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NCJ Number: 137095 Find in a Library
Title: Spatial Evolution of a Sting Clientele
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:20  Issue:2  Dated:(1992)  Pages:135- 145
Author(s): R H Langworthy; J L Lebeau
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 11
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Storefront stings, in which undercover police officers post as fences to infiltrate local stolen property distributions systems, have been a popular tactic for 15 years. This study examines the implications for the host community of site locations for these sting operations. If the clientele is clustered about the sting site, there are issues of selected enforcement, but if the clientele comes from outside the community, the question is whether the police have inadvertently attracted new criminals to the neighborhood.
Abstract: The data used in this study were collected from 63 persons arrested as a result of a storefront sting operation conducted by the Birmingham police department in 1985 and 1986. The findings showed that, although the geographic center of the sting clientele shifted, the locational variance and the distance from the site location to the geographic center of the client distribution remained the same as the project progressed. This suggests that the clientele of the Birmingham operation was localized and did not diffuse across the city. One means of preventing the emergence of equity issues during sting operations is to make explicit and defend the criteria used to make site selection decisions. Sites could be selected based on the concentration of a specific population of criminals or the distribution of a specific crime. Another means of addressing the question of selective enforcement is to pick storefront locations randomly. 3 tables, 2 figures, 7 notes, and 31 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Police-run fencing operations; Selective enforcement
Index Term(s): Alabama
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