Conclusive Evidence Lacking that Community Policing Cuts Crime


Community-oriented policing is practiced by law-enforcement agencies around the U.S., but conclusive evidence is lacking of its effectiveness in reducing crime and disorder. So reported criminologist Charlotte Gill of George Mason University in northern Virginia at a two-day symposium this week organized by the university’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy. Gill and a team of researchers reviewed 25 studies, which together suggest that community-oriented policing strategies do have a strong positive effect on police legitimacy and citizen satisfaction. A final report is expected at the American Society of Criminology convention in November. The project is funded by the UK National Policing Improvement Agency and is overseen by the Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group.

More than 300 people, including representatives of 30 government agencies, attended the event. Four people were inducted to an Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame: Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, former Jersey City, N.J. Police Chief Frank Gajewski, Peter Martin, assistant commissioiner of Australia’s Queensland Police Service, and Hubert Williams, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation. Two people won distinguished achievement awards in evidence-based crime policy: Peter Neyroud, retired chief constable of Great Britain’s Thames Valley Police,a nd criminologist Charles Wellford of the University of Maryland.

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