Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Measuring Your Effectiveness

Measurement allows you to determine to what degree your efforts have succeeded and suggests how you might modify your responses if they are not producing the intended results. You should take measures of your problem before you implement responses to determine how serious the problem is, and after you implement them to determine whether they have been effective. When problems are geographic, measures should be taken for both a target group and the surrounding area to detect any spatial displacement and, if possible, a comparable area to provide a basis of comparison. In many cases, measures should be taken for the problem of interest and any problem to which offenses may be displaced, such as from residential burglaries to commercial burglaries. (For more detailed guidance on measuring effectiveness, see the companion guide to this series, Assessing Responses to Problems: An Introductory Guide for Police Problem-Solvers.)

The following are potentially useful measures of the effectiveness of responses focused on repeat victimization:

  • reduction in the number or frequency of reported incidents,
  • reduction in the proportion of repeat offenses,
  • reduction in the number or frequency of calls for service,
  • reduction in repeat calls for service,
  • reduction in the proportion of repeat victims,
  • reduction in completed offenses,
  • reduction of value of property taken or harm associated with offenses, and
  • increase in arrests associated with offenses suffered by repeat victims.