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Criminology Of Place: Focusing On The Hot Spots

2923 words - 12 pages

Criminology of Place
Hot spot policing is based on the idea that some criminal activities occur in particular areas of a city. According to researchers crime is not spread around the city instead is concentrated in small places where half of the criminal activities occur (Braga chapter 12). Also, many studies has demonstrated that hot spots do show significant positive results suggesting that when police officers put their attention on small high crime geographic areas they can reduce criminal activities ( Braga, papachristo & hureau I press). According to researchers 50% of calls that 911 center received are usually concentrated in less than 5% of places in a city (Sherman, Gartin, & Buerger, 1989; Weisburd, Bushway, Lum, &Yang, 2004). That is the action of crime is often at the street and not neighborhood level. Thus police can target sizable proportion of citywide crime by focusing in on small number of high crime places (see Weisburd & Telep, 2010). In a meta-analysis of experimental studies, authors found significant benefits of the hot spots approach in treatment compared to control areas. They concluded that fairly strong evidence shows hot spots policing is an effective crime prevention strategy (Braga (007) .Importantly, there was little evidence to suggest that spatial displacement was a major concern in hot spots interventions. Crime did not simply shift from hot spots to nearby areas (see also Weisburd et al., 2006).
What should police be doing at crime hot spots?
There are still concerns about the effectiveness of hot spot policing, and what police officers should do in order to effectively reduce crime. Because police officer should be spending some time in these places it is essential to know what they should do in order to control criminal activities. As one researcher stated in his study that there is little information on what types of policing strategies are most preferable in controlling crime hot spots that criminal justice policy makers and practitioners can use (Braga (2007).On the other hand, some studies have provided some guidelines on what police should be doing to most effectively address crime hot spots. One of the first hot spots study, the Minneapolis Hot Spots Patrol Experiment, stated that the increased of police officers ‘presence can reduce criminal activities and disorder (Sherman & Weisburd, 1995). In the study, police officers were not given any instructions on what activities to engage in while in the hot spots instead they were told to just increase their patrol time in the treatment hot spot. In this type of study there were not a systematic examination of police officers activities but later in another analysis by a researcher some information were provide regarding how much time police officers should spend in hot spots. In analysis performed , the author found out that each additional time that any police officer spend in a hot spot will increase the survival time by 23% which means...

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