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Crime at convenience stores: assessing an in-depth problem-oriented policing initiative

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Problem-oriented policing (POP) dynamically addresses unique community issues in a way that allows police departments to be cost-effective and efficient. POP draws upon routine activities and rational choice theories, at

Problem-oriented policing (POP) dynamically addresses unique community issues in a way that allows police departments to be cost-effective and efficient. POP draws upon routine activities and rational choice theories, at times incorporating elements of crime prevention through environmental design. A recent systematic review found POP to be hugely popular, but not rigorously assessed or implemented. In 2009, the Glendale, Arizona Police Department and researchers from Arizona State University received funding through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) to target crime at convenience stores through a problem-oriented policing approach. The Glendale SPI team devised an approach that mirrored the ideals put forth by Goldstein (1990), and provided a thorough undertaking of the SARA model. A comprehensive response plan was developed with several proposed responses, including: intervention with Circle K leadership, suppression, and prevention at the six highest-activity stores. Despite a thorough POP implementation, the initial descriptive evaluation of the Glendale SPI reported positive effects on crime, but left questions about the intervention’s long-term impact on convenience store crime in Glendale, Arizona. The policy and theoretical influence of the initiative warrants a more rigorous evaluation. Supplanting the original assessment, a difference in difference model, negative binomial regression, and relative effect size are calculated to ascertain the SPI’s long-term effects on target and comparison stores. Phi and weighted displacement quotient are calculated to determine the existence of displacement of crime or diffusion of benefits. Overall, results indicate support for the project’s effectiveness on crime reduction. Further, none of the six intervention stores experienced crime displacement. Five of the six stores, however, experienced a diffusion of benefits in the surrounding 500-yard area; that is, a crime reduction was observed at the intervention stores and in the surrounding areas of five of these stores. Disorder and property crimes at the targeted stores were most affected by the intervention. One of the intervention stores did experience an increase in violent crime, however. Future studies should strengthen the methodological design when evaluating POP projects and seek to flesh out more precisely the crime control effects of unique problem-oriented strategies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Police innovation: enhancing research and analysis capacity through smart policing

Description

There has been a tremendous amount of innovation in policing over the last 40 years, from community and problem-oriented policing to hot spots and intelligence-led policing. Many of these innovations

There has been a tremendous amount of innovation in policing over the last 40 years, from community and problem-oriented policing to hot spots and intelligence-led policing. Many of these innovations have been subjected to empirical testing, with mixed results on effectiveness. The latest innovation in policing is the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Smart Policing Initiative (2009). Created in 2009, the SPI provides funding to law enforcement agencies to develop and test evidence-based practices to address crime and disorder. Researchers have not yet tested the impact of the SPI on the funded agencies, particularly with regard to core principles of the Initiative. The most notable of these is the collaboration between law enforcement agencies and their research partners. The current study surveyed SPI agencies and their research partners on key aspects of their Initiative. The current study uses mean score comparisons and qualitative responses to evaluate this partnership to determine the extent of its value and effect. It also seeks to determine the areas of police agency crime analysis and research units that are most in need of enhancement. Findings indicate that the research partners are actively involved in a range of aspects involved in problem solving under the Smart Policing Initiative, and that they have positively influenced police agencies' research and crime analysis functions, and to a lesser extent, have positively impacted police agencies' tactical operations. Additionally, personnel, technology, and training were found to be the main areas of the crime analysis and research units that still need to be enhanced. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for police policy and practice.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013