Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

The impact of operational performance reviews on reported crime in Queensland

Media Release

05 June 2006

'Change in the strategic management of police has success in driving down some recorded crime rates', the Director of the Australia Institute of Criminology (AIC), Dr Toni Makkai, said today on the release of 'The impact of Operational Performance Reviews on reported crime in Queensland', the most recent AIC publication in its Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice series.

This paper summarises an evaluation of the Queensland Police Service's Operational Performance Reviews (OPRs). OPRs are based on COMPSTAT style policing models first set up in New York in 1994 where it is regarded as having made a significant contribution to the reduction of crime. Versions of this model have been set up in many states in Australia and involve four key elements - timely intelligence, rapid deployment, effective tactics and assessment.

"The evaluation results are promising," Dr Makkai said, "The introduction of the OPRs in Queensland were associated with a significant state-wide decrease in the total number of reported offences in Queensland, although there were some crime categories where the strategy did not reduce crime"

The impact also varies considerably by district. As some districts drove a large proportion of the decline in crime across the state, the results highlighted the importance of targeting 'hotspots' of specific crime types.

Importantly, highly specific problem-solving efforts at the district level have the potential to influence the state crime rate.

More strategic management associated with problem oriented policing focused on 'hotspots' of crime can result in cost savings to the community.

"This research reflects a commitment by Queensland Police Service to find out what works and what doesn't work, and is the outcome of a successful collaboration between researchers and practitioners," Dr Makkai said, "The research also highlights what can be done with existing data sources, a commitment to building long-term linked small area data and sophisticated statistical analysis."

This paper is taken from the report of research undertaken with the assistance of a grant from the Criminology Research Council.

Full report: The impact of operational performance reviews (OPRs) on reported crime in Queensland