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  1. Hot Spots Policing (Jacksonville, FL)

Hot Spots Policing (Jacksonville, FL)

Program Goals
The Hot Spots Policing strategy was implemented in Jacksonville, FL, in 2007 as a response to escalating violent crime in the area. The city saw a dramatic increase in violent crime—homicide, in particular—between 2003 and 2008, leading the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) to develop the Hot Spots strategy as a solution. The strategy used a specialized geographic approach intended to concentrate police resources in well-defined “micro” hot spots of violence. The Hot Spot techniques were specifically intended to create reductions in violent crime.

Target Sites
The strategy specifically targeted areas in Jacksonville that suffered high levels of violent crime.

Program Components
The strategy concentrated on the implementation of two proactive policing strategies in hot spots of crime: directed patrol and problem-oriented policing. Both approaches used a data-driven, tailored approach to aim police resources at reducing violence in high-crime areas. The JSO was divided into two separate divisions to implement each type of enforcement:

  • Directed/saturation patrol. This technique is intended to prevent crime from occurring, through the use of intensive patrolling of specific areas by police at particular times. The approach entails the "saturation" of high-crime areas during times of day when crime is most likely to occur, which is intended to promote a deterrent effect. Officers assigned to saturation patrol are relieved from the duty of responding to calls for service and turn their attention to crime reduction in identified locations.
  • Problem-oriented policing (POP). This technique involves the identification of a specific problematic issue in the community to concentrate police resources on developing a solution. The technique enables police officers to focus on reducing violent crime, using situational crime prevention measures, and places less emphasis on law enforcement’s response to crime. For this strategy, POP techniques were used to combat the issue of violence in high-crime locations; this consisted mainly of maintaining order in the community. Some examples of such measures are nuisance abatement, installation of improved street lighting, and improvement of security measures in the community. This strategy also included an emphasis on providing community services, such as citizen outreach and recreational opportunities for youths.

Key Personnel
The strategy requires collaboration between several divisions of the JSO—including the crime analysis unit, patrol officers, sergeants, and lieutenants—in addition to participation from the community.

Program Theory
The strategy is based on the idea that combating violent crime is possible by focusing on hot spots of crime—specific locations where violent crime is concentrated. This approach is based on the routine activities theory of crime, which postulates that crime occurs in the presence of a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardian. Thus, Hot Spots Policing uses a geographical approach to concentrate police attention in areas where violence is most likely to occur. This program used problem-oriented policing to concentrate on violent crime, in addition to saturation/directed patrol to deter violent offending in specific high-crime locations.

Intervention ID
209
Ages

No Data.

Rating
No Effects
Outcomes

Study 1
Part I Uniform Crime Report Offenses
Taylor, Koper, and Woods (2011) found that the problem-oriented policing strategy made a deeper impact on the reduction of Uniform Crime Report (UCR) offenses than the directed/saturation patrol strategy. Hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition saw decreases across all three categories; however, only the reduction in nondomestic violent crime was statistically significant. Increases in two types of UCR offenses in hot spots assigned to directed/saturation patrol condition were found but were not statistically significant.

Part I UCR violent crime decreased by 20 percent in hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition, while violent crime increased by 27 percent in hot spots assigned to the directed/saturation patrol condition. However, these findings were not statistically significant.

Part I UCR nondomestic violent crime decreased by 33 percent in hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition, a statistically significant finding. Nondomestic violent crime increased by 27 percent in hot spots assigned to the directed/saturation patrol condition, but this finding was not statistically significant.

Part I UCR property crime decreased by 5 percent in hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition, but this finding was not statistically significant. There was no change in property crime in hot spots assigned to the directed/saturation patrol condition.


Calls for Service
There were no significant impacts on calls for service found for either treatment condition. While not statistically significant, increases in violent crime (including nondomestic) calls for service observed in the directed/saturation patrol condition indicate the possibility that this strategy may have led to increased reporting for violent crime.

Calls for service for all violent crime decreased by 11 percent in hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition, while violent crime calls for service increased by 32 percent in hot spots assigned to the directed/saturation patrol condition. However, these findings were not statistically significant.

Calls for service for nondomestic violent crime decreased by 13 percent in hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition, while nondomestic violent crime calls for service increased by 34 percent in hot spots assigned to the directed/saturation patrol condition. However, these findings were not statistically significant.

Calls for service for serious property crime decreased by 14 percent in hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition, while property crime calls for service decreased by 12 percent in hot spots assigned to the directed/saturation patrol condition. However, these findings were not statistically significant.


Displacement/Diffusion Effects
There was evidence of diffusion in two measures of calls for service. It was found that in areas adjacent to hot spots assigned to the problem-oriented policing condition, there was a 29 percent increase in calls for service for all violence and a 31 percent increase in calls for service for nondomestic violence. These increases were found to be statistically significant, indicating a diffusion of benefits of the problem-oriented policing strategy. There were no significant displacement or diffusion effects observed for areas adjacent to hot spots assigned to the directed/saturation patrol condition, nor was there any evidence of displacement or diffusion found in any of the UCR data.

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