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Map showing police hot spots.Hot Spots Policing

On October 26, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary interviewed distinguished criminologist Dr. David Weisburd about his research in the area of place-based policing, sometimes known as “hot spots” policing. The interview was part of the National Institute of Justice’s Research in the Real World series, which brings in noted scholars to discuss how research can be applied to work in the criminal justice field. Dr. Weisburd, who was recently selected to receive the prestigious 2010 Stockholm Prize in Criminology, has spent much of his career studying the affect of place on crime. During the interview, he presented some of his findings, including evidence suggesting that law enforcement can make more efficient use of resources by focusing on small geographic units such as street blocks or even individual buildings. He also said that an intensive focus on place will not simply displace crime, but can actually help to lower crime in adjacent areas.

Read about hot spots and learn more about Dr. Weisburd’s work in place-based policing.

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