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Crime on Bus Routes: An Evaluation of a Safer Travel Initiative

NCJ Number
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management Volume: 27 Issue: 3 Dated: 2004 Pages: 302-319
Andrew D. Newton; Shane D. Johnson; Kate J. Bowers
Lawrence F. Travis III
Date Published
18 pages
This report presents findings from an evaluation examining the effectiveness of a public transport initiative in reducing crime.
It is difficult to tackle problems of crime and disorder along bus transit routes when the extent of crime either on the buses or along bus routes is not fully known. An evaluation was conducted of a highly visible, intensive policing operation, known as Operation Bream, that took place along a single bus corridor for a 4-week period in the United Kingdom in 2002. The aim of Operation Bream was to reduce the extent of crime along the bus route. This report presents the results from the evaluation which utilized arrest rates as the critical measure of success to explore four hypotheses: (1) an increase in arrest rates for officers working on Operation Bream; (2) a reduction in calls for police service along the action route; (3) a decrease in recorded crime within and around the bus route; and (4) evidence of a residual deterrence effect. During the 4-week period, a total of 90 arrests were made. The arrest rate increased by a factor of 35 times relative to past arrest rate performances. The demand for police service, measured by changes in the number of calls to the police, decreased during the operation. In addition, with the exception of the number of calls for police service, levels of crime and disorder returned to their pre-operation levels following the termination of the operation which indicated that the operation did not have a residual deterrence effect. Overall, the findings suggest that the operation was effective in reducing crime and disorder along the action route. Figures, references