police best value performance indicators cost and production functions data envelopment analysis stochastic frontier analysis efficiency
The UK has recently proposed to develop a set of criteria whereby the economic analysis of police force efficiency is to be made standard. This follows a strategy of aiming for improvement through managerialism and Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPIs), similar to those implemented by US police forces after the Government Performance and Results Act 1993. In this paper we attempt to put this recent development of efficiency targeting into a UK historical/evolutionary context and discuss the economic methodologies and techniques behind creating best practice police reference sets. In addition, we present results from three techniques that have been advanced as tools to rank forces in the UK media and academic literature, and show how simple BVPI averaging can bias efficiency ranking of police forces.