The Reducing Crime podcast
With over 190,000 downloads and plays, this monthly podcast features conversations with influential thinkers in the police service and leading crime and policing researchers working to advance public safety. Often amusing, often enlightening, always informative. Host Professor Jerry Ratcliffe chats to a range of international guests covering policing, crime prevention, practical criminology, and public safety policy.
The podcast is available directly from SoundCloud or Apple podcasts, where you can also subscribe to get access to new podcasts when they become available. You can also find the podcast in most dedicated podcast outlets, such as Stitcher, Spotify, and Google podcasts. Follow @_reducingcrime on twitter for updates on the latest episodes and news.
Also, if you are an instructor or lecturer then send a DM on twitter to @Jerry_Ratcliffe with your work/university email address for a free spreadsheet with multiple choice questions for every podcast episode. Each episode also has transcripts (see below).
#65: Martin Bouchard
Martin Bouchard is a professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University. His work focuses on the social organization of illicit markets, as well as the role of social networks in a variety of criminal enterprises. In this episode, he talks about the application of social network analysis to understanding gangs and organized crime groups, concepts of social network analysis, including dyads and brokers, and discusses how police can use this understanding to strategically target and disrupt criminal activity.
At Simon Fraser University, Martin leads the Crime and Illicit Networks Lab. He has published extensively in the area of social organization of illicit markets, as well as the role of social networks in a variety of criminal enterprises. This includes understanding gang violence, and the effect of gang affiliation on individuals getting into, and out of, criminal lifestyles. He received his PhD in 2006 from the Université de Montréal, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Maryland. He has worked with numerous governmental and law enforcement agencies in Canada and on Canadian organized crime groups, and in 2019 he received the Western Society of Criminology Fellows Award for individuals who have made important contributions to the field of criminology.
#64: Dave Cowan
Detective Superintendent Dave Cowan of Australia's Victoria Police talks about his journey into evidence-based policing (EBP) and his experiments, such as a focused deterrence trial and a trial using behavioral science during COVID. He also discusses the importance of better communication and application of research in policing, and the challenges and progress in implementing EBP within policing. He emphasizes the importance of leadership, curiosity, and innovation in driving change.
Detective Superintendent Dave Cowan is the commanding officer of the Organized Crime Division for Australia’s Victoria Police.
He has a Masters in Applied Criminology from Cambridge University, has completed the Senior Executives Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of government, and has been the President of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Evidence-Based Policing since 2019. Dave is also this year’s recipient of the Australian Institute of Criminology’s Gold award for Crime and Violence Prevention.
In the episode, Dave discusses Operation Capesso. Here is a link to further information on that innovative approach to focused deterrence.
#63: Seth Williams
Seth Williams was a groundbreaking Philadelphia District Attorney and the first Black District Attorney in the State of Pennsylvania. He attended West Point, transferred to, and graduated from Penn State University, and Georgetown Law School, was a major in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the US Army, and in November 2009 with more than 75% of the vote, was elected District Attorney in Philadelphia. He was on track for a third term, when in 2017 he was convicted in federal court on a charge related to the receipt of undisclosed gifts. We talk about his incarceration, and the role of the District Attorney.
Seth attended West Point, transferred to, and graduated from Penn State University, and Georgetown Law School, was a major in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the US Army, and in November 2009 was elected District Attorney in Philadelphia, becoming the first black District Attorney in the state of Pennsylvania.
He initiated a number of high-profile prosecutions but in 2017 the FBI announced a 23-count indictment charging him with bribery, extortion, and wire fraud in connection with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of concealed bribes and undisclosed gifts while as district attorney. In a plea deal, he subsequently pleaded guilty to one charge. He was sentenced to 5 years, ultimately serving 34 months in federal prison.
#62: Ron Clarke
Ron Clarke is a criminological legend, the originator of the situational approach to preventing crime, and he co-developed the rational choice perspective with Derek Cornish. He led the UK Home Office Research and Planning Unit before going on to spend a long and storied academic career at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Ron is the founding editor of Crime Prevention Studies and authored or co-authored more than 300 books, monographs and papers. A critic of mainstream criminology, he nonetheless was awarded the prestigious Stockholm Prize in Criminology in 2015.
Before moving to the US in 1984, Ron spent a decade and a half in British government’s criminological research department, the Home Office Research and Planning Unit, rising to position of Director in 1982. Clarke is best known for his development of the theory and application of situational crime prevention, although he also played a major part in the establishment of the British Crime Survey. He was among the first to realize that the secret to crime prevention wasn’t often-unrealistic broad societal changes but the careful and detailed analysis of the micro-environments associated with crime, followed with targeted interventions.
Note: Here is a link to the Jerry Lee lecture I mention in the introduction.
#61: Terry Cherry
Terry Cherry is a recruiting officer with the Charleston (South Carolina) police department, NIJ LEADS scholar, and has been recognized as an IACP 40 under 40 up-and-coming leader in policing. In her 11 years with the Charleston department she has also worked patrol, investigations, and started a problem-solving unit. Working with academic colleagues she has taken a more evidence-based approach to her recruitment work and we discuss solutions to the current crisis facing police recruitment and retention.
Terry has 11 years with the Charleston, South Carolina police department and has served in patrol, investigations and problem solving. She now works in their recruiting team. Terry has been published in the academic journal Police Practice and Research, Police Chief magazine, and she featured in a recent article in The Atlantic.
She is a National Institute of Justice LEADS scholar, was a 2020 IACP 40 Under 40 up-and-coming leader, and was awarded the 2021 Ina Mae “Tiny” Miller Award from NAWLEE, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives. she has worked with scholars such as Geoff Alpert, Kyle MacLean, and Jeremy Wilson.
The Jerry Lee lecture I mention at the beginning can be seen at this link.