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UT Austin Criminal Justice Center receives National Institute of Justice grant to study public order crime

The University of Texas Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice to study public order crime in Austin using innovative crime mapping technology. The grant award is for $150,000 and will extend over an 18-month period.

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AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice to study public order crime in Austin using innovative crime mapping technology. The grant award is for $150,000 and will extend over an 18-month period.

This research, which will be conducted in collaboration with the Austin Police Department, will develop more accurate crime mapping techniques for identifying crime hot spots, and will evaluate the relation between public order crime hot spots and the occurrence of more serious crime. Center researchers will utilize crime data from 1993 to 1998 to assess changes in the location and clustering of public order crimes and the location and clustering of more serious felony crimes.

This study is an important extension of the centerÌs ongoing research on public order crime and its commitment to conducting research with direct applications for enhancing community safety and security.

"This research will provide law enforcement with a better understanding of the relationship between public order crime and more serious crime, and more precise and useful techniques for measuring and tracking crime and crime hot spots so that police departments can implement early intervention and prevention programs" said Dr. William R. Kelly, principal investigator and director of the UT Center. Kelly also said "as a direct result of this research, law enforcement agencies throughout Texas and the nation will benefit from improved crime mapping and tracking tools."

Stanley Knee, chief of the Austin Police Department said "our interest in collaborating with the University of Texas Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research is twofold. First, we have operated on the assumption that where lesser crimes exist, more serious crimes will follow. We would benefit from hard evidence on when, why and how this assumption holds true. Second, we are increasingly reliant on crime mapping and the identification of "hot spots" in allocating patrol and prevention resources. Being able to strategically address neighborhood problems before they escalate holds a promise of safer, more secure neighborhoods."