The efficiency of place-based policing

David L. Weisburd, Cody W. Telep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present a growing body of evidence suggesting that police efforts to combat crime at small units of geography represent an opportunity to increase the efficiency of police strategies to control crime. We identify three reasons for the efficiency of place-based policing. First, research in multiple cities indicates a strong concentration of crime at place, which makes it more efficient for police to target specific high crime locations than to spread their resources broadly within cities. Second, crime is fairly stable over time at hot spots and evidences much greater stability longitudinally than individual offending. Places are in this sense an efficient “target” for the police. Additionally, places stay in the same place, making them far easier for the police to track over time than offenders. Finally, crime displacement research shows that a focus on hot spots does not simply “push crime around the corner.” Indeed, place-based interventions are more likely to lead to a diffusion of crime control benefits than to a displacement of crime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-262
JournalCahiers Politiestudie
StatePublished - 2010


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