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

Randomised Control Trial Status


Trial Hypothesis

​That patrolling the most chronic hotspot on the London bus network for 15 minutes at a time will reduce crime.

Geographical area


Research Institution / Organisation

University of Cambridge

In Collaboration With

Metropolitan Police Service and Transport for London

Contact Name

Henry Partridge

Project Start Date

January 2014

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.

Target Sample Size

Approx 50 hotspots.

Study Design

​Fully randomised control trial


​Proactive patrol by a pair of officers (one PC, one PCSO) in the hotspot for 15 minutes.  Hotspots to receive at least three treatments a day for three months.

Outcome Measures

​The Metropolitan Police Service recorded crime and bus driver incident reports.

Summary of Findings

Hotspots policing at bus stops - and potentially other “micro places” - has a limited deterrent effect if patrol patterns are predictable. Police agencies therefore need to randomise their deployments both spatially and temporally to increase the unpredictability of enforcement.


Barak Ariel, Henry Partridge; "Predictable Policing: Measuring the Crime Control Benefits of Hotspots Policing at Bus Stops" Journal of Quantative Criminology; June 2016


Date last updated

Monday 25 June 2018
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