CRG 18/14-15: Prevent crime and save money: Return-on-investment models in Australia

Finding effective ways to prevent crime is important. This project was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of combining data from a 10-year Australian longitudinal study with prevention strategy investment data to estimate potential returns in reducing intimate partner violence and prison entry in Australia. The project investigated the return-on-investment in Victoria achievable with a $150 million investment in a mix of 6 evidence-based prevention strategies. For those of average age 25 (range 21 to 29) across Victoria the annual incarceration rate (any police or court apprehension) was estimated at 3.5% (1.0% for 1-day or more) and involvement in intimate partner violence involving physical force was 8.5% (causing physical injury was 3.0%). The 10-year lag effect of investing an extra $150 million was estimated to be a reduction in 2015 of 1,624 cases of incarceration (5% reduction) and 3,034 cases of intimate partner violence involving physical force (10% reduction). The net return from the $150 million prevention investment was conservatively estimated at $191 million. It appears feasible and cost-effective to prevent problems such as intimate partner violence, while also reducing incarceration rates.