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A randomised control trial of hot spot policing on the London bus network (Operation Menas)

A randomised control trial of hot spot policing on the London bus network.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Ben Linton (MPS), Tim Herbert (TfL); Henry Partridge
Police region
Collaboration and partnership

Metropolitan Police Service and Transport for London.

Project start date
Date completed


The hypothesis of this research is that patrolling the most chronic hot spots on the London bus network for 15 minutes at a time will reduce crime.

Geographical area


Target sample size

Approximately 50 hot spots.

Participants - inclusion criteria

The trial sites were identified using community safety Driver Incident Reports. These are calls made by bus drivers to CentreComm – the London Buses control room who determine whether an emergency response is required.

Incidents may include criminal damage to the bus, passengers refusing to pay, threatening violence etc. Data supplied by iBus allows incidents to be closely matched to the nearest appropriate bus stop. Trial sites were tested for spatial autocorrelation and temporal stability.

Crime and CAD data supplied by the Metropolitan Police will be the primary outcome measures for the trial.



Proactive patrol by a pair of officers (one PC, one PCSO) in the hot spot for 15 minutes. Hot spots to receive at least three treatments a day for three months.

Study design

Fully randomised control trial.

Outcome measures

Metropolitan Police recorded crime and bus driver incident reports (DIRs).

Summary of findings

Ariel, B., Partridge, H. Predictable Policing: Measuring the Crime Control Benefits of Hotspots Policing at Bus StopsJ Quant Criminol 33, 809–833 (2017).

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