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Chapter 6: How the police can impact crime

Abstract

This chapter focuses on what a police commander can do in his or her area. It starts by noting where a commander should not focus, such as relying on the criminal justice system, failing strategies, or officer intuition. It also points out the differences between policing inputs, outputs, and outcomes to aid understanding of where command focus should rest. The chapter then details the main techniques for situation crime prevention that are centered around increasing the effort of crime, increasing the risks, reducing the rewards, reducing provocations, and removing excuses for crime. Enforcement options are discussed, as well as indirect enforcement that shifts ownership of the problem (Goldstein’s hierarchy). The chapter concludes by detailing strategies for hot spots policing and proactive police tactics, including focused deterrence. A bullet point summary of the key points completes the chapter.

Headings and sub-headings

Focus on what can be achieved
Things that you shouldn’t rely on
Crime prevention
Enforcement
Hot spots policing
Proactive strategies
Chapter summary

Additional links

By most accounts, Jack Maple was a larger than life character. His role in developing CrimeStat and promoting proactive policing was stressed in his New York Times obituary

The crime funnel is briefly described in the book. A recent book on intelligence-led policing has more information on how it was developed. 

The full (albeit academic) explanation of the British coal gas story can be found here

Early writings on the 25 techniques of situational crime prevention started with 16. Removing excuses was added at a later stage. 

Vignette author Sergeant Paul ‘Bear’ Daly was the first person in the 40-year history of the Western Australia Police Officer of the Year Award to win twice

The evidence for hot spots policing is robust and there are numerous sites where you can access further information, including from the US Government's crime solutions site. Reducing Crime also has a blog post and one-page pdf primer on hot spots policing

The recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel on proactive policing has various resources. The full report is available through a free pdf download link near the top right of this page, but there is also a four-page research brief, police executives' four-page pdf brief, and a two-minute video

Vignette author Justin Ross has worked with the innovative intelligence-led policing section of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. 

The  Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, housed within the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University, has more information on focused deterrence strategies. You can also find related materials and strategy guides at the site of the National Network for Safe Communities

 

Figures

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Vignette authors

Paul Daly 

Paul Daly is an experienced Senior Sergeant in the Western Australia Police Force.  Since 1995, he has served in metropolitan Perth in frontline duties, Juvenile Aid, drug enforcement, and gang crime, and in the regional towns of Beverley, Margaret River and Shark Bay, which exposed him to the complexities of policing the largest geographical policing jurisdiction in the world.  In 2007, Paul won the community-nominated WA Police Officer of the Year award and in 2012 became the only Officer in its 40 year history to win the highly-regarded award twice. Study exchanges to the United Kingdom and U.S.A. enabled Paul to experience international policing practices firsthand.  He has extensive experience in Emergency Management and has provided incident support at major bushfires in Western Australia and at G20 in Queensland. He has also assisted Queensland Police with service delivery change management. Paul is presently delivering organisational improvement programs within the WA Police Service.

Justin Ross 

Justin Ross began his career with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in 2006. He served as a forensics technician, a deputy sheriff, and an economic crimes detective. Justin was promoted to sergeant where he also served as the agency’s representative on a local justice and mental health committee to perfect the response to and identify services for persons suffering from mental illness. Justin went on to supervise the Economic Crimes and Major Crimes Units before being promoted to lieutenant. As a lieutenant, Justin oversaw Forensics and Property Evidence, and in 2016 he was selected to be the Director of the Intelligence-Led Policing Section. Justin was promoted to Captain in 2017 and is currently responsible for developing the preparedness and directing the response of the Sheriff’s Office to unusual occurrences, active threats, and other critical incidents. Justin has a Bachelors in Criminology and Masters in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of South Florida.

