Wednesday, July 1, 2009

60 Steps

The Center For Problem Oriented Policing, a DOJ funded think tank published an excellent book "Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers In 60 Small Steps". This publication is an expansion of one previously published by the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science in the UK. You can download the book for free at the link. To give you a little taste of what's in the book I want to cover the 60 Steps in posts here at The Crime Analyst's Blog. Even if you aren't a full time crime analyst at your agency I think we can all benefit by what's covered in 60 Steps.
" Problem-oriented policing is an approach to policing in which discrete pieces of police business (each consisting of a cluster of similar incidents, whether crime or acts of disorder, that the police are expected to handle) are subject to microscopic examination (drawing on the especially honed skills of crime analysts and the accumulated experience of operating field personnel) in hopes that what is freshly learned about each problem will lead to discovering a new and more effective strategy for dealing with it. Source: Center For Problem Oriented Policing
While law enforcement is as fond of buzz words as many other enterprises, I don't think we need to get too hung up on what "Problem Oriented Policing" is. In looking at the definition above, Problem Oriented Policing is just good police work. Someone wrote it down and gave it a name and it's really kind of irrelevant for us whether it's called Community Oriented Policing, Problem Oriented Police, Intelligence Led Policing or the latest buzzword du jour.

In the introduction to the 60 Steps, the authors write of the role of crime analysts in Problem Oriented Policing.
"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." Source: Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers In 60 Small Steps

As a crime analyst, or as a police officer who wants to be a little more analytical in their approach to policing their communities, you are important to this process. In the coming days I'll work my way through the 60 Steps here. Hopefully, we'll all gain by this.

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