Policing Problem Places: Crime Hot Spots and Effective Prevention

Anthony A. Braga*, David L. Weisburd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

260 Scopus citations


In this book, Anthony A. Braga and David L. Weisburd make the case that hot spots policing is an effective approach to crime prevention that should be engaged by police departments in the United States and other countries. There is a strong and growing body of rigorous scientific evidence that the police can control crime hot spots without simply displacing crime problems to other places. Indeed, putting police officers in high crime locations is an old and well established idea. However, the age and popularity of this idea does not necessarily mean that it is being done properly. Police officers should strive to use problem oriented policing and situational crime prevention techniques to address the place dynamics, situations, and characteristics that cause a "spot" to be "hot." Braga and Weisburd further suggest that the strategies used to police problem places can have more or less desirable effects on police community relations. Particularly in minority neighborhoods where residents have long suffered from elevated crime problems and historically poor police service, police officers should make an effort to develop positive and collaborative relationships with residents and not engage strategies that will undermine the legitimacy of police agencies, such as indiscriminant enforcement tactics. This book argues that it is time for police departments to shift away from a focus on catching criminal offenders and move towards dealing with crime at problem places as a central crime prevention strategy.

Original languageAmerican English
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages312
ISBN (Electronic)9780199866847
ISBN (Print)9780195341966
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Crime places
  • Crime prevention
  • Evidence-based crime policy
  • Hot spots
  • Legitimacy
  • Police


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