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Back to Archives | Back to November 2013 Contents 

Research in Brief: New Initiatives in Risk Assessment, Offender Profiling, and Micro Hot-Spot Policing

By Matthew Long, Detective Chief Inspector, Kent Police, Kent, United Kingdom; Christopher Hogben, Detective Chief Superintendent, Kent Police, Kent, United Kingdom; Kerry Orpinuk, Captain, Daytona Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach, Florida; Bryanna Hahn Fox, Assistant Professor, Criminology Department, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida; Tim Hegarty, Captain, Riley County Police Department, Manhattan, Kansas; and Susan Williams, PhD, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

This month’s Research in Brief (RIB) column takes a different approach. Instead of presenting just one research effort, we are presenting short summaries of three—specifically the three police-based research studies that have won this year’s Gold, Silver, and Bronze Excellence in Law Enforcement Research awards. In later editions of Police Chief we will revisit each individual program to provide you with more detailed information on these award-winning projects.

The IACP is pleased to announce the following IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award winners.

Gold Award Winner

Kent Internet Risk Assessment Tool (KIRAT) is a risk assessment tool that strives to identify, from the available intelligence, those individuals most at risk of committing contact sexual offenses allowing the police to take action to protect children. The purpose of the tool is also to assist with risk management, prioritization, and workload management within indecent images of children (IIOC, child abuse material, or child pornography) investigations. From 2009 to 2011 Kent Police partnered with the University of Liverpool to devise a new, innovative, academically validated risk assessment tool to help front-line detectives in assessing the risk offenders posed. It has now been rolled out to 40 law enforcement agencies across the United Kingdom. KIRAT is estimated to have saved the United Kingdom £1,500,000.00, which can be re-invested into child protection. It has standardized risk assessment in child abuse material cases across the United Kingdom with over three quarters of law enforcement agencies using the tool and more in training. During the lifetime of the project Kent Police’s Detectives have safeguarded over 330 children.

Silver Award Winner

The Evidence-Based Offender Profiling Program was established by the Daytona Beach Police Department in partnership with Bryanna Hahn Fox and David Farrington of Cambridge University, as a pioneering research collaboration to scientifically develop and test the first data-driven profile for burglary in the United States. Every year, over 2.5 million burglaries occur in the U.S., though less than 13 percent of those crimes are ever solved. With a financial impact over $5 billion, there are serious economic consequences to this prevalent but highly unsolved offense. Results of the experiment show that the police department using the burglary profiles cleared nearly four times as many burglaries as the departments that did not, despite having nearly identical arrest rates at the start of the experiment. A follow-up cost-benefit analysis showed that such an improvement in clearance rate could result in over $6.3 million in direct savings for a mid-size police department.

Bronze Award Winner

Initiative: Laser Point was developed and implemented by the Riley County Police Department (Kansas) in partnership with Kansas State University. This geospatial crime reduction project focused on whether or not micro hot-spot policing works in non-urban regions such as Manhattan, Kansas (population 53,000), and whether or not officer behavior within the treatment area mattered. Results were significant and positive that hot-spot policing at micro places, using 15 minute treatments, decreased calls for services and Part I/Part II crimes when comparing the same geographic areas over a four-year period. Results also showed that officer behavior did not matter—significant reductions in crime and calls for service occurred whether the officer was actively engaged or merely present in a marked patrol unit. Despite the recent Manhattan, Kansas, area growth, the crime rate has steadily declined over the last four years, in large part due to initiatives like this. As demonstrated in this study by a police/university team with no cost to the public, evidence-based policing such as hot-spot strategies may address containment, proactivity, and cost-efficient policing practices, while preserving community relationships. ♦

Action Items:
  1. The KIRAT program has saved the United Kingdom £1,500,000.00 since its inception. Departments interested in the KIRAT program should contact the Kent Police Department to learn more.
  2. The Evidence-Based Offender Profiling Program is projected to result in over $6.3 million in direct savings for a mid-size police department. Departments interested in the program should contact the Daytona Beach Police Department to learn more.
  3. Initiative: Laser Point has significantly reduced the crime rate in Manhattan, Kansas, since its inception. Departments interested in Initiative: Laser Point should contact the Riley County Police Department.

Please cite as:

Matthew Long et al., “New Initiatives in Risk Assessment, Offender Profiling, and Micro Hot-Spot Policing,” Research in Brief, The Police Chief 80 (November 2013): 12.



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXX, no. 11, November 2013. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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