U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Efficacy of Foot Patrol in Violent Places

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 12 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2016 Pages: 465-475
K. J. Novak; A. M. Fox; C. M. Carr; D. A. Spade
Date Published
September 2016
11 pages
This study examined the effectiveness of foot patrol in violent micro-places.
A large urban police department deployed foot patrol in micro-places (hot spots) for a period of 90 days for two shifts each day. The objective was to determine whether this activity impacted violent crime in these hot spots and whether spatial displacement of crime occurred. Eight eligible foot beat locations were set by examining crime rates for previous years in order to identify micro-places of high criminal activity. The study used a quasi-experimental design that compared the four treatment areas to the four control areas, estimating panel-specific autoregressive models for 30 weeks prior to and 40 weeks after the treatment. Time series models revealed statistically significant reductions in violent crime in the micro-places receiving foot patrol treatment, while no such reductions were observed in the control areas. The deterrent effect, however, was short and dissipated quickly. Control areas did not experience any crime prevention benefit during this time period. No evidence of crime displacement to spatially contiguous areas was detected. The study concludes that the implementation of foot patrol in high crime hot spots led to measurable reductions in aggravated assaults and robberies, without displacing crime to contiguous areas. (Publisher abstract modified)