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Publication Detail
Data and evidence challenges facing place-based policing
PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to use an evaluation of a micro-place-based hot-spot policing implementation to highlight the potential issues raised by data quality standards in the recording and measurement of crime data and police officer movements. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The study focusses on an area of London (UK) which used a predictive algorithm to designate micro-place patrol zones for each police shift over a two-month period. Police officer movements are measured using GPS data from officer-worn radios. Descriptive statistics regarding the crime data commonly used to evaluate this type of implementation are presented, and simple analyses are presented to examine the effects of officer patrol duration (dosage) on crime in micro-place hot-spots. FINDINGS: The results suggest that patrols of 10-20 minutes in a given police shift have a significant impact on reducing crime; however, patrols of less than about 10 minutes and more than about 20 minutes are ineffective at deterring crime. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Due to the sparseness of officer GPS data, their paths have to be interpolated which could introduce error to the estimated patrol dosages. Similarly, errors and uncertainty in recorded crime data could have substantial impact on the designation of micro-place interventions and evaluations of their effectiveness. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This study is one of the first to use officer GPS data to estimate patrol dosage and places particular emphasis on the issue of data quality when evaluating micro-place interventions.
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