Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Step 4 - Become A POP Expert

As we continue on with our walk through Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers the next step is to become knowledgeable in the theory of Problem Oriented Policing or POP. You should Become A POP Expert. There is an interesting bit in this section. One that I hope will be taken to heart in your organization.

We have also seen that random patrolling, which the public expects, is not an efficient way to apprehend criminals. This means that much police work that is carried out to meet public expectations is of limited value in controlling crime. Source: Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers

As Departments are forced to do more with less, I hope that there will be less resistance towards doing away with what won't work. No one wants to be spinning their wheels in dealing with repetitive crime problems. POP offers a way out of that rut. Problem Oriented Policing originated with Herman Goldstein. From the book:

His idea was simple. It is that policing should fundamentally be about changing the conditions that give rise to recurring crime problems and should not simply be about responding to incidents as they occur or trying to forestall them through preventive patrols. Source: Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers

Goldstein believed that police should work through problems in four steps sometimes known by the acronym SARA. SARA stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment. Later on in Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers they will explore SARA in depth. For us as crime analysts, we should be ready to use SARA and POP to make our organizations more effective in their mission.

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