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Police Activities and Community Views of Police in Crime Hot Spots  

Published onSep 23, 2022
Police Activities and Community Views of Police in Crime Hot Spots  
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Police Activities and Community Views of Police in Crime Hot Spots
Description

Evidence on how hot spot policing affects community members’ views of police is very limited and inconclusive. Scholars have thus called for further study of community attitudes in hot spots to guide police in the formulation of hot spot strategies—an issue that is especially salient given recent public controversy surrounding policing, particularly in the United States. Using survey responses collected in 2018 from more than 1,000 community members living or working in more than 100 hot spots across 2 mid-sized cities in the United States, this study examines how community members’ perceptions of police activities in hot spots relate to their wider attitudes about police. Bivariate and multivariate analyses indicate that community members in hot spots in both cities exhibit more positive attitudes towards police along several dimensions (e.g., trust and confidence in police, views of police legitimacy, and perceptions of police responsiveness and procedural justice) when they see more frequent patrol and when they see positive police-community interactions. They have more negative views of police when they witness higher levels of investigative and enforcement activity. The findings support hot spot policing strategies that emphasize regular, systematic patrol in hot spots, complemented by positive community engagement efforts and problem-solving work. In contrast, they imply that enhanced enforcement activity in hot spots should be used judiciously.

 

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