The purpose of this study was to synthesize the extant problem-oriented policing evaluation literature and assess the effects of problem-oriented policing on crime and disorder.
Several strategies were used to perform an exhaustive search for literature fitting the eligibility criteria.
- First, a keyword search was performed on an array of online abstract databases.
- Second, researchers reviewed the bibliographies of past reviews of problem-oriented policing.
- Third, researchers performed forward searches for works that have cited seminal problem-oriented policing studies.
- Fourth, researchers performed hand searches of leading journals in the field.
- Fifth, researchers searched the publications of several research and professional agencies.
- Sixth, after finishing the above searches, researchers emailed the list of studies meeting the eligibility criteria to leading policing scholars knowledgeable in the the area of problem-oriented policing to ensure relevant studies had not been missed.
Prior to analysis, the eligible studies were divided into two categories by study design Pre-Post Study Data (Part 1, n=52), and Quasi-Experiment Study Data (Part 2, n=19).
Eligible studies Part 1 (Pre-Post Study Data) and Part 2 (Quasi-Experimental Study Data), had to meet three criteria:
- The SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response, Assessment) model was used for a problem-oriented policing intervention.
- At least one crime or disorder outcome was reported with sufficient data to generate an effect size.
- The study may deal with problem areas or problem people.
Eligible studies for Part 2 (Quasi-Experimental Study Data) also had to included a comparison group.
All evaluations of problem-oriented policing published before 2006.
The publications of the following groups were searched:
- Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (Tiley Award and Herman Goldstein Award submissions, Problem-Specific Guides for Police)
- Institute for Law and Justice
- Community Policing Consortium (electronic library)
- Vera Institute for Justice (policing publications)
- Rand Corporation (public safety publications)
- Police Foundation
The following agencies' publications were searched and the agencies were contacted if necessary:
- Home Office (United Kingdom)
- Australian Institute of Criminology
- Swedish Police Service
- Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Finnish Police (Polsi)
- Danish National Police (Politi)
- The Netherlands Police (Politie)
- New Zealand Police
The bibliographies of the following sources on problem-oriented policing were reviewed:
- Braga (2002). Problem-oriented policing and crime prevention.
- National Research Council (2004). Fairness and effectiveness in policing: The evidence.
- Mazerolle and Ransley (2005). Third party policing.
- Mazerolle, Soole, and Rombouts (2005). Drug law enforcement: The evidence.
- Scott (2000). Problem-oriented policing: Reflections on the first 20 years.
The following databases were searched:
- Criminal Justice Periodical Index
- Criminal Justice Abstracts
- National Criminal Justice Reference Services (NCJRS) Abstracts
- Sociological Abstracts
- Social Science Abstracts (SocialSciAbs)
- Social Science Citation Index
- Dissertation Abstracts
- Government Publications Office Monthly Catalog (GPO Monthly)
- Police Executive Research Foru (PERF) database of problem-oriented policing examples (POPNet)
- C2 SPECTR (The Campbell Collaboration Social, Psychological, Educational and Criminological Trials Register
- Australian Criminology Database (CINCH)
- Centrex (Central Police Training and Development Authority) -- UK National Police Library
The following keywords were used to search the databases listed above (in all cases where "police" is listed researchers also used "policing" and "law enforcement"):
- "Problem-oriented policing"
- Police AND "problem solving"
- SARA model
- Police AND SARA
- Police AND scanning
- Police AND analysis
- Police AND "problem identification"
- Police AND identify AND problem
- Police AND "situational crime prevention"
Both Part 1 (Pre-Post Study Data) and Part 2 (Quasi-Experimental Study Data) include variables in the following categories:
- Reference information (title, authors, publication, etc.)
- Nature and description of selection site, problems, etc.
- Nature and description of selection of comparison group or period
- Unit of analysis
- Sample size
- Methodological type
- Description of the POP (problem-oriented policing) intervention
- Dosage intensity and type
- Implementation difficulties
- Statistical test(s) used
- Reports of statistical significance (if any)
- Effect size/power (if any)
- Conclusions drawn by the authors