Micro Places – Jim et al. (2006)

Study Reference:

Jim, J., Mitchell, F. N., & Kent, D. R. (2006). Community-oriented policing in a retail shopping center. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 29, 146-157.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Micro places; General; Proactive; Moderately Rigorous; Effective

What police practice or strategy was examined?

The study evaluated a community-oriented policing program known as the Police/Business Empowerment Partnership (P/BEP). This involved a police department collaborating with businesses at a shopping center in Westminster, CA in an effort to manage public perceptions of crime, disorder, and other safety-related concerns. This was accomplished by providing additional hours of police patrol above regular patrol hours. The increased police presence included bicycle patrol, foot patrol, monthly meetings with merchants, and merchant/citizen academies that served as a forum for informing the public of how the police were performing their responsibilities.

How was the intervention evaluated?

Pre-test and post-test data were collected through two public opinion surveys at the P/BEP center and a nearby comparison shopping center. Pre-test data was gathered in August 1997, and post-test data was collected in April 1998. Results obtained before and after the implementation of P/BEP at each location were assessed to determine the effectiveness of P/BEP. The surveys contained measures of business safety, safety in the community, safety in the shopping center, loitering, gang activity, auto theft, fear of crime, graffiti, and police activity.

What were the key findings?

At the P/BEP center, perceptions of business safety, community safety, safety at the shopping center, and police activity (for both daytime and nighttime) increased from pre-test to post-test. Perceptions of loitering, gang activity, and auto theft (also for both daytime and nighttime) also decreased between the two test periods. There were no consistent pre-post changes in the comparison center.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

Collaboration between police and businesses can have a positive crime-fighting and prevention effect.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?