Hot Spots Policing in Las Vegas: Results From a Blocked Randomized Controlled Trial in Chronic Violent Crime Locations

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Journal of Experimental Criminology

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Objectives: This randomized experiment explored the impact of hot spots policing (HSP) strategies on criminal offenses and calls for service within chronic, persistent violent crime clusters in Las Vegas, NV. Methods: Forty-four street segments were randomized into treatment (N = 22) and control (N = 22) conditions across nine chronic, persistent violent crime areas. The conditions (foot patrols, stationary patrol vehicles, and business-as-usual) were active for 6 months. Results: Over 90% of the hot spots experienced an average of 1.5 h or greater of patrol dosage per day. In terms of impact, the mixed effects negative binomial regression results showed that the addition of HSP had a marginally significant reduction on overall crime (− 21%), a statistically significant reduction on overall calls for service (− 25.7%), and a statistically significant reduction of 34% on violent calls for service. Conclusions: Reductions in crime and calls for service occurred in settings where enhanced patrol resources were already deployed. The findings did not demonstrate any evidence of a ceiling effect for HSP to impact crime and violence, even where additional patrol resources were already higher than normal.


Hot spots policing; Randomized controlled trial; Ceiling effects; Crime reduction; Las Vegas


Criminology and Criminal Justice



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