Wednesday, August 15, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 36 – Put Yourself In The Offenders Shoes

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.

It’s been a while since I have posted about Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers. We’ll get back to that with Step 36 – Put Yourself In The Offender’s Shoes.

Often times the easiest way to reduce crime is not always the traditional method of putting bad guys in jail. Sometimes, some out of the box thinking can reduce the opportunity for criminals to ply their trade. The best way to understand your crime problem may be to think of your crime problem as a sequence of events. The authors describe it this way:
Crime can be thought of as a process, with several steps from initiation to completion, rather than a circumscribed act occurring at a specific point in time. At each step the offender must make decisions, might need to work with others, and might need to employ specific knowledge and tools. This is essentially the idea underlying Cornish's "script" approach discussed in Step 35. It may not always be possible to develop detailed scripts, but the analysis should give a clear picture of how the crime was accomplished.
If your crime problem involves a fairly common sequence of events, look for ways to interrupt that sequence. The authors referred to a series of pickpocket crimes near a bus stop. By understanding the sequence of events from the criminal’s point of view, the analyst involved was able to suggest environmental changes that would interrupt the sequence of events and prevent the crimes from occurring.

Next time, we’ll cover Step 37 – Know That To Err Is Human.

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