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The Impact of Police Stops on Precinct Robbery and Burglary Rates in New York City, 2003-2010

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New York City experienced a dramatic reduction in crime during the 1990s and continuing through the first decade of the current century. Researchers and commentators have debated the role of policing in New York’s crime drop, including the crime impact of New York’s policy of “stop, question, and frisk” (SQF)—yet, prior research on the crime-reduction effects of SQF is limited in important respects. We seek to overcome many of these limitations in a study of SQF effects on yearly precinct-level robbery and burglary rates in New York between 2003 and 2010. Contrary to prior research, the study reveals few effects of SQF on robbery and burglary. We caution against drawing definitive conclusions from both the current and prior research and recommend that future research address both the impact of SQF on crime and possible collateral effects on the rights and liberties of citizens in the communities most affected by the policy.
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Keywords: crime rates; police stops

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 2, 2014

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