Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Houston PD's Hot Spot Policing Strategy More Effective On Property Crimes

The Houston Chronicle has a good article on a study of the effectiveness of Houston PD's Crime Reduction Unit. The surprising thing in the study was that while their hot spot policing strategy was effective in reducing property crime, the study did not note a significant impact on violent crime. From the story:
But a little-publicized study commissioned by the Houston Police Department found that dispatching members of its 70-officer Crime Reduction Unit to neighborhoods didn't always have the results they were looking for. 
In four different deployments, the CRU teams did not reduce violent crime but did tamp down property crime, according to the study by the Police Research Center at Sam Houston State University. 
"There was no statistical evidence to show that the CRU presence had a significant impact on violent crime,“ according to the 2009 study recently obtained by the Houston Chronicle. "The trend of violent crime seemed to have its own pattern, which was not affected by the CRU intervention.“
It's been my experience that it is often times easier to affect property crimes than it is violent crimes. This may be due to the fact that violent crimes often occur behind closed doors where a heavy, visible police presence is not always possible.

I am sure that many police chief's would be happy with any crime reduction they could get be it property crime or violent crime. What is your agency doing to affect crime hot spots in your community?

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