A quasi-experimental evaluation using roadblocks and automatic license plate readers to reduce crime in Buffalo, NY

Original Article


This article evaluates the effective of a hot spots policing strategy: using automated license plate readers at roadblocks in Buffalo, NY. Different roadblock locations were chosen by the Buffalo Police Department every day over a two-month period. We use propensity score matching to identify a set of control locations based on prior counts of crime and demographic factors. We find modest reductions in Part 1 violent crimes (10 over all roadblock locations and over the two months) using t tests of mean differences. We find a 20% reduction in traffic accidents using fixed effects negative binomial regression models. Both results are sensitive to the model used though, and the fixed effects models predict increases in crimes due to the intervention. We suggest that the limited intervention at one time may be less effective than focusing on a single location multiple times over an extended period.


Micro places Propensity score matching Traffic enforcement Hot spots Automated license plate readers 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences – Criminology ProgramThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.SUNY Buffalo StateBuffaloUSA

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