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Police Foot Patrol and Crime Displacement: A Local Analysis

NCJ Number
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2014 Pages: 186-199
Martin A. Andresen; Nicolas Malleson
Date Published
May 2014
14 pages

Police patrol, motorized and foot, has a long history of being used as a crime prevention method.


Scientific evaluations of this crime prevention technique have been undertaken for at least 40 years, with mixed results. One of the important questions to be answered regarding the implementation of a police patrol is the presence of crime displacement: criminal activity simply moving around the corner, away from the primary patrol area. Previous investigations of this phenomenon have found that, most often, crime displacement is nonexistent or less than crime reductions in the primary area of interest. In this article, we investigate local crime displacement. The authors used a spatial point pattern test that can identify changes in the spatial patterns/distribution of crime even if crime in all areas has decreased. The authors found moderate evidence for the presence of this spatial shift and discuss the implications. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.