Terrorist Threats and Police Performance

  • Tal Jonathan-Zamir
  • David Weisburd
  • Badi Hasisi


Do terrorist threats impact police performance in fighting crime? In this chapter we provide a systematic quantitative examination of the impacts of terrorist threats on the ability of police to “solve,” or “clear” cases. We take advantage of the unusually high terrorist threats in Israeli communities during the Second Palestinian Intifada in Israel (2000–2004), while paying special attention to the type of community (Jewish/Arab). Our findings show that, as expected, terrorist threats have a significant effect on police performance: overall, as threat levels rise clearance rates decline. However, the effect varies strongly by type of community: higher levels of threat are associated with lower proportions of cleared cases in the majority Jewish communities and higher proportions in the minority Arab communities. We attribute the negative effect in Jewish communities to the decline in police services that comes with a concentration on terrorism. The positive effect in Arab communities is attributed to the increased surveillance that is brought to communities that have ethnic, religious, and national relationships with groups that are associated with terrorism. At the same time, we discuss the ways in which higher clearance rates produced by higher surveillance of minority communities is likely to lead to lower evaluations of police legitimacy.


Clearance Rate Jewish Community Property Crime Police Performance Terrorist Threat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tal Jonathan-Zamir
    • 1
  • David Weisburd
    • 1
    • 2
  • Badi Hasisi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Criminology, Faculty of LawHebrew University of Jerusalem Mount ScopusJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Criminology, Law and SocietyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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