U.S. flag

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

Problem-Oriented Policing and Crime Prevention, Second Edition

NCJ Number
Anthony A. Braga
Date Published
An extension of the first edition, this book represents an attempt to enrich the practice of problem-oriented policing, and attempts to contribute to improving practice by 1) systematically assembling research and experience on successful problem-oriented policing and situational crime prevention project; 2) linking the crime prevention mechanisms at work in these projects to theoretical concepts; and 3) drawing out the lessons to be learned from these experiences.
The chapters in the book are organized around the well-known analysis triangle, breaking crime down into the features of places, features of offenders, and features of victims. The crime triangle provides an easy-to-understand framework around which to organize examples of effective problem-oriented policing and situational crime prevention efforts. Following an introduction, chapter 2 presents an overview of the problem-oriented policing approach. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 begin with a few examples of effective crime prevention projects, which are followed by a discussion of criminological research and theory that provides some insight on why these measures were effective. Additional interventions and research are also discussed as each chapter unfolds. Chapter 6 highlights issues in three important areas that can greatly reduce deficiencies in the current practice of problem-oriented policing: improving crime analysis, measuring performance, and securing productive partnerships. Chapter 7 discusses the importance of measuring displacement and diffusion effects when evaluating problem-oriented policing initiatives and examines the existing research that suggests that displacement is not an unavoidable outcome of crime prevention strategies. The final chapter in the book presents a few administrative arrangements in police departments that could facilitate effective problem-oriented policing. The discussions of crime prevention mechanisms at play are based to some extent on speculation, since many of the projects included were not designed explicitly to link particular theories to observed crime prevention gains. This book is not intended as an exercise in theory testing, but an exercise in applying theoretical knowledge to the task of illuminating crime prevention processes that could enrich practice. The primary purpose of this book is to understand why problem-oriented policing interventions are effective, and in doing so, to strengthen and enrich what is happening in practice. Figures, references, author and subject indexes