Problem-oriented policing in violent crime places: A randomized controlled experiment

Anthony A. Braga, David L. Weisburd, Elin J. Waring, Lorraine Green Mazerolle, William Spelman, Francis Gajewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

385 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, problem-oriented policing has become a central strategy for policing. In a number of studies, problem-oriented policing has been found to be effective in reducing crime and disorder. However, very little is known about the value of problem-oriented interventions in controlling violent street crime. The National Academy of Sciences' Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior suggests that sustained research on problem-oriented policing initiatives that modify places, routine activities, and situations that promote violence could contribute much to the understanding and control of violence. This study evaluates the effects of problem-oriented policing interventions on urban violent crime problems in Jersey City, New Jersey. Twenty-four high-activity, violent crime places were matched into 12 pairs and one member of each pair was allocated to treatment conditions in a randomized block field experiment. The results of the impact evaluation support the growing body of research that asserts focused police efforts can reduce crime and disorder at problem places without causing crime problems to displace to surrounding areas.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)541-580
Number of pages40
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1999


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