The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of targeted patrol strategy interventions on crime and to evaluate the researcher-practitioner partnership underlying the policing intervention.
Two of the hot spots in each district were randomly chosen as areas for intensified police activity. Police patrols were increased over normal levels in one of these "treatment" areas. In the other treatment area, patrol strength was increased and officers were instructed to engage in heightened enforcement activity (e.g., arrests, building checks, pedestrian checks, vehicle checks, foot patrols). The remaining two hot spots in each district were designated as control areas subject to normal police activity. Surveillance cameras were also installed in high crime locations to see if the presence of a camera would reduce crime. The intervention was carried out over a nine-month period.
Thirty-two hot spots (4 hot spots in each of the 8 participating police districts in St. Louis, Missouri) were identified through a geospatial analysis of citywide crime patterns during the year prior to the intervention. Cases were randomly selected throughout crime hot spots and allocated to treatment and control conditions.
Police Officers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department patrolling crime hot spots in St. Louis Missouri.
The data file (hotspots_final-2.sav, n = 64) includes 32 variables such as police district, number of street segments in a hot spot, police initiated activities (arrests, pedestrian checks, vehicle checks, building checks, and foot patrols) and types of crime (non-domestic assault, domestic assault, homicide, and robbery).