Institutionalizing Place-Based Approaches: Opening ‘Cases’ on Gun Crime Hot Spots

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Institutionalizing Place-Based Approaches: Opening ‘Cases’ on Gun Crime Hot Spots

Category: Crime, Homicide, Injury|Journal: Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice (full text)|Author: C Koper, C Lum, S Egge|Year: 2015

Despite the advancement of hot spot policing in research and practice, more effort is needed to develop and institutionalize hot spot strategies and to make problem places a more central focus of everyday police operations. To this end, we advocate a ‘case of place’ strategy that broadens the focus of investigative work to include places as well as people. This approach entails systematic investigation and tracking of hot spots to develop problem-solving interventions tailored to specific places. To illustrate how an agency might use this approach, we describe preliminary efforts by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) to build investigative case files on hot spots of gun violence. We identify Minneapolis’s top street segments for shootings over 25 years and examine selected aspects of their criminal histories and features. We consider the implications of this work for addressing gun violence at these locations and developing investigative systems to strengthen hot spot policing.

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