Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $207,744)
Car crimes are some of the most costly crimes confronting America, yet we know little about how to prevent them. The proposed research will employ the Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) framework to develop an initiative to reduce car crime and to conduct a randomized clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of that measure. The study will focus on crimes occurring in Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) commuter parking lots, and will be conducted in full partnership with and support from the Metro Transit Police (MTP).
The research will be guided by: (1) an analysis of crimes occurring in Metro's 50 long-term parking lots; and (2) a series of site observations to assess the design and environment of each lot. Results of this preliminary analysis will be used to identify an array of promising crime prevention tactics. The Urban Institute (UI) and MTP staff will jointly decide upon a single tactic that will be implemented in 25 of Metro's 50 long-term lots, with the treatment lots identified through a blocked randomized selection process.
Outcomes will be measured through a difference-in-differences (DID) analysis, as well as through a more rigorous panel structure time series analysis. In addition, UI researchers will examine potential geographic, temporal, and tactical displacement resulting from the intervention, and will also conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the intervention. Findings will be disseminated through the publication of articles in both practitioner and academic journals, as well as through conference presentations.