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NCJ Number: NCJ 201916     Find in a Library
Title: Benefits and Consequences of Police Crackdowns
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): Michael S. Scott
Date Published: 09/30/2003
Page Count: 94
  Annotation: After defining police "crackdowns" and their basic elements, this guide discusses how crackdowns can reduce crime and disorder, potential criticisms and negative consequences of crackdowns, the use of crackdowns to address specific problems, and measuring crackdowns' effectiveness.
Abstract: For the purposes of this guide, a "crackdown" is generally defined as, "sudden and dramatic increases in police officer presence, sanctions, and threats of apprehension either for specific offenses or for all offenses in specific places." Crackdowns usually, but not necessarily, involve high police visibility and numerous arrests. They may use undercover or plainclothes officers jointly with uniformed police, and may involve other official actions in addition to arrests. Crackdowns can reduce crime and disorder by increasing the certainty that offenders will be caught and punished more severely than usual, or by increasing offenders' perceptions that they are more likely to be caught and punished. To some extent, the perception of risk is more important than the actual risk of being caught. Crackdowns provide the benefits of firm, immediate action and rapid, decisive results. They are typically useful when the public demands that order be resorted at times when the public perceives that crime and disorder are out of control. Research and practice have shown that crackdowns can be effective, at least over the short term, in reducing crime and disorder in targeted areas without necessarily displacing the problem. Some criticisms of crackdowns and potential negative consequences include the short-term impact, displacement of crime to other areas, the undermining of police-community relations, the potential for abuse, the expense, the impact on the rest of the criminal justice system, and the diversion of resources from other important areas. This guide outlines criteria for a cost-effective crackdown. 77 notes, 76 references, annotated recommended readings, and appended summary of crackdown studies
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs ; Police effectiveness ; Crime control policies ; Community policing ; Problem-Oriented Policing
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Grant Number: 2002CKWX0003
Publication Number: ISBN 1-932582-24-X
Sale Source: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
Two Constitutional Square
145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Problem-Oriented Guides for Police Response Guides Series, No. 1; downloaded November 4, 2005.
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