Neighborhood – Beck (2010)

Study Reference:

Beck, J. W. (2010). The effects of directed patrols in unincorporated areas: A case study of the Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nevada Reno).

Location in the Matrix and Methodological Rigor:

Neighborhoods; General; Proactive; Moderately rigorous; No evidence of an effect

What police practice or strategy was examined?

This study evaluated the effect of a Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) intervention in Washoe County (NV). The intervention consisted of directed patrol within two suburban police beats selected using spatial analysis to identify areas where concentrated crime and traffic-related incidents overlapped. Using a team of five Sheriff’s deputies, one sergeant, and seven highway patrol officers, each targeted police beat received two separate 1-week intervals of saturated patrol and increased traffic stop activity, with a particular focus on morning and afternoon commuting hours.

How was the intervention evaluated?

The intervention was evaluated using a quasi-experimental design comparing the targeted police beats to two nearby police beats with similar socioeconomic and demographic characteristics that did not receive the intervention. Treatment and comparison areas were evaluated using official measures of Part I and Part II crimes, calls for service, and traffic accidents. All outcomes were measured both four weeks before the intervention and four weeks after the intervention.

What were the key findings?

There were no significant differences between treatment and comparison areas on any individual Part I or Part II crimes, aggregate Part I and Part II crimes, calls for service, or traffic accidents.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

The author notes that officers in treatment areas did not make significantly more traffic stops than those in comparison areas. It is possible that the dosage of traffic enforcement was not high enough to achieve an effect.

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