Impact of increased police presence in a non-criminogenic area
Department of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Reno, Mail Stop 214, 1664 N. Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89557, USA
As we all know, the presence of law enforcement resources, police in particular, in high crime areas does reduce crime rate through the fear of apprehension, but what impact does an unexpected and extreme police presence have on non- criminogenic areas? The article that I am evaluating studies whether increasing in police attention in non-traditional high crime areas succeeds in its deterrent affects or instead creates more crime and disorder problems in these communities. In January 2008, an area that was close to a university campus and not commonly known for disorders witnessed a sever crime of abducting a young women whose dead body was found several months later. As a result, the police surrounded the area where the crime took place, and conducted many neighbor interviews. Due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of the case, the area was overwhelmed with the presence of state, county, local and university law enforcement which surprisingly had a negative Impact on the crime rate in the area.
Measuring the impact of the increased police presence was primarily based on the calls for service the police received from residents in two geographic areas. The two areas were the residential zone which was saturated with police and a comparison area that is also residential and close to the first area but did not experience an increase in police attention. To measure the effect in the study areas, all calls that were received by police one year prior to the incident until August 2008 were collected, and only those calls that dealt with crimes and disorders were obtained and analyzed. Since the calls reported different types of crime, only three type of crimes were considered in this research; person crimes, property crimes, and disorder crimes. The result of analyzing the calls indicated that there was an insignificant increase in the calls that reported person crimes in the first area whereas about 26% more calls were received from the comparison area. For property crimes, however, there was a 25% decrease in the calls received from the area surrounding the site of the crime while the calls received from the comparison area increased by 32%. The shocking part of this experiment was when analyzing the calls that reported disorder crimes; there was a 95% increase in the calls that reported disorder crimes in the saturated police area and no significant change in the call received from the comparison area. Considering only the first two months after the murder of the young women, there was an increase in the calls that reported disorder events by approximately 200 %.
The article proposed some possible, but could be not probable, interpretations for all these data. First, the significant increase in the calls for person crimes in the comparison area and not in the...