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The effects of gun possession arrests made by a proactive police patrol unit

The effects of gun possession arrests made by a proactive police patrol unit Purpose – This paper aims to estimate the effects of gun possession arrests made by a specialized, proactive police patrol unit in the Houston Police Department (HPD). Design/methodology/approach – Time series analyses are used to estimate the effects of weekly gun possession arrests on weekly counts of gun crimes in Houston, TX. Models isolate the effects of arrests made by the proactive patrol unit from gun possession arrests made by other HPD officers. Findings – Citywide and beat‐level analyses show that the proactive unit made meaningful contributions to existing levels of illegal possession arrests. Time series analyses using weekly data show that these additional arrests are associated with significant declines in offences committed with guns. Findings support existing evidence that shows police can affect serious crimes by targeting firearms that are illegally possessed and carried. Research limitations/implications – The analysis can not precisely determine whether additional patrol presence or arrests are the precise mechanisms that might be influencing gun crimes. Practical implications – The findings are consistent with existing evidence and suggest that focused police work to seize illegally possessed firearms from the streets and arrest those in illegal possession of firearms will impact offences committed with firearms. Originality/value – The analysis extends existing work that tests the effects of proactive patrol activities on offences committed with firearms. The analysis is distinct from existing research on this topic because it estimates the effects of gun possession arrests rather than the effects of gun seizures. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management Emerald Publishing

The effects of gun possession arrests made by a proactive police patrol unit

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1363-951X
DOI
10.1108/13639511211230020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to estimate the effects of gun possession arrests made by a specialized, proactive police patrol unit in the Houston Police Department (HPD). Design/methodology/approach – Time series analyses are used to estimate the effects of weekly gun possession arrests on weekly counts of gun crimes in Houston, TX. Models isolate the effects of arrests made by the proactive patrol unit from gun possession arrests made by other HPD officers. Findings – Citywide and beat‐level analyses show that the proactive unit made meaningful contributions to existing levels of illegal possession arrests. Time series analyses using weekly data show that these additional arrests are associated with significant declines in offences committed with guns. Findings support existing evidence that shows police can affect serious crimes by targeting firearms that are illegally possessed and carried. Research limitations/implications – The analysis can not precisely determine whether additional patrol presence or arrests are the precise mechanisms that might be influencing gun crimes. Practical implications – The findings are consistent with existing evidence and suggest that focused police work to seize illegally possessed firearms from the streets and arrest those in illegal possession of firearms will impact offences committed with firearms. Originality/value – The analysis extends existing work that tests the effects of proactive patrol activities on offences committed with firearms. The analysis is distinct from existing research on this topic because it estimates the effects of gun possession arrests rather than the effects of gun seizures.

Journal

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 25, 2012

Keywords: Gun crime; Gun possession arrests; Time series analysis; Hot spots; Weapons; Crimes; Crime rates; Police; United States of America

References