Why Don’t Problems Get Solved?” Community Policing: Can It Work?
CRIME ANALYSIS FOR PROBLEM SOLVERS In 660 SSmall SSteps
Ronald V. Clarke & John E. Eck
U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
COPS COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING SERVICES U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Center ffor PProblem-OOriented PPolicing
This project was supported by cooperative agreement #2003CKWXK048 by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement of the product by the author or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.
Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers IIn 660 SSmall SSteps
Ronald V. Clarke
John E. Eck
nd er Place
Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers in 60 Small Steps
his is a revised and extended version of a manual, Become a Problem-
Solving Crime Analyst, that we wrote for the Jill Dando Institute of Crime
Science at University College London, with financial support from the
Home Office. We are most grateful to the Institute and to the Home Office
for allowing us to produce this version for the United States. We are also
grateful to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services for
commissioning the work. In the Acknowledgements page of the earlier
version we thanked many colleagues and friends on whose work we had
freely drawn. Those who have materially assisted us in completing this
version by supplying material for inclusion, commenting on drafts, or in
other ways, include: Stacy Belledin, Rachel Boba, Karen Bullock, Barbie
Brookover, Christopher Bruce, Andy Brumwell, Graham Farrell, Rob
Guerette, Samantha Gwinn, Shane Johnson, Johannes Knutsson, Gloria
Laycock, Nancy Leach, Deborah Loewen, Tamara Madensen, Mangai
Natarajan, Cynthia Pappas, Ken Pease, Nanci Plouffe, Barry Poyner, Jerry
Ratcliffe, George Rengert, Nick Ross, Kim Rossmo, Rana Sampson,
Matthew Scheider, Karin Schmerler, Michael Scott, Nick Tilley, Susan
Wernicke, Matt White, and Deborah Lamm Weisel. We thank all of them.
Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers in 60 Small Steps
Ronald Clarke is university professor in the school of Criminal Justice at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and visiting professor at the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, University College London. He worked for many years in the Home Office Research and Planning Unit, where he contributed to the development of situational crime prevention and the British Crime Survey. He is associate director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing and chair of the judges for the annual Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem- Oriented Policing. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
RONALD V. CLARKE
John Eck is professor of criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati. He has contributed to the development of problem-oriented policing since 1984 when he studied the first full-scale attempt to implement the concept in the United States at Newport News, Virginia. He helped to develop a number of now standard techniques in problem-oriented policing, including the SARA model and the problem analysis triangle. Dr. Eck is an affiliate member of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. He is a judge for the Tilley Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. Dr. Eck was a member of the Committee to Review Research on Police Policy and Practice (2000-2003) of the National Academy of Sciences. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOHN E. ECK
One of the primary concerns in policing in the UnitedStates today – and for the foreseeable future – isthe severe constraint on spending. The lion’s share of police budgets is consumed in personnel costs. As a result, many police agencies are already operating significantly below their authorized strength. Funds to hire new officers to meet growing needs are hard to obtain. And, of special relevance here, traditional forms of policing, because they are so heavily dependent on personnel, are being curtailed. Calls cannot be handled as completely and quickly as in the past. Personnel cannot be as freely assigned to increasing the police presence on the streets in labor-intensive tactics, such as crackdowns, sweeps, and special task forces.
This reality is a powerful new force for rethinking the way in which we police. It connects with prior efforts to promote greater concern for the effectiveness of the police. And it lends fresh impetus to meeting a long-standing, neglected need – the need to equip the police with an institutionalized capacity to examine its work product; to routinely ask, before committing to more of the same, what it is that the police are expected to accomplish and how they can more effectively accomplish it.
Rethinking current methods requires a new understanding of the role of the police – both on the part of the police and the public they serve. It is essential to recognize that the police function is not as simple as it is sometimes portrayed. It is incredibly complex. It is not a singular function, commonly defined as enforcing the law. It requires dealing with a broad range of behavioral problems, each quite different from the other. It does not consist simply of reacting to an endless array of incidents. Police are now expected to prevent them from occurring in the first instance.
A fresh perspective on policing requires that the police examine, in depth, each of the numerous behavioral problems that together constitute their business; that they consider a broader range of strategies on how best to prevent, reduce, or eliminate each of them; and that they weigh more precisely their effectiveness upon adopting a new targeted response. This is the essence of problem- oriented policing.
Many advances have been realized under the umbrella of problem-oriented policing since the concept was first introduced in 1979. But these have not been mainstreamed within policing. Their implementation has been spotty, uneven, and without deep and lasting roots. They remain overshadowed by the dominant, continuing commitment to traditional policing and its heavy dependence on lots of police officers patrolling and making arrests.
Greater concern about police effectiveness in dealing with specific behavioral problems need not start from scratch. Collectively, we know much about the wide range of behavioral problems that constitute police business and how best to prevent them. This knowledge can be found in the substantial literature on crime and crime prevention – especially in the literature on situational crime prevention. Much of value can be found, too, among the practices of police agencies and in the minds of experienced police officers, but this experience and expertise must be tapped and subjected to rigorous analysis.
