Wednesday, July 25, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 28 - Identify Risky Facilities

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 examining Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we're up to Step 28 - Identify Risky Facilities. In law enforcement, there is an analogy known as the 80-20 rule. The rule states that 80% of crimes are likely committed by 20% of offenders. While the ratio is not really set in stone at 80% or 20%, the idea is that most of the crimes reported are committed by a small number of offenders. In fact, Step 18 in Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers covers this phenomenon is a section titled Learn If The 80-20 Rule Applies.

When applied to locations, it's not unusual that a majority of crimes occur and a minority of facilities. An number of examples of this was given by the authors. One of them was this:

A national survey found that 6.5 percent of convenience stores experience 65 percent of all robberies.
If we can identify these risky facilities we can then attempt to identify the factors that make these places such a nuisance and a drain on our resources. The authors list eight reasons why facilities are "risky". They are:

  1. Random variation
  2. Reporting practices
  3. Many targets
  4. Hot products
  5. Location
  6. Repeat victimization
  7. Crime attractors
  8. Poor management

The authors include definitions for those eight reasons. I encourage you to hit the link and read them. The definitions tie many of these reasons to other steps in Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers that we have either already covered, or will cover before we get to the end of this series. In fact we're going to look at one of the reason in my next post when we cover Step 29 - Be Ready For Repeat Victimization.

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