Policing entertainment districts

Blair J. Berkley (Management Department, School of Business and Economics, California State University, Los Angeles, California, USA, and)
John R. Thayer (Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Barbara, California, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Publication date: 1 December 2000


Entertainment is now the largest trend in retailing and urban redevelopment, and is credited with revitalizing many downtowns. Consequently, many other cities are attempting to replicate this success by developing pedestrian‐oriented entertainment districts consisting of movie theaters, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and retail shopping. This paper summarizes the results of 30 police‐manager interviews and a nationwide survey used to identify entertainment‐district features that create problems and demands for police resources, and effective strategies and tactics for policing entertainment districts. The most effective policing is done at the district planning and design stage by engineering out features that cause problems. Good entertainment‐district policing then requires continuous training and education of business managers and private security personnel. Finally, night‐time district patrol requires a multi‐prong effort to pre‐empt problems and assure public safety.



Berkley, B. and Thayer, J. (2000), "Policing entertainment districts", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 466-491. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510010355468

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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