Results are reported on the impact of hot spots policing strategies that targeted bus stops by London's (England) Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
In a randomized controlled trial focused on reducing crime and disorder at 102 bus stops found to be at high risk as crime sites, double police patrol teams of uniformed officers visited the stops three times per shift five times a week, with each visit lasting 15 minutes. This was done for 6 months. Officers arrived and departed the bus stops on a bus, with significantly less time spent outside at the bus stop setting. Outcomes were measured in terms of crimes reported to the police by victims, as well as bus driver incident reports within targeted and surrounding areas. This study used adjusted Poisson regression models to compare differences in pre-treatment and post-treatment measures of outcomes and estimated marginal means to determine the treatment effect. Crimes reported by victims and bus drivers declined 37 percent in the near vicinity of the bus stops (50 meters), by 40 percent in the catchment areas of 100 meters and insignificantly in the farthest catchment area; however, crimes reported by victims - the primary outcome measured in previous research victim reported crime - increased by 25 percent in the near vicinity, by 23 percent and by 11 percent within the 100-150 meter catchment areas, respectively. The authors argue that the predictability of the policing patterns at the bus stops enabled offenders to plan their crimes accordingly. (publisher abstract modified)