Effectiveness of Police Patrol
For many years there has been a debate on whether police patrols have been effective in crime prevention. The articles “Bicycle Patrols: an underutilized resource” and “Police Patrol Policies on Motorways with Unequal Patrol lengths” are the two articles I will be analyzing the effectiveness of police patrolling.
Chris Menton’s, “Bicycle Patrols: and underutilized resource” focuses on a five city, thirty two shift study on the output of police bicycle patrols. “In the past 20 years the use of bicycles for police patrols has gone from none to many, if not most, departments having some sort of bicycle unit” (Menton, 2008). The bicycle method of patrolling is actually a blast from the past. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s bicycle patrols were the preferred method of patrolling. Today’s movement is said to be started in 1987, when the Seattle police department started replacing foot patrols with bicycle patrols in downtown areas. Since then, bicycle patrols have been wide spread across the United States. “The International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) reports 82 percent to 100 percent of all departments serving populations of 25,000 more have patrol bicycles.”(Menton, 2008) One of the main reasons why bicycle patrols are becoming more popular is the increased interaction with the public. For example bicycle patrols are more approachable to pedestrians and are “more likely to roll up on illicit activities or situations where people are in need because on a bicycle, officers can see, hear, and even smell better from their perch. On a bicycle, one sits over six feet high and is unimpeded by air conditioning noise and the cage construction of a motor vehicle. The view is unfettered as are the other senses.”(Menton, 2008) The one major negative is that the protection of the squad car is now eliminated. However studies show that bicycle patrols more than doubled the contacts a car patrol could amount. Having...
Cited: Menton, C. (2008). Bicycle patrols: an underutilized resource. Bradford: 2008. Vol. 31, Issue. 1; pg. 93
Smith, D.K. (1997). Police patrol policies on motorways with unequal patrol lengths. The Journal of the Operational Research Society Vol. 48, No. 10 (Oct., 1997), pp. 996-1000
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