Increasing collective efficacy and social capital at crime hot spots: New crime control tools for police

David Weisburd*, Michael Davis, Charlotte Gill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


There is strong evidence that focussing police resources at 'crime hot spots'-small geographic places at which crime is concentrated-is an effective crime control strategy. Generally, hot spots policing strategies focus on formal social controls such as police crackdowns and often ignore the social context of the places that are targeted. Our article describes an approach that recognizes the importance of police community collaboration to improve public safety and reinforce informal social controls, and the emerging empirical evidence that social disorganization and collective efficacy may influence crime patterns at the micro-geographic level. We argue for the relevance of informal social controls in place-based policing and describe an innovative Smart Policing collaboration between the Brooklyn Park (Minnesota) Police Department and the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University that implements a department-wide programme in which police lead interventions to increase collective efficacy in hot spots.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalPolicing (Oxford)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


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