The efficacy of foot patrol in violent places

The efficacy of foot patrol in violent places


Journal of Experimental Criminology


Kenneth J. Novak, Andrew M. Fox, Christine M. Carr, David A. Spade

This study examines the effectiveness of foot patrol in violent micro-places. A large urban police department deployed foot patrol in micro-places (hot spots) for a period of 90 days for two shifts each day. Our objective is to determine whether this activity impacted violent crime in these hot spots and whether spatial displacement of crime occurred.
Time series models revealed statistically significant reductions in violent crime in the micro-places receiving foot patrol treatment, while no such reductions were observed in the control areas. The deterrent effect, however, was short and dissipated quickly. Control areas did not experience any crime prevention benefit during this time period. No evidence of crime displacement to spatially contiguous areas was detected.
This contributes to the growing body of knowledge that focused police strategies within hot spots impact violent crime. Specifically, the implementation of foot patrol in high crime hot spots led to measurable reductions in aggravated assaults and robberies, without displacing crime to contiguous areas.

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