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The study aims to calculate the costs incurred as a consequence of crime, which includes "monetary loss in traditional terms" and "monetising the loss of life and trauma suffered by victims".
Costs of crime prevention and enforcement will also be tallied. The study seeks to find out costs borne by private entities - such as security expenditure and insurance - as well as costs borne by public bodies such as proactive police patrols in anticipation of crime.The police also intend to calculate the costs incurred in response to crime - investigating cases, apprehending suspects as well as the costs expended by the State in prosecuting, convicting and incarcerating suspects.
While costs of crime prevention - such as installing alarm systems - and the State's response to crime could be measured, sociologist Paulin Straughan felt it might be "impossible" to measure the social costs of a spate of violence on a community. Social isolation and mistrust from these crimes would impact social capital on a community which would be difficult to estimate, she argued.
However, the former Nominated Member of Parliament felt calculating the cost of crime would serve as "a reality check" for any society.
"We live in a world that is driven by economics," Associate Professor Straughan said. "We can't understand or appreciate unless it is documented in dollars and cents. So, this is one way of documenting it (crime) in dollars and cents to show you that every burglary cost you this (amount) … and highlight the importance of crime prevention."