This study concluded that to effectively address crime, agencies may have to design substation strategies in a manner that better influences offender decision-making to prevent displacement.
This study analyzing the crime reduction effect of a police substation operating in a Newark, New Jersey, business improvement district concluded that to effectively address crime, agencies may have to design substation strategies in a way that better influences offender decision-making to prevent displacement. Synthetic control methods were used to create a control group that was statistically equivalent to the cumulative street units in the target area. Significant reductions of burglary and motor vehicle theft were observed in the target area, as compared with a synthetic control area over the postintervention period. Robbery and theft from auto, conversely, suffered from spatial displacement. Of the six police actions included in the process evaluation, quality-of-life summonses and directed patrols increased in the postintervention period, whereas parking summonses significantly decreased. The results of this study suggest that the effect of substations on crime likely depends on certain contextual factors. Newark's substation was not a stand-alone facility, but the headquarters of a police unit given jurisdiction over the target area. Therefore, the opening of the substation represented an increase in visible police presence. The effect of the substation was heightened when accompanied by increases in proactive policing activities. (Published Abstract Provided)