Research in Brief: The Use of Place-Based Policing Strategies to Reduce Violent Crime in Chicago Neighborhoods

Hot spots policing strategies have become a widely adopted innovations in law enforcement over the past 30 years. These strategies focus patrol resources on a small number of locations that account for a disproportionately large number of crimes within jurisdictions. Scientific evaluations of these interventions have repeatedly demonstrated that hot spots policing strategies are an effective approach to reduce crime. For example, a recent evaluation of a hot spots policing intervention in Sacramento, California, found that directing patrol to crime hot spots for just 15-minute intervals every two hours can produce significant decreases in crime. Crime hot spots are traditionally defined as micro-places—such as buildings, street segments, or city blocks—within neighborhoods. This transition in focus from larger places such as neighborhoods, beats, or districts to smaller crime hot spots has revolutionized how law enforcement agencies can efficiently allocate their limited patrol resources for maximum impact on crime rates in their jurisdictions.