Problem-Oriented Policing Supported By Criminology Research


Problem-oriented policing, when used effectively, holds considerable promise for ameliorating crime and disorder problems, criminologists have concluded. In problem-oriented policing, officers are proactive in identifying problems in their communities that should be targeted to alleviate crime at its root. In the journal Criminology & Public Policy, Prof. David Weisburd and doctoral student Cody Telep of George Mason University, with Professors Joshua Hinkle of Georgia State University and John Eck of the University of Cincinnati, reviewed research literature and found that problem-oriented policing is associated with reductions in crime and disorder.

Because only 10 studies provided sufficiently reliable evidence, the authors urged academics to conduct research on the effectiveness of problem-oriented policing across different types of jurisdictions and police agencies. Anthony Braga of Harvard University argued for stronger working relationships between scholars and police. Writing in the same journal, Nick Tilley of the University College London was less convinced of the findings reported by Weisburd and associates. Tilley's concerns relate to local crime fluctuations and problem-solving techniques used in the 10 studies included in the evaluation. The articles are available to members of the American Society of Criminology. Interested journalists should message Ted Gest,, for access.

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