In this post in my trek through the book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers I’m going to cover Step 35 - Understand the Crime From Beginning to End.
Sometimes the most effective way to fight crime is not always the traditional reactive approach where Barney and Andy sit around the police station and wait for a call, then respond to the scene, investigate and then sometime later arrest the offenders. In fact, nearly the whole Problem Oriented Policing strategy is "outside the box" thinking and determining the best method to interrupt the cycle of crime, often times before problematic crimes occur.
In order to further this strategy it is important that problem solvers understand the crime cycle. The author's describe it this way:
This brings us to the reason for analyzing crimes in this careful, step-by-step manner: understanding clearly the sequence of actions required for the successful completion of the crime will reveal to you many more points of intervention. In other words, this will broaden the choice of responses for to you consider in your project.In fact, way back when we covered Step 5 - Be True To POP, we saw that one of the major rationales for the Problem Oriented Policing approach was that "Prevention is more effective than enforcement." Understanding the crime cycle fully will help you to identify all the possible places you can interrupt the crime cycle.