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This article is jointly authored by scholars with a special interest in social research. The article addresses the issue of problem-oriented policing. According to the authors, past research has indicated that problem-oriented research yields good results.
However, very few studies measure the actual impact of problem-oriented policing in controlling violent street crime. In this study funded by the National Institute of Justice, the researchers investigate the impact of problem-oriented policing in Jersey City. The authors of this article recognize that problem-oriented policing is upheld by both stakeholders and academics. This study focuses on areas with concentrated crime activity. In addition, the authors state that problem-oriented policing could be effective in controlling small crimes such as drug peddling, burglaries, and prostitution.
According to this article, the purpose of this study is to generate more information on the effectiveness of problem-oriented interventions in controlling violent places. The research employs a block-randomized experimental design. This experimental design is used together with qualitative data to investigate the impact of problem-oriented policing on New Jersey’s prime locations. The authors begin by conducting a literature review on crime-control strategies.
The study then describes these strategies in relation to crime hot spots. The article then provides a discussion of the reviewed literature as well as its evaluation. The authors then conduct a statistical study on crime activities in Jersey City, New Jersey. This methodology is appropriate in measuring the effectiveness of problem-oriented policing.
The article emphasizes the importance of location when addressing problem-oriented policing. The reviewed literature reflects on the importance of “place” in relation to this study. The reviewed literature also focuses on the issues of neighborhoods and crime prevalence. These issues are often exemplified by abandoned or poorly lit streets. The reviewed literature also examines the factors that promote crime in certain areas while adjacent areas remain virtually crime-free. In addition, attention was paid to studies that focus on crime clustering. Crime and criminal activities are also dependent on social and economic activities.
The sampling of this study also focused on studies that address the means of violence control in problem areas. This sampling was quite a substantial managing to cover research that spanned over a period of ten years. One of the most significant studies used in this literature review is a previous study focusing on the Jersey City Police Department. The reason this particular study has a big impact on the article is that it provides similarities in population, location, and crime statistics in New Jersey.
The article uses a randomized experimental design. This design was effective because the study incorporated 12 out of 28 randomly paired locations (Braga et al., 1999). This allocation procedure accurately represents a random experimental design. The qualitative assessment of data used in this experiment is well laid out and easy to synthesize. The article aligns each of these 12 pairs of locations with their most prevalent problems. In addition, the prevalent crime is correlated with the dynamics of the place and its physical characteristics. This makes this study reliable and easy to substantiate. The evidence offered is very relevant in relation to the study’s main objective.
The study makes use of control groups in its research design. In each of the 12 pairs of places picked for the study, one place serves as a control area while the other one serves as a treatment area. This design ensures that the study identifies the actual impact of employing problem-oriented policing in a particular area. The control places make it possible to measure the impact of using problem-oriented policing in a certain area. To reduce the instances of threats to internal data validity, the officers in the Violent Crimes Unit only engaged community members through informers.
The statistical analysis of the study’s data does not focus on the impact of any specific problem-oriented initiative. However, the analysis focuses on the impact of the entire problem-oriented policing approach. Therefore, the evaluation does not dwell on the varying effects of the implemented initiatives. This statistical analysis used the concepts of likelihood ratio, parameter estimates, and deviance analysis (Braga et al., 1999).
The results of the analysis indicate that places where problem-oriented policing was implemented witnessed considerable gains. The authors cite several statistics to prove the paper’s hypothesis. This analysis structure leaves very little room for error because the authors are able to account for data validity by taking into consideration internal and external validity issues.
The article concludes by stating that the Jersey City Police Department recognizes the benefits of the problem-oriented policing program. The authors are also quick to note that crime was not displaced but reduced in the studied areas. The authors acknowledge that for the gains of this program to be sustained, a lot of effort is required from the police department. The authors’ conclusion is an accurate summation of the study. However, the authors fail to focus on the implications their findings have on a national level.
I found this article to be an insightful study on community policing. The authors are able to present an almost-accurate study on problem-oriented policing. The study’s simplicity ensures that the authors do not deviate from the subject matter. I would recommend this article to all the stakeholders of policing matters. The amount of effort described to the stakeholders in this study is a lot to handle but the results are encouraging.
Braga, A. A., Weisburd, D. L., Waring, E. J., Mazerolle, L. G., Spelman, W. & Gajewski, F. (1999). Problem‐oriented policing in violent crime places: a randomized controlled experiment. Criminology, 37(3), 541-580.