8. Having an impact on crime

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8. Having an impact on crime Powered By Docstoc
					Chapter 8: Having an
impact on crime
Revising the crime funnel

                             Original funnel   10% increase   25% increase in
                                               prosecutions     detections
Actual offenses                   1000            1000             1000
Reported to police                410              410             410
Recorded by police                287              287             287
Detected offenses                  75              75               93
Charged or summoned                37              41               47
Proceeded against at court         21              23               26
Found guilty                       15              17               19
Custodial sentence                3.7              4.1              4.7
The limitations of arrest strategies
   Even though many police officers profess to wanting to
    catch the criminal elite, they are constrained by an
    organizational system that rewards them for the volume
    of arrests rather than the quality of their captures
       As a result of observations of over 300 crack dealers, and
        interviews with over 120, Johnson and Natarajan estimate that
        experienced and higher-level dealers can minimize the risk of
        arrest to one for every thousand drug transactions or more
        (See Johnson and Natarajan 1995: 54)
       Conviction rates in the UK from suspicious transaction reports
        during the early 1990s were as low as one for every thousand
        suspicious reports
        (See Levi, 2002)
The benefits of crime prevention

                                Original funnel   10% Decrease in
                                                    actual crime
   Actual offenses                   1000              900
   Reported to police                410               369
   Recorded by police                287               258
   Detected offenses                  75                67
   Charged or summoned                37                34
   Proceeded against at court         21                19
   Found guilty                       15                14
   Custodial sentence                3.7                3.4
Why don’t politicians embrace prevention?
   Steve Lab (2004) points out why there is a general
    lack of enthusiasm for prevention from policymakers.
    Politicians prefer programs with:
       immediate results
       focus on outcomes that can be counted
       a sensationalist streak
       an eye to the immediate problems of the day
Defining reduction, disruption or prevention
   Crime reduction
       Brings ‘net benefits after considering the impact of
        displacement and diffusion of benefits, fear of crime and the
        impact from other programs that may have contributed to any
        specific crime reduction activity’ (Chainey and Ratcliffe 2005:
   Disruption
       Disruption ‘occurs when the business is hampered for a period
        of time, normally as a result of law enforcement action, but is
        not permanently disabled’ (EUROPOL 2006: 17)
   Crime prevention
       Involves any activity by an individual or group, public or private,
        which attempts to eliminate crime either before it occurs or
        before any additional activity results (Lab 1988)
Levels of crime prevention
   Primary prevention
       Identifies conditions of the physical and social environment that
        create, precipitate or provide opportunities for criminal
        behavior (Brantingham and Faust 1976)
   Secondary prevention
       Aims to reduce risks associated with those people vulnerable to
        involvement in crime, and to ameliorate the chance of high-risk
        offenders developing more serious criminal activities.
   Tertiary prevention
       Deals with actual offenders and involves ‘intervening with the
        lives of these offenders in a manner that prevents them from
        committing other crimes and includes arrest and prosecution,
        reform and rehabilitation, and institutional education programs’
        (Chainey and Ratcliffe 2005: 17)
Levels of crime prevention: ILP relevance
   Primary prevention
       Used to tackle the systemic weaknesses that offenders
        exploit so that more strategic problem-solving can take
   Secondary prevention
       Provides opportunities to identify priorities for resource
        allocation and targeting
   Tertiary prevention
       Prevention benefits from the arrest and prosecution of
        high-risk, prolific and persistent offenders
The changing leadership role
   Most police commanders have been groomed for
    leadership positions by subjecting them to training
    and experiences that are not related to crime
       ‘We have people in leadership and management positions
        who were never expected to do the job I’m asking them to
       (New Zealand Police District Commander quoted in
        Ratcliffe 2005: 449)
The limitations of lawyers
   In many US jurisdictions, the chief law enforcement
    officer has a legal background (district attorney or
    county prosecutor)
   This often prevents them from understanding the
    benefits of crime disruption or prevention
       ‘Although the gradual acceptance of prevention as the
        primary purpose of intelligence may precipitate
        improvement, law enforcement has a long history of
        strategies that respond to a current problem but rarely
        prevent or control an emerging or anticipated threat’
        (Higgins 2004: 72)
Does police targeting prevent crime?
   Unfocused increases in police numbers appears to be
    relatively ineffective
       10 per cent increase in police numbers would, on average,
        result in a 3 per cent reduction in the major crime types
        for a city
         • Evidence from a study of 49 states and 56 cities conducted by
           Marvell and Moody, 1996

       ‘Hiring more police officers did not play an independent or
        consistent role in reducing violent crime in the United
        States’ (Eck and Maguire 2000: 217)
Police impact on crime
   Limited or no value
       Unfocused increases in police numbers
       Targeted patrols at drug corners
       Arrests of some juveniles for minor offences
       Drug market arrests
       Community policing with no clear crime-risk factor focus

   Positive impact
       Targeted patrols in (non-drug) crime hotspots
       Civil code violations and nuisance legislation applied to drug
       Proactive arrests of serious repeat offenders
       Combine enforcement with prevention strategies
Concentrating on the 6 per cent
   The 6% that commit 60% of all crime
   New South Wales Police Compstat-like process
    encouraged local police commanders to focus on
       Crime hot spots and hot times
       Spend more time searching people for illegal weapons
       Target recidivist offenders

   OCR process shown to reduce crime and
       a burglary was prevented for every two arrests,
       a vehicle theft was prevented for every five arrests, and
       a robbery was prevented for every 30 arrests
       (See Chilvers and Weatherburn 2001a: 11)
University of Maryland review
   Successful strategies
       Incapacitating offenders who continue to commit crimes at
        high rates
       Family therapy by clinical staff for delinquent and pre-
        delinquent youth
       Short-term vocational training programmers for older male
        ex-offenders no longer involved in the criminal justice
       Prison-based therapeutic community treatment of drug-
        involved offenders
University of Maryland review
   Promising tactics (but that have to be evaluated further)
       Gang violence prevention focused on reducing gang
       Battered women’s shelters for women who take other
        steps to change their lives
       Housing dispersion programs
       Enterprise Zones
       Intensive, residential training programs for at-risk youth
University of Maryland review
   Unsuccessful tactics
       Gang community mobilization against crime, in high-crime,
        inner-city poverty areas
       Gun buy-back programs operated without geographic
        limitations on gun sources
       Summer job or subsidized work programs for at-risk youth
       Short-term, non-residential training programs for at-risk
       Emphasized specific deterrence such as shock probation
        and Scared Straight
 “Whether the motivation is religious fundamentalism, anti-
 government sentiment, or the disaffected loner, radicalized
groups or individuals are increasingly perpetrating terrorism.
 A substantial attack upon U.S. soil is increasingly likely. The
               answer rests with prevention. …

    The only way to prevent radicalization is to end the
 conditions that foster it. When efforts at prevention are
unsuccessful or impractical, a fully trained and seamlessly
   integrated public safety force is required to recognize
preincident indicators and develop interdiction, disruption,
                   or arrest strategies.”
                    (Bratton 2007: 6-7)

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