Weisburd’s Lecture Scrutinizes Crime Hot Spots

Posted: February 8, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: February 5, 2010 at 8:45 am

David Weisburd. Creative Services photo

In a Visions Series lecture on Monday, Feb. 15, David L. Weisburd, Distinguished Professor in the Administration of Justice Department and director of Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, will detail his position that place-based crime prevention is a good investment and that it is likely to lead to more crime control with fewer people being processed by the criminal justice system.

Weisburd’s talk, “Location, Location, Location: Hot Spots of Crime and Crime Prevention,” will be presented at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the Fairfax Campus.

Consider these facts:

  • Each year in a typical city, only 4 percent of the street segments are home to 50 percent of the crimes.
  • About a third of all officially recorded juvenile crimes in a city occur within 86 street segments.
  • Crime at place is relatively stable across time.
  • Good neighborhoods have crime hot spots, and problematic areas have many streets mostly free of crime.
  • Focusing crime prevention on specific places does not cause crime to simply “move around the corner.”

These are some of the empirical findings that led  Weisburd to focus on the concept of hot spots of crime.  In his lecture, Weisburd will discuss the implications of his research about decreasing crime in American communities.

Weisburd’s research on crime hot spots won him the 2010 Stockholm Prize in Criminology, widely considered the most prestigious in the field of criminology. This year’s award marks the first time the international committee has bestowed the award on a single individual.

The award will be presented to Weisburd on June 15, 2010, during the annual international Stockholm Criminology Symposium.

Weisburd is also active in his profession outside the university, sitting on a number of national steering committees and participating in working groups. He is a member of the Committee on Crime, Law and Justice of the National Research Council and served on the NRC working group on evaluating anti-crime programs and its panel on police practices and policies.

High-profile police chiefs, including Washington, D.C.’s Cathy Lanier and Los Angeles’ Bill Bratton, are familiar with and supportive of Weisburd’s strategies. Weisburd has worked with police departments, nationally and internationally, to alter and discontinue ineffective practices and implement new strategies that are proven to work.

The distinguished criminologist has received more than $12 million in private and public research funds during his career.

He is also the founding editor of the Journal of Experimental Criminology and serves on many journal editorial boards in criminology. Weisburd is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 80 scientific articles.

Weisburd holds a joint appointment as the Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

This lecture is free, but tickets are required. See the Center for the Arts web site for more information.

Write to mediarel at gazette@gmu.edu