Improving Hot Spot Policing through Behavioral Interventions, New York City, 2012-2018 (ICPSR 37284)

Version Date: Jun 29, 2020 View help for published

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Anuj Shah, University of Chicago. Graduate School of Business

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This project aimed to develop new insights into offender decision-making in hot spots in New York City, and to test whether these insights could inform interventions to reduce crime in hot spots. There were two phases to the project. In the first phase a set of hypotheses were developed about offender decision-making based on semi-structured interviews with individuals who were currently incarcerated, formerly incarcerated individuals, individuals currently on probation, and community members of high crime areas with no justice-involvement. These interviews suggested several factors worthy of further testing. For instance, offenders believed they were less likely to get away with a crime if they knew more about the officers in their community. That is, when police officers were less anonymous, offenders were less likely to go forward with a crime.

In the second phase a field intervention was developed and conducted to test whether reducing officer anonymity might deter crime. Through a randomized controlled trial (RCT) while working with NYPD neighborhood coordination officers, who work in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, it was tested whether sending information about officers to residents in housing developments would deter crime in those developments.

Shah, Anuj. Improving Hot Spot Policing through Behavioral Interventions, New York City, 2012-2018. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-06-29.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2013-R2-CX-0006)

Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2012-11-01 -- 2018-10-31
2018-03-01 -- 2018-04-30, 2012-11-01 -- 2018-10-31, 2014-06-27 -- 2014-10-01
  1. This deposit included qualitative data files (interviews) that will be released separately.


To develop a better understanding of offender decision making through interviews, surveys, and a behavioral intervention to increase familiarity with local law enforcement.

Randomized field trials and surveys following a behavioral intervention.

Adult public housing residents, adult ex-offenders, adult probationers, and adult incarcerated population in New York City.

Individuals 18 or older

Public complaint, arrest, 311 call, broken property, census, and NYCHA development data available from

New York City residents

Dataset 1 contains variables on NYCHA developments in New York City, including demographics, location, population, and crime incidents near the developments. Dataset 2 contains scale variables concerning feelings towards neigborhood police officers, job performance, response rate, and familiarity with those officers. It also includes items on demographics, residence, development statistics, and survey-related variables for researchers.





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