This article presents an integrated theory of how to implement an hot spots patrol strategy (HSPS) in ways that maximize the preventive effects of patrol on crime.
In late 2013, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) conducted the first randomized experiment ever to test a hot spots patrol strategy (HSPS) across large areas, as distinct from testing extra patrols one hot spot at a time. The HSPS experiment required, and helped to refine, a formal theory of both the causes and effects of directed patrols in hot spots. This article presents an integrated theory of how to implement an HSPS in ways that maximize the preventive effects of patrol on crime. It then describes the HSPS experimental protocol used to test the theory in Trinidad. The key elements of HSPS are scaling up from specific hot spot locations to a district-wide focus on all its hot spots and feeding back to the constables who provide hot spots patrols data on what they have done and with what effectpresented every 2 weeks, at a district-level "COP-stat" meeting with the people actually doing the patrols. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.