most points in the LPA will receive the commendation, which will take the form of a small commendation ceremony with the response unit and a dinner with the LPA commander. Officers in the treatment LPAs will be informed of the program, and of the basis on which commendations will be made, prior to the beginning of the intervention.
Intervention Start Date
2020-03-09
Intervention End Date
2020-06-10
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcomes for the study are the number of DA calls handled by each officer, the share of calls that are handled in a timely manner, and whether the risk assessment is completed. We will also analyze the number of points used to award the commendation.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Call handlers assign each call a grade that reflects its perceived level of urgency. We will analyze the share of each officer’s grade-1 calls, grade-2 calls, and the share of grade-1 and grade-2 calls that are attended in a timely manner. We will also analyze the number of non-DA calls attended as well as whether those calls are attended to in a timely manner. Finally, we will analyze two measures of recidivism. The first will be an indicator of whether a dyad that is involved with a DA call is involved in a second DA call that occurs within a year of the first (excepting same-day calls). The second will be an indicator of whether a dyad that is involved with a DA call is involved in a DA call involving violence within one year of the first call.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Random assignment is carried out at the level of the LPA, with six LPAs assigned to the treatment condition and six assigned to control.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Random assignment was computerized.
Randomization Unit
LPA
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
12 Local Policing Areas
Sample size: planned number of observations
~4100 officers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
6 treatment and 6 control LPAs
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
London School of Economics Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2019-11-19
IRB Approval Number
1033