Safe Cities: Improving the Citizen-Police Interface
Access to justice and criminal dispute resolution is a first-order issue in many emerging economies. In Pakistan, citizens dissatisfied with the police and courts tend to shift towards a variety of non-state actors, weakening the efficacy of state institutions to resolve crimes and improve public safety. This study builds upon previous research which found that citizens increase their desired usage of and giving to the state when provided information about judicial improvements (Acemoglu et al. 2018). In a unique collaboration with the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA), this study focuses on enhancing the citizen-police interface. Identifying a population that is currently experiencing a dispute, the researchers experimentally introduce interventions that provide information on and/or direct exposure to enhanced services for citizens (an additional complaint hotline and basic advisory services) and measure these interventions’ impact on dispute resolution, citizen satisfaction, and engagement with and perceptions of the police and state actors.