Measuring the Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Police Proactivity

Objectives: To measure where officers engage in proactive, self-initiated activities, how much time they spend being proactive, and whether their proactive activities coincide with crime patterns. Methods: This study uses Andresen's Spatial Point Pattern Test to compare the spatial similarity b...

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Published in:Journal of quantitative criminology
Main Author: Wu, Xiaoyun (Author)
Contributors: Lum, Cynthia (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2017
In:Journal of quantitative criminology
Year: 2017, Volume: 33, Issue: 4, Pages: 915-934
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Objectives: To measure where officers engage in proactive, self-initiated activities, how much time they spend being proactive, and whether their proactive activities coincide with crime patterns. Methods: This study uses Andresen's Spatial Point Pattern Test to compare the spatial similarity between police proactivity and crime, as well as regression modeling to explore the relationship between proactivity and crime and the time spent on proactivity and crime. Results: In the jurisdiction examined, high levels of proactivity are noted. This proactive activity is more likely to occur in places where crime is most concentrated. Additionally, the number of proactive calls and the proactive time spent per crime-and-disorder call remain high and stable across spatial scales. For each crime call received at a street block, police initiated 0.7 proactive activities and spent approximately 28 min carrying out proactive works. Conclusions: This study develops a way of measuring proactive activity by patrol officers using calls for service data. We find that not only do officers in this jurisdiction exhibit higher levels of proactivity to prevent crime (compared to reacting to crime), but they also do so in targeted, micro-place ways. Agencies may consider using similar techniques to gauge the levels of proactivity in their agencies if proactive activity is a goal.
ISSN:1573-7799
DOI:10.1007/s10940-016-9318-5