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Problem-Oriented Policing CRITIC. Introduction Problem-oriented policing (POP) is an approach that seeks to – Determine the underlying complex mechanisms.

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Presentation on theme: "Problem-Oriented Policing CRITIC. Introduction Problem-oriented policing (POP) is an approach that seeks to – Determine the underlying complex mechanisms."— Presentation transcript:

1 Problem-Oriented Policing CRITIC

2 Introduction Problem-oriented policing (POP) is an approach that seeks to – Determine the underlying complex mechanisms (conditions) of crime problems – Develop tailor-made interventions to address these underlying conditions

3 Introduction Basic POP framework:

4 Introduction Researchers suggest POP is effective in controlling various types of crime problems and disorder – E.g., Theft from vehicles (see Eck and Spelman), convenience store robberies, prostitution, and alcohol-related violence in bars and clubs Also, successful in addressing fear of crime and quality of life problems – E.g., Loch Raven Apartments and the Belmont Treehouse (see Eck and Spelman)

5 Introduction However, are these interventions the same type of POP envisioned by Herman Goldstein in 1979? – Braga and Weisburd argue that POP is NOT being implemented the way Goldstein has intended

6 Innovation in Policing? Braga and Weisburd’s Argument: – Goldstein’s principles not being practiced in the field POP today is not the same as Goldstein’s vision Disconnect between rhetoric (Goldstein’s vision) and reality of POP – Deficiencies in current POP responses E.g., superficial analysis of problems, rushing to implement responses, failure to assess or evaluate interventions Problem-solving processes are often weak

7 Outline of Argument Defining Problems Police encounter problems at each stage of the S.A.RA. model Shallow Problem-Solving Can be a practical way for Police Agencies to prevent crime at specific places Obstacles to Requiring Police Agencies to Develop more In- depth Problem Solving Hierarchical organization inhibits innovation Police culture is resistant

8 Defining Problems The police encounter various problems at each stage of the SARA Model – Many POP interventions do not follow the chronological process and steps of the model – Instead, many steps occur simultaneously or police officers move back and forth between steps



11 Scanning: Identification of important problems – Recall that Goldstein’s definition of problems Identified at the street level Cluster of similar or recurring incidents Community concern Breaking-down larger categories of crime into specific offenses – E.g., Auto Theft  “joy riding” or “stripping for auto parts” – In real practice, how are problems identified by police officers?

12 Scanning cont’d… – POP officers fail to specify the problems being addressed in two ways: Undertake a project that is too small – E.g., beat projects that deal with one person Undertake a project that is too big, too broadly identified – E.g., problem neighborhoods, gang delinquency

13 Analysis: Police officers analyze the causes (underlying conditions of problems – Recall that Goldstein’s suggests that officers should Determine places and times particular offenses likely to occur Determine underlying causes and conditions of crime Identify offenders likely to be responsible for crimes (chronic offenders) Identify repeat victims – How does analysis actually occur in police practices?

14 Analysis cont’d… – Oftentimes, police officers… Skip analysis – Conduct simple analysis that does not dissect the problem – Limited analysis Do not examine the genesis of crime problems – Why does this occurs? » Difficult to analyze hot spots » They have multiple problems » Example: Jersey City

15 Responses: Plausible effective solutions – Analysis is linked to development of responses – Recall that Goldstein advocated for an array of tools and strategies, not just arrest Actions of others are important to reduce opportunities for criminal offending Mobilize informal social control and social cohesion – But, what do POP interventions actually rely on?

16 – Research suggests that many POP interventions rely on traditional police tactics E.g., Arrest, Surveillance, and Crackdowns Why? – Complexity of problems at hot spots

17 Assessment: Assess the impact the intervention had on the problem – Why is this important? The police are accountable for performance and use of resources Police learn what methods are effective in dealing with particular problems – Are POP responses or interventions assessed? Impact evaluationS do Not occur often When responses are assessed, it is usually limited in nature

18 Shallow Problem-Solving A wealth of evidence exists that suggests that POP can prevent and control crime – Many of these successful POP interventions should be classified as problem-solving efforts, and not POP (as envisioned by Goldstein) – Problem solving is a “shallow” version of POP Why???? – Efforts are smaller in scope – Basic or rudimentary analysis of identified problem(s) – Lack of formal assessments (i.e., impact evaluations)

19 Shallow Problem-Solving Braga and Weisburd suggests that… – If the police engage in a limited implementation of POP, and the results of the intervention is positive, then problem-solving efforts can be enough! – In order to prevent crime, the police should focus resources on identified risks and problems E.g., chronic offenders, repeat victims, and crime hot spots

20 Shallow Problem-Solving Problem-solving efforts that can be used to address high-crime locations fall into two types of programs: – Enforcement POP – Situational POP

21 Enforcement POP Programs – Police response consists of traditional tactics at high-risk times and locations E.g., Directed patrol, crackdowns, and Terry searches – This differs from Goldstein’s vision in that: Responses are not individualized Do not consider the underlying conditions of a place

22 Situational POP Programs – These adhere to Goldstein’s vision: Precise identification of problems Thorough analysis of crime problems at places Police collaborate with community members and organizations, businesses, and other city agencies Broad search for individualized solutions and responses to problems

23 Figure 7.1 Continuum of police responses to control high-crime places Illustrated in Braga and Weisburd’s chapter in Police Innovation (2006)

24 Feasibility of POP Is it realistic to expect police agencies to develop their capacity to conduct more in-depth POP? – Not really Why or why not? – Two obstacles: » Hierarchical org. of police departments inhibit innovation and creativity » Org. culture of policing is resistant to this in-depth approach to problem solving

25 Summary POP is innovative – However, gap between Goldstein’s principles and actual practice POP is unrealistic for street-level officers – Why? Successful POP efforts involve larger scale problems, academics, crime analysis units – Resources beyond reach of street-level officers Shallow problem-solving is sufficient – Examples Focused enforcement in high-risk places and at high-risk times, problem-solving with weak analyses, traditional responses, limited assessments

26 Summary Braga and Weisburd recommend that… – Get rid of fantasy of street-level POP Line-level officers should problem solve at beat Sophisticated approaches be left with crime analysis unit and other CJ agencies, academic researchers, and community-based groups

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