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Evaluation of Operation Swordfish: A Near-Repeat Target-Hardening Strategy

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 13 Dated: 2017 Pages: 505-25
Date Published
December 2017
21 pages

This paper reports an evaluation of a police-led target-hardening crime prevention strategy inspired by research concerned with space–time patterns of burglary.


A total of 46 neighborhoods in the West Midlands (UK) were randomly allocated to treatment and control conditions. Within treatment areas, resources were delivered to recent burglary victims and their close neighbors. Resources included inexpensive target-hardening measures as well as the delivery of dedicated police advice. The evaluation consisted of both a resident survey and a statistical outcome analysis. Results suggested that residents in treatment groups were slightly more satisfied with the police and more likely to have been contacted by the police concerning burglaries. Although they had more awareness of burglary, their fear of crime was not heightened. Statistical analysis suggested a very modest positive effect of the program on burglaries. (Published abstract provided)

Date Published: December 1, 2017