Several researchers have asserted that the best way to maximize the benefits of crackdowns is to conduct them briefly and intensively, rotate them among several target areas, and resume them either at unpredictable times in the future or when target offenses return to certain predetermined levels.7 For crackdowns to be effective, they must be sufficiently strong and long: strong enough doses of police intervention for long enough periods.
Marginal increases in routine police activity are unlikely to produce significant effects.
From a problem-oriented perspective, there is a world of difference among these various crackdowns.
police methodsaggressive patrol, aggressive enforcement, and so forth.
By aggressive it is meant that police make extra efforts to take official action, not that they are hostile or rude to people they contact.
Consequently, we know less about the effects of the less well-planned, coordinated, and focused crackdowns.
Crackdowns can be classified along a few important dimensions.
Most research suggests that simply adding more officers to an area without necessarily increasing levels of official action is unlikely to significantly reduce crime and disorder.3Intensive patrol around identified hot spots of crime and disorder, however, has been demonstrated to reduce crime and disorder at those hot spots.4 Most crackdowns include high police visibility, but some do not, notably those in which undercover or plainclothes police are involved.