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NCJ Number: 158286 Find in a Library
Title: Law Enforcement: "Hot Spots" Harbor More Than Crime--Police Liability for Abandonment
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:31  Issue:5  Dated:(September-October 1995)  Pages:446-460
Author(s): M S Vaughn; V E Kappeler
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Law enforcement officials and researchers alike have long recognized that certain urban locations are particularly prone to disorder, violence, and crime; recent research has focused on changing community structures and the increasing frequency of what some call high-crime areas, disorderly neighborhoods, deviant or dangerous places, and hot spots.
Abstract: Some researchers argue that hot spots consume a disproportionate amount of police resources, and many police departments have developed special tactics to address urban hot spots. However, an issue that researchers have failed to address adequately in their efforts to understand hot spots is that certain urban areas exhibit a high level of personal criminal victimization and a heightened risk of police civil liability. The author discusses police civil liability for abandoning citizens in hot spot areas characterized by crime and dangerousness and examines how the common law public duty doctrine has been incorporated in constitutional jurisprudence through the 14th amendment's due process clause under the theory of special relationships. The author specifically focuses on how police-citizen contacts in hot spots may create special relationships, requiring a heightened duty on the part of police officers to protect citizens from criminal victimization. Judicial decisions in this developing area of civil liability are analyzed, and policy guidance for law enforcement agencies is offered. 77 footnotes
Main Term(s): Police legal limitations
Index Term(s): Civil liability; Criminal justice research; High crime areas; Police policies and procedures; Police research; Right to Due Process; Urban criminality; Victims of Crime
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