Policing Problem Places

Policing Problem Places

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In recent years, crime scholars and practitioners have pointed to the potential benefits of focusing crime prevention efforts on crime places. A number of studies suggest that crime is not spread evenly across city landscapes. Rather, there is significant clustering of crime in small places, or qhot spots, q that generate a vastly disproportionate number of criminal events. Even within the most crime-ridden neighborhoods, crime clusters at a few discrete locations and other areas are relatively crime free. A number of researchers have argued that many crime problems can be addressed more efficiently if police officers focus their attention on these deviant places. The appeal of focusing limited resources on a small number of high-activity crime places is straightforward. If crime can be prevented at these problem places, then police will be well positioned to lower citywide crime rates. In Policing Problem Places, Anthony A. Braga and David L. Weisburd make the case that hotspots policing is an effective approach to crime prevention that should be engaged by police departments in the United States and other countries. There is a strong and growing body of rigorous scientific evidence that the police can control crime hot spots without simply displacing crime problems to other places. Indeed, putting police officers in high crime locations is an old and well-established idea. However, the age and popularity of this idea does not necessarily mean that it is being done properly. Police officers should strive to use problem-oriented policing and situational crime prevention techniques to address the place dynamics, situations, and characteristics that cause a qspotq to be qhot.q Braga and Weisburd further suggest that the strategies used to police problem places can have more or less desirable effects on police-community relations. Particularly in minority neighborhoods where residents have long suffered from elevated crime problems and historically poorpolice service, police officers should make an effort to develop positive and collaborative relationships with residents and not engage strategies that will undermine the legitimacy of police agencies, such as indiscriminant enforcement tactics. This book argues that it is time for police departments to shift away from a focus on catching criminal offenders and move towards dealing with crime at problem places as a central crime prevention strategy.... and puts them into contact with, those who have also committed index crimes, including the harda€”core a€œsix percenta€ of ... believe that police departments should strive to develop situational prevention strategies to deal with crime hot spots.

Title:Policing Problem Places
Author:Anthony Allan Braga, David Weisburd
Publisher:Oxford University Press on Demand - 2010


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