Friday, July 17, 2009

Step 3 - Know What Is Effective

There's a biblical quote that says "There is nothing new under the sun." This also applies to police work. Many times, the solutions to our local problems have been figured out by someone, somewhere else who has previously dealt with the same or a similar problem. The third step in Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers is to Know What Is Effective (and not) in Policing. If someone else, somewhere else found a solution to a similar problem, why not apply that knowledge in dealing with your problem? Conversely, if someone else tried and failed in their attempt to address a problem, why would you want to go down that same road to failure?

The lessons during a third of a century of research are now clear. Effective police work requires both focused attention and diverse approaches. The least effective policing uses neither element. The explanation for this is also clear. If diverse approaches are used without focus, it is difficult to apply the appropriate approach to the places and people who most require it. If police are focused on hot spots, but only enforce the law, they limit their effectiveness. A fully effective police agency must take advantage of the details of crime situations to reduce crime opportunities. Source: Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers

The authors include a very nifty chart explaining the general effectiveness of various policing approaches in the book. Click through the linkto view it. Studies of some of the traditional approaches to crime control, show these methods aren't terribly effective. If this is the case then why do we still do them?

Crime analysts have important roles in applying both elements -
focusing with precision using their analytical methods, and helping to craft appropriate police tactics that fit the details of problems they have uncovered. Source: Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers

Do you know what practices work?

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