In this post in my series on the book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we're up to Step 43 - Remove Excuses For Crime. In the first paragraph in this chapter the authors make this statement:
This fifth category of situational techniques recognizes that offenders make moral judgments about their behavior and that they often rationalize their conduct to "neutralize" what would otherwise be incapacitating feelings of guilt or shame.The ideas behind this idea are not new. The authors use this example for one of the five points.
When Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso suggested in the 19th century that people should be locked up for urinating in the streets, his pupil Enrico Ferri suggested a more practical way to solve the problem: build public toilets.This makes a heck of a lot of sense. Many problems for law enforcement concern nuisance issues and are not the result of predatory criminal behavior. In my sleepy little burg, we'll get many more vocal complaints from citizens over issues such as barking dogs and loud parties than we ever will over a murder. These minor issues can be often solved or lessened by removing the excuses that people have when committing these problem behaviors.
The authors list five general ways you can help remove excuses to commit crimes. They are:
- Set rules
- Post instructions
- Alert conscience
- Assist compliance
- Control drugs and alcohol
Next time, we'll cover Step 44 - Find The Owner Of The Problem.