An Analysis of the Apprehension Activities of the New York City Police Department

by Peter W. Greenwood

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This report describes a set of criteria for evaluating apprehension efforts that are consistent with the overall objectives of the criminal justice system, and the application of these criteria to existing programs. Focus is on programs leading to the arrest of Part I offenders: homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny, and auto theft. "Probability of arrest" was adopted as the measure of program effectiveness. For Part I crimes, it was found that probability of arrest is high for crimes of passion — homicide, rape, assault — and that probability increases with effort devoted to each case. For crimes of profit, probability of arrest is extremely low and does not appear to increase with effort. General patrol appears to be more productive than tails or stakeouts, and plainclothes detective patrol proved more productive in arresting serious offenders than uniformed patrol and investigation activities.

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