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Effects of Aggressive Policing of Disorder on Serious Crime

NCJ Number
Policing Volume: 22 Issue: 2 Dated: 1999 Pages: 171-190
Kenneth J. Novak; Jennifer L. Hartman; Alexander M. Holsinger; Michael G. Turner
Geoffrey P. Alpert, Lawrence F. Travis III
Date Published
20 pages
For 1 month, police aggressively countered disorder crime in a small section of one midwestern community; an interrupted time series analysis was used to evaluate the effects of this intervention on robbery and aggravated burglary in a target area and a control area.
Community residents reported that in previous summers there had been a high level of "joyriding" up and down residential streets with loud music playing as late as 3:00 in the morning; along with this, people were on the street drinking and disturbing pedestrians. Community leaders and police officials agreed to mount an enforcement effort to counter these behaviors during the time period when these behaviors had been most problematic. In addition to an increased police presence, the regulatory agency whose jurisdiction included alcoholic beverages assigned six undercover agents in the target area and instructed them to make arrests and issue citations for open containers of alcoholic beverages. The dependent variables in this study were the number of total crimes reported to the police within the target area; crime data were collected for the 52 weeks prior to and 52 weeks subsequent to the 4-week intervention. The strategy for dealing with public disorder offenses was found to be unrelated to levels of aggravated burglary and robbery in the target area, and there was no spatial displacement of crime. Explanations for the findings are offered. 4 figures, 2 tables, 10 notes, and 56 references


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