Reports of crime tend to be disproportionately concentrated in relatively small geographic areas. According to one study, half the calls to Minneapolis police during a given period came from just 3% of the city’s addresses. Another study showed nearly half the narcotics arrests in Jersey City happened in an area covering just 4% of its streets and intersections.
Research shows that crime seems to disproportionately happen in specific hot spots, and there’s some evidence that focusing safety efforts in those areas reduces crime without significantly displacing it to other areas (Braga, Papachristos, & Hureau 2012). If we can better understand hot spots and why police presence there is effective in reducing crime, then we can help create safer communities.
ideas42 is partnering with the University of Chicago Crime Lab, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) to conduct research on crime hot spots. The project, supported by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), aims to improve safety in high-crime areas of New York City by developing and testing novel interventions that draw on behavioral science.