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The Impact of a Hot Spot Policing Program in Montevideo, Uruguay: An Evaluation Using a Quasi-Experimental Difference-in-Difference Negative Binomial Approach

NCJ Number
Police Practice and Research Volume: 22 Issue: 5 Dated: 2021 Pages: 1541-56
Spencer P. Chainey; Rodrigo Serrano-Berthet; Federico Veneri
Date Published
16 pages

The authors discuss how hot-spot policing programs can be effective in crime reduction for Latin American urban environments, and how to robustly evaluate police interventions when control areas are not established at the beginning of an intervention.


The authors report that hot-spot policing has proven to be effective in reducing crime in cities in North America, Europe and Australasia, but to date, its application and evaluation in Latin American settings has been limited. PADO (Programa de Alta Dedicación Operativa) is a large-scale hot spot policing program implemented by the Uruguay Police in April 2016 in the city of Montevideo. Using an evaluation technique that compares the differential effect between areas where PADO was deployed and control areas, a 23 percent reduction in the rate at which robberies occurred was experienced in the PADO areas, with no significant displacement to neighboring areas, or other areas of the city during the study period. The study indicates that hot spot policing programs can be effective in reducing crime in Latin American urban environments and illustrates how targeted police interventions can be robustly evaluated when control areas are not established at the outset of an intervention. Publisher Abstract Provided