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Impact of High Visibility Patrols on Personal Robbery

NCJ Number
Bethan Jones; Nick Tilley
Date Published
4 pages
This report presents findings from the Policing Impact Initiative, undertaken by the Humberside Police Force in the United Kingdom in April 2000.
The goal of the Policing Impact Initiative was to reduce personal robbery and alcohol-related disorder, to address quality of life issues, and to increase police contact with the community. Activities involved high visibility patrols and community engagement between April 2000 and March 2001. The Initiative provided an additional 23,952 hours of highly visible police patrols in the Humberside Police Force jurisdiction, which included a public order foot patrol from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. and a general foot patrol from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day. Results of statistical analyses indicated the effectiveness of high visibility patrols in reducing personal robbery. In 2001, there was a 16 percent decrease in personal robbery in one high visibility patrol area, compared to an increase of 5 percent across the police force area and an increase of 15 percent in the United Kingdom as a whole. The effectiveness of the visible police patrols was attributed to the density of personal robberies; personal robberies were most reduced in areas with a high concentration of visible patrols. Robberies actually increased in areas with lower levels of high visibility patrols, which provides further support for the assertion that high visibility patrols are effective at reducing robberies in specific high-crime areas. However, reductions in crime brought about by high visibility patrols should not be expected in lower-crime areas and should not be expected where the concentration of patrols is not high. Tables, figure, references