Wednesday, June 20, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 15 - Know What Kind of Problem You Have

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.


In this post in our journey through the 60 steps outlined in the book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we're up to Step 15 - Know What Kind of Problem You Have. 

One of the main focuses of this book is to use the principles taught here to solve specific crime problems in your jurisdiction. While many jurisdictions are unique, often times the problems in your jurisdiction is not. In this step, the authors help you to define your problem into one of two basic categories, Environment or Behavior and then to sub-classify it further into more specific categories. The purpose for this is to help you determine if there are similar problems that may have already been solved.
This classification scheme can help you precisely define the problem. It helps separate superficially similar problems that are really distinct. It also allows you to compare your problem to similar problems that have already been addressed, and it helps identify important features for examination. For example, an extensive set of guides to addressing common problems are available from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing websites (Step 19). Knowing the type of problem you are investigating can help you identify guides that might be helpful, even if they do not directly address your problem. Source: Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers
If someone else has successfully solved a similar problem, why reinvent the wheel in trying to solve yours? The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing website has a wealth of materials that may give you insights or directions in dealing with your problem. The authors list 11 different environments and 6 types of behaviors. Rather than "reinvent the wheel" I encourage you to hit the link to the original article and look at the different categories.

Next time, we'll look at Step - 16 Study The Journey To Crime.

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