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Measuring police efficiency in India: an application of data envelopment analysis

Arvind Verma (Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
Srinagesh Gavirneni (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 1 January 2006




The purpose of this research is to develop a method for measuring police efficiency.


The design of this paper is to apply the technique of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), a comparative or relative efficiency measuring mechanism to police‐work‐related data from India. This application provides a rationale for identifying good performance practices. It helps in generating targets of performance, the optimum levels of operations, role models that inefficient departments can emulate and the extent to which improvements can be made over a period of time.


The paper measures the performances of State police units in India and the results suggest ways in which some State police departments can improve their overall efficiency.

Practical implications

The paper suggests ways in which the efficiency of any unit of criminal justice systems may be formulated and compared across different units of the system.


The value is that it introduces a new technique to police practitioners and researchers and demonstrates its efficacy by case analysis from India.



Verma, A. and Gavirneni, S. (2006), "Measuring police efficiency in India: an application of data envelopment analysis", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 125-145.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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