- Research Questions
The long title of the research paper that has been chosen to be discussed in this paper is “the effects of directed patrol and self-initiated enforcement on firearm violence: a randomized controlled study of hot spot policing”. The title of the research paper was not formulated into a question. Nonetheless, the research question that the authors have chosen to discuss can most likely be determine by chopping the long title into several pieces, that is based on the target population, the intervention, the comparative bases (if any) and the outcome they are trying to measure.
In terms of population, the study targeted members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department who conduct crime reduction patrols in the area, particularly in the field of firearm assaults and violence; the intervention they chose to implement was a method of selective policing called hotspot patrolling.
All in all, there were numerous findings that the authors discovered. The timeframe that the authors used was approximately 9 months. The focuses of the patrol were the crime hotspots within the cities. They found that the hotspot-based intervention reduced nondomestic firearm assaults by a sizeable margin and had no evident displacement effects on the surrounding areas, or at times when the intervention was not active, or on non-firearm assaults by a sizeable margin and had no evident displacement effects on surroundings areas, or at times when the intervention was not active, or on non-firearm aggravated assaults .
- Independent and Dependent Variable
The independent variable in this case was the use of hotspot policing and patrolling on the hottest crime areas in St. Louis as a way of battling the rising firearm assault-related cases. The dependent variable, on the other hand, is the intervention that the researchers used or observed. To be more specific, that would be the use of hotspot patrolling and policing in hotspot crime areas for firearm-related assaults and violence.
- Units of Analysis
The unit of analysis or outcome used in the paper was the rate of firearm assault-related crime in the city. To be more specific, the authors evaluated the effect of hotspot patrolling on the rate of firearm-related assault cases in the city. Basically, this is the indicator that the authors used to determine the effectiveness of using hotspot policing in the city.
Explanation of the Design
- The experimental conditions
There were two groups that the authors focused on in their research. The first one was the control group or the group that did not do anything new compared to what the metropolitan policemen were doing whenever they were patrolling.
The second one was the group that used the crime hotspot patrolling strategy that they were hypothesizing to be more effective compared to the generalized approach that they were doing or what the control group was implementing in their city patrolling strategies. Some of the tools they used include but may not be limited to crime maps, computer statistic meetings, and SLMPD-specific strategic planning.
- Cook and Campbell Notation Diagram
R O1 x O2
Interpretation of the findings
- Interpretation and Relevance of the findings
According to the authors, the results that they got showed that the use of hot spot intervention reduced nondomestic firearm assault-related crimes within the jurisdiction of the St. Louis metropolitan police department by a sizeable margin and had no evident side or displacement effects on the surrounding areas, or at times when the intervention was not active, or on non-firearm aggravated results.
This only means that between the two interventions—the one that they were previously using and the hotspot intervention that the authors are trying to propose, the latter would most likely turn out to be effective, although their associated costs and side effects on individual policemen group performance may not yet be clear.
Another important finding that the authors noted was the non-responsiveness of the intervention on firearm robberies; however, they noted that these rates declined substantially in both the treatment and control experimental conditions. This was, however, puzzling because most robbery cases are associated with the use of firearms as assault or coercive weapons.
Rosenfeld, R., M. Deckard and E. Blackburn. "The Effects of Directed Patrol and Self-Initiated Enforcement on Firearm Violence: A randomized Controlled Study of Hot Spot Policing." Journal of Criminology (2014).