Boom to bust or bust to boom? following the effects of weed and seed zoning in New Britain, Connecticut, from 1995 to 2000

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Police Quarterly


This article addresses the effects of weed and seed zoning operations on arrests and calls for assistance in New Britain, Connecticut, during the 24-month before and 36-month after the inception of operations. Data are taken from New Britain police dispatch statistics and applied to a study of arrests and citizen calls for assistance across 738 U.S. Census block collection units (BCUs). The article employs tests of significance to assess the overall effects of zoning on these police activities across pre- and post-intervention periods and uses both weighted displacement quotient (WDQ) and exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) models to test for possible displacement associated with zoning. Results indicate that weed and seed zoning was significantly associated with displacement of arrest activity in pre- and post-intervention time periods but displayed no relationship with displacement of calls for assistance (CFAs). Though WDQ analyses do not indicate proximity effects, local indicators of spatial association (LISA) maps show noteworthy changes in the spatial clustering of arrest activity over time. Of principal concern here is the idea that weed and seed may prompt changes in the geography of crime without actually reducing crime rates. An ancillary concern is whether significantly higher arrest rates within weed and seed zones represent advances in community policing. © 2010 SAGE Publications.

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