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The Impact of Hot Spots Policing on Collective Efficacy Findings from a Randomized Field Trial

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 36 Issue: 5 Dated: 2018 Pages: 900-928
Date Published
29 pages
Over the last two decades, hot spots policing has been recognized as an effective method to reduce crime, but since there have been few rigorous studies of whether hot spots policing contributes to community collective efficacy, the current study conducted an experiment in 71 crime hot spots, comparing a collaborative problemsolving versus a directed patrol (police presence) approach compared with standard policing practices.

In disadvantaged neighborhoods, prior research has found reduced social cohesion and less willingness among residents to address disruptive behaviors and violations of social norms. This deficiency is commonly associated with higher levels of disorder and crime; therefore, recent scholarship has begun to consider whether police can help foster collective efficacy, especially in places struggling with serious crime problems. Early results are somewhat mixed. Yet the cooperation hypothesis asserts that when neighborhood residents see police as a more viable and reliable resource, residents will be emboldened to exert informal social control to address problems. The current study found that over time, a substantial increase in police presence did apparently promote modest improvements in collective efficacy. The authors attribute this finding to the cooperation hypothesis. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018