The Questionable Effects of ‘Stop, Question and Frisk’


Photo by Keith Allison via Flickr

The New York Police Department's controversial “Stop, Question and Frisk” policy has had few effects on robbery and burglary rates, according to a study published recently in Justice Quarterly.

Researchers examined claims that crime reductions in New York City during the first decade of the century correlated with dramatic increases in “Stop, Question and Frisk” incidents. Between 2003 and 2010, documented police stops in New York City tripled from 193 per 10,000 people to 713 per 10,000, according to the study, while burglary and robbery rates fell by approximately half.

The study analyzes the productivity of stops, based on arrests and precinct conditions, such as vacant housing rates and racial composition.

“If there is an impact, it is so localized and dissipates so rapidly that it fails to register in annual precinct crime rates, much less the decade-long citywide crime reductions that public officials have attributed to the policy,” the study concludes.

Read the abstract or purchase the study from Justice Quarterly HERE.

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