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Translating ''Near Repeat'' Theory into a Geospatial Police Strategy: A Randomized Experiment testing a Theoretically-Informed Strategy for Preventing Residential Burglary

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $397,344)

This project aims to evaluate police agencies' use of near repeat findings in order to minimize the risk and/or reduce crime incidents within the limited distance and time parameters specified by the near repeat calculator. The proposed work uses a randomized controlled trial to test whether quickly notifying community residents that they are at an increased risk for a burglary and providing them with burglary prevention tips reduces incidents of further burglary in the high risk time period. They propose to integrate the information from the near repeat calculator into a geospatial processing tool that will identify originator events and report the street hundred blocks at highest risk of near repeat burglaries. Results of the randomized experiment will indicate if there is support that using the near repeat calculations in conjunction with geospatial policing strategies has an effect on the risk of crime and/or reduces crime incidents.

For over a decade research has shown that once a burglary occurs on a street, the homes on that street and on nearby streets are at a much higher risk of burglary over the next one to two weeks. In 2012, NIJ funded a randomized controlled field trial in Baltimore County, MD and Redlands, CA. to test whether providing timely information about increased risk to residents would disrupt the near repeat pattern of residential burglary. Custom software NRAIT was developed and used to create and track the near repeat high-risk zones. The original software design was to support research, which limited its generalizability to non-research settings. The proposed work involves two principal activities. The first is to enable the Police Foundation to explore more fully the question of whether providing timely information about increased risk to residents would disrupt the near repeat pattern of residential burglary. The second is to enable the Police Foundation to implement NRAIT in a computer program that would enable law enforcement agencies to use historical data to develop a baseline for the crime prevention potential of differing approaches to addressing near repeat crimes. The NRAIT software will be made available to law enforcement through the Police Foundation website. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 12, 2012