Chapter-related review questions

Chapter 6: In the crime funnel, from 1000 crimes experienced by the public, how many are recorded by police?
A.    530
B.    429
C.    99
D.    4
 
Chapter 6: In the crime funnel, from 1000 crimes experienced by the public, how many are detected by police?
A.    530
B.    429
C.    99
D.    4
 
Chapter 6: In the crime funnel, from 1000 crimes experienced by the public, how many result in a custodial sentence?
A.    530
B.    429
C.    99
D.    4
 
Chapter 6: How does the book describe the number of bar door staff trained in de-escalation techniques?
A.    An input
B.    An output
C.    An outcome
D.    A starting point
 
Chapter 6: How does the book describe fewer reported assaults at town center bars and clubs?
A.    An input
B.    An output
C.    An outcome
D.    A starting point
 
Chapter 6: Chapter 6 argues that there are various things that we should not reply on to reduce crime. Which of the following is NOT one of them?
A.    Crime prevention
B.    The criminal justice system
C.    Our intuition
D.    Outputs
 
Chapter 6: Which of the following is NOT one of the five main prevention mechanisms?
A.    Increase the risks of crime
B.    Increase the effort of crime
C.    Reduce provocations
D.    Increase the number of arrests
 
Chapter 6: Target hardening taps into which crime prevention mechanism?
A.    Increase the risks of crime
B.    Increase the effort of crime
C.    Reduce the rewards of crime
D.    Remove excuses
 
Chapter 6: Installing CCTV cameras taps into which crime prevention mechanism?
A.    Increase the risks of crime
B.    Increase the effort of crime
C.    Reduce the rewards of crime
D.    Reduce provocations
 
Chapter 6: Apple Pay and other forms of cashless payment taps into which crime prevention mechanism?
A.    Increase the risks of crime
B.    Increase the effort of crime
C.    Reduce the rewards of crime
D.    Remove excuses
 
Chapter 6: Fixed cab fares from airports taps into which crime prevention mechanism?
A.    Increase the risks of crime
B.    Increase the effort of crime
C.    Reduce the rewards of crime
D.    Reduce provocations
 
Chapter 6: Which of the following is the MOST difficult to implement of Herman Goldstein's hierarchy of approaches to shift responsibility to problem owners?
A.    Straightforward informal requests
B.    Educational programs
C.    Bring a civil action
D.    Public shaming
 
Chapter 6: Which of the following is the LEAST difficult to implement of Herman Goldstein's hierarchy of approaches to shift responsibility to problem owners?
A.    Straightforward informal requests
B.    Educational programs
C.    Bring a civil action
D.    Public shaming
 
Chapter 6: Random patrol is an effective crime reduction strategy. True or false?
A.    TRUE
B.    FALSE
 
Chapter 6: The mechanism by which most hot spots policing works is called what?
A.    Targeting
B.    Focusing
C.    Deterrence
D.    Highlighting
 
Chapter 6: Hot spots policing is an effective crime reduction strategy. True or false?
A.    TRUE
B.    FALSE
 
Chapter 6: "All policing strategies that have as one of their goals the prevention or reduction of crime and disorder and that are not reactive in terms of focusing primarily on uncovering ongoing crime or on investigating or responding to crimes once they have occu
A.    Broken windows policing
B.    Community policing
C.    Proactive policing
D.    Hot spots policing
 
Chapter 6: Approximately what percentage of the population commit 60 percent of the crime?
A.    6
B.    16
C.    60
D.    66
 
Chapter 6: During the Philadelphia Policing Tactics Experiment, who officers worked in offender-focus areas engaged with serious, repeat offenders in a variety of ways. Did this reduce violent crime?
A.    YES
B.    NO
 
Chapter 6: What is generally NOT the case with gang areas?
A.    They have increased gun assaults
B.    They have increased drug dealing
C.    They have reduced property crime
D.    They have increased violence
 
Chapter 6: What is another name for a focused deterrence strategy?
A.    Hot spots policing
B.    Broken windows
C.    Reactive policing
D.    Pulling levers
 
Chapter 6: What was the first evaluation site for a focused deterrence strategy?
A.    The Philadelphia Policing Tactics Experiment
B.    The New Orleans Group Violence Reduction Strategy
C.    Chicago Cure Violence
D.    The Boston Operation Ceasefire program

Select another chapter: Chp 1  |  Chp 2  |  Chp 3  |  Chp 4  |  Chp 5  |  Chp 6  |  Chp 7  |  Chp 8  |  Chp 9  |  Chp 10  |  Chp 11