The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (POP Center) (www.popcenter.org) now serves as a locus for the collection of the growing body of knowledge regarding problems commonly encountered by the police. It disseminates this material in various ways, but primarily through the publication of its problem-oriented guides. Each guide synthesizes existing knowledge and evaluated practices regarding a specific problem, and stimulates police to advance their own thinking about how best to handle the problem in its local context.
While the POP Center has documented hundreds of successful cases in problem-oriented policing, a major impediment to advancing the concept has been the absence of an analytical capacity within police agencies. Many police agencies do employ one or more crime analysts, but some of the largest and more advanced police organizations do not. When employed, the job of the crime analyst is often narrowly limited to tabulating crimes that occur. In others, it extends to identifying patterns of crimes with the primary objective of identifying the likely offender so that he/she can be apprehended. In its more ambitious form, the crime analyst’s job may include identifying factors contributing to a crime pattern, but the job of deciding how to respond to these factors is usually deferred to operational personnel, who then tend to use traditional means for dealing with them.
Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers in 60 Small Steps
Meanwhile, the field of crime analysis itself has grown much more sophisticated. A strong literature on its potential is now available. The ability to electronically capture, store, and retrieve massive amounts of data that police routinely collect is infinitely greater than it was just a decade ago. The capacity to map crime geographically is stunning, and is now a major, indispensable tool in crime analysis. Standard approaches have been developed for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence across jurisdictional lines.
In this manual, Ronald Clarke and John Eck set out a much more ambitious and potentially productive agenda for the analyst. They outline a role in which the crime analyst invests heavily in seeking new responses to the problems that are diagnosed and participates directly in efforts to test and implement them. The analyst is expected to contribute to exploring new, more creative, and potentially more effective ways of carrying out the police job. Through this manual, Clarke and Eck demonstrate how one analyst, properly trained and utilized, has the potential to increase many times the productivity and effectiveness of perhaps hundreds of police officers. Understood in this way, an investment in crime analysts can be a smart way to increase the return on the substantial investment that communities make in sworn police personnel.
Blending their expertise as researchers and their familiarity with policing, Clarke and Eck have collected all of the knowledge and methodology that is relevant and currently available; organized it in 60 small segments or steps that build logically upon each other; and communicated the material in a style that is both concise and engaging. The volume is packed with vital and sophisticated information that makes it one of the most significant publications addressed to the policing field in the past several decades.
The most immediate goal of the manual is to help the relatively small number of individuals now commonly employed in police agencies as crime analysts to expand their function and thereby contribute more to the effectiveness of their agency’s operations. It is intended, more ambitiously, to contribute to the training of new crime analysts or problem-solvers, to increasing their number, and to their development as a distinct and vital profession. But problem analysis is not the exclusive
domain of technicians. We hope that, everyone else in a police agency, from officers on the beat to police executives, and, more broadly, those in both the public and private sector concerned about crime, will incorporate the line of thinking set forth in the manual into the perspectives they bring to their work.
Herman Goldstein Professor of Law Emeritus University of Wisconsin-Madison
This 60-step manual assumes that you are anexperienced analyst and that you are accustomed toproviding the kind of information needed to support police operations. This means that:
The manual builds on this experience to prepare you for a different analytic role as a key member of a problem- solving team. Indeed, the latest writings on problem- oriented policing see crime analysts as central to this new way of policing communities. These writers argue that many of the weaknesses of current practice result from the insufficient involvement of well-trained crime analysts at each stage of the problem-solving process.
The manual prepares you for this new role by providing you with a basic knowledge of problem-oriented policing and the related fields of environmental criminology and situational crime prevention. You cannot adequately function as a problem-solving crime analyst without being conversant with these fields. Nor can you fill this role without rethinking your job, and the early sections of the manual explain how to take a more proactive approach. You cannot simply wait for your police colleagues to come to you with requests for information. Instead, you must take the initiative at every stage of the project in defining the scope of the problem-solving effort, in trying to analyze the causes of the problem, in helping to find an effective response, and in setting up the project so that it can be evaluated and the police can learn from the results. This means that you must be an integral member
of the problem-solving team, that you must explore sources of information and data well beyond those that you normally use in your work, that you must stick with a particular project much longer than you normally would and, finally, that you will share the credit for its success, or the disappointment for its failure, equally with the other members of the team.
The manual assumes that analysts who take on this new role are interested in contributing to the development of their profession. Assisted by vastly improved data-bases and powerful computing hardware and software, crime analysis is on the verge of becoming an exciting new specialty. Indeed, it has already begun to attract a cadre of well-trained and highly motivated professionals who are vital to the development of policing in the 21st century. You can make your contribution by communicating the results of your work in professional meetings and in the journals of your profession. By doing so, you will not only help your profession and policing in general, but you will become a more informed and valuable resource to your own force.
