A Perceptual Study of the Effects of Hot Spot Policing

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Review of Literature
The purpose of this literature review is to provide an in-depth analysis of hot spot policing and review the main aspects of this policing strategy. This review will examine five experimental studies that have shaped hot spot policing as a viable and effective policing methodology. It will also examine the current status of hot spot policing, its benefits, and its limitations.
Police random preventive patrol by a mobile police force was the hallmark of the Reform Era of policing. Police officers were expected to remain in their “rolling fortresses,” going from one call to the next with all due haste (Manning, 1971). Officers were evaluated based on outputs, such as miles driven, calls handled, tickets issued and arrests made. Being a patrol officer often meant acting like a human pinball, reactively going from call to call, getting out of the patrol vehicle upon arrival at the scene, taking a report, and then returning to the patrol car and resuming patrol—to log more miles and look busy and productive. If a citizen were to get any face time with an officer, it was typically as the officer drove by at 35 miles per hour and waved (Peak, 2009). The belief behind random preventive patrol was that a visible police presence throughout an area would deter criminal activity by the constant movement of marked police vehicles throughout a defined geographic area of responsibility, commonly referred to as a beat. Random preventive patrol was, “a way to maximize the possible deterrent value of police visibility through the omnipresence of the police throughout a community (Braga & Weisburd, 2010)”.
During the Reform Era of policing, it was discovered that crime began to rise and research showed the random preventive p...

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Weisburd, D. & Green, L. (1995). Policing drug hot spots: The Jersey City DMA experiment Justice Quarterly 12, 711-736.
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