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Weisburd et al., 2011: Encouraging police officers to address social and physical disorder had no effect on residents' attitudes towards crime or the police over seven months


Weisburd, D., Hinkle, J. C., Famega, C., & Ready, J. (2011). The possible “backfire” effects of hot spots policing: An experimental assessment of impacts on legitimacy, fear and collective efficacy. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 7(4), 297-320.
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City streets in three mid-sized cities in southern California were randomized to normal policing or “broken windows” policing over 7 months. The latter included (1) a 1-day training encouraged police officers (a) to address incidents of disorder (e.g., public drinking, loitering), encouraging warnings for first offenders, and (b) to report physical problems (e.g., graffiti or litter) for clean up and to follow through if the problem was not dealt with in a timely manner and (2) three extra hours of police presence per week focused on addressing social and physical disorder. A telephone survey of residents and business owners/managers residing in these neighborhoods before and after the intervention showed no significant effect of condition on change in participants’ fear of crime, police legitimacy, perceived crime, or perceived disorder.

Psychological Process:

Psychological Process 2:


What is the Person Trying to Understand?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What About it?

Approach to Desired Meaning

Approach to Desired Meaning


Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Process 3:

Social Area:

Intervention Technique:

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Greg Walton & Timothy Wilson