The manual is short enough to get through in a weekend. It would be hard work and probably worth doing, but it was not designed to be read and then shelved. Instead, we hope that you will find it to be an indispensable reference source that you will keep near your desk, consulting it whenever needed in the course of a problem-solving project. This is why it is designed to be robust, allowing for continuous use. When open at a particular step it is designed to lie flat on your desk so that you can consult it easily when working at your computer.
We have arranged the steps to follow logically one from another, in line with the SARA model (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment), though each is self-contained and deals with a specific topic. This should make it unnecessary for you to leaf through the manual, jumping from place to place, when dealing with a particular topic. To get the best out of the manual you should be thoroughly familiar with the list of contents and you should have browsed through sections that interest you to get an idea of the coverage. But you need only study a particular step when you have an immediate need for the information it contains. In any case, this is the best way to learn: to seek and apply information when you have a practical need for it.
read this firstread this first
Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers in 60 Small Steps
In some cases, we do deal with a particular topic in more than one place. For example, Step 12 provides a general introduction to the concept of displacement, while Steps 48 and 49 explain how to check for various forms of displacement at the evaluation stages. The combined glossary and index at the end of the manual should help you find where a topic is mentioned in more than one place.
We use examples from other countries as well as from the United States. We sought the best examples to make our point, so even if the context is foreign, the principles are universal. We hope this diversity of ideas stimulates creative thought: “Could that approach be adapted to this problem? How could we do it?”
We have not referenced the manual as fully as an academic publication for several reasons. We have already tried to distill the essentials of the literature at each step. We also doubt that busy crime analysts will have much time for academic reading. Lastly, few of you will have ready access to the specialized libraries that hold this material. But occasionally you will need to know more about a topic, and at each step we identify key articles or books that you should be able to obtain more easily. Where possible, we have chosen those that are accessible on the Web. If you need help with references, feel free to email one of us at the addresses given earlier. We would also be glad to receive any comments on the manual, especially suggestions for improvement, which could be useful if we prepare later editions. Most important, please don’t be shy about suggesting your own analyses for inclusion!
As explained in the Acknowledgements, we have developed this manual from an earlier version that we prepared for the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College London. We have removed British terms and spelling and have replaced many of the British examples with American ones. But you will still find many references to things British. In particular you will see frequent mention of the Home Office, which is equivalent to the U.S. Department of Justice. It has overall responsibility for matters relating to crime and justice in England and Wales, including the police. There are only 43 police forces in England and Wales (for a population of about 50 million), so the forces are much larger than most American police departments. There is also much more uniformity among British police forces in policies, rank structures, equipment, and deployment. This is partly due to the oversight provided by the Home Office (which provides 51 percent of each force’s budget) and regular inspections by Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary. The Home Office also funds a great deal of research on crime and criminal justice and has its own large research department that publishes many studies of direct, practical relevance to police. Recently, it has sponsored much work on problem-oriented policing, including the original version of this manual.
The Home Office and the British Police
60 small stepsCrime Analysis for Problem Solvers in Acknowledgements
Read This First
Prepare Yourself 1. Rethink your job 2. Be the local crime expert 3. Know what is effective (and not) in policing
Learn About Problem-Oriented Policing 4. Become a POP expert 5. Be true to POP 6. Be very crime specific 7. Be guided by SARA – not led astray!
Study Environmental Criminology 8. Use the problem analysis triangle 9. Know that opportunity makes the thief 10. Put yourself in the offender’s shoes 11. Expect offenders to react 12. Don’t be discouraged by the displacement doomsters 13. Expect diffusion of benefits
Scan for Crime Problems 14. Use the CHEERS test when defining problems 15. Know what kind of problem you have 16. Study the journey to crime 17. Know how hot spots develop 18. Learn if the 80-20 rule applies
Analyze in Depth 19. Research your problem 20. Formulate hypotheses 21. Collect your own data 22. Examine your data distributions 23. Diagnose your hot spot 24. Know when to use high-definition maps 25. Pay attention to daily and weekly rhythms 26. Take account of long-term change
Find a Practical Response 38. Embrace your key role at response 39. Increase the effort of crime 40. Increase the risks of crime 41. Reduce the rewards of crime 42. Reduce provocations 43. Remove excuses for crime 44. Find the owner of the problem 45. Choose responses likely to be implemented
Assess the Impact 46. Conduct a process evaluation 47. Know how to use controls 48. Consider geographical and temporal displacement 49. Examine displacement to other targets, tactics and crime types 50. Watch for other offenders moving in 51. Be alert to unexpected benefits 52. Expect premature falls in crime 53. Test for significance
Comunicate Effectively 54. Tell a clear story 55. Make clear maps 56. Use simple tables 57. Use simple figures 58. Organize powerful presentations 59. Become an effective presenter 60. Contribute to the store of knowledge
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