The law of crime concentration at places predicts that hot spot streets in a city will maintain very high crime levels even when there are strong crime drops in a city overall. We use New York City as a case study focusing on crime at street segments to illustrate this outcome. New York City experienced very large crime declines over the last quarter-century. Nonetheless, looking at the hot spot street segments that produce 25% and 50% of crime in 2010, 2015, and 2020, we find that many New York City streets continue to have very high levels of crime. In 2020, for example, over 1,100 street segments in the city evidenced more than 39 crime reports. These data suggest that the argument that a city can disengage from policing when overall crime rates are low, belies the reality that hot spots of crime are likely to continue to be ‘hot’ during such periods.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank the Manhattan Institute for its support for research reported upon in this article. Helpful comments on earlier drafts of this work were provided by Rafael Manuel, Hannah Meyers, John Hall, Anthony Braga, Sarit Weisburd, Debra Piehl, Elizabeth Daitz, Joseph Seminar, and Noah Muscente.
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