Monday, August 27, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 41 - Reduce The Rewards of Crime

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.

For a number of months I have been walking chapter by chapter through the book Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers. A few chapters back, in Step 38 we saw that there were 25 techniques of situational crime prevention that were divided up into these five categories:

  1. Increasing the effort of crime
  2. Increasing the risks
  3. Reducing the rewards
  4. Reducing provocations
  5. Removing excuses
We looked at the first two in Steps 39 & 40. Now we’re going to cover the third when we look at Step 41 - Reduce the rewards of crime. In the past I have mentioned the idea of looking at the motivation to commit crimes through the lens of a cost / benefit ratio. Where increasing the effort and risks of crime speak to the cost, reducing the rewards of a crime speak to reducing the rewards of a crime.

These reduced rewards aren’t strictly monetary based. In fact the authors explain the rewards of crime this way:
These benefits may not simply be material, as in theft, because there are many other rewards of crime, including sexual release, intoxication, excitement, revenge, respect from peers, and so forth. 
If you are going to reduce the rewards of crime, you should think about the potential rewards that motivate a criminal in a particular type of crime. This will give you an idea of ways you can reduce the benefit thereby changing the cost / benefit ratio for your offender.

The authors list five ways to reduce the rewards of crime for the criminal. They are:
  1. Conceal targets
  2. Remove targets
  3. Identify property
  4. Disrupt markets
  5. Deny benefits
They list a number of suggestions for each of these ways. I encourage you hit the link to read the article for them. As an aside, I found this bit interesting in the category for Disrupt markets. The author states:
Police "sting" operations - such as bogus used goods stores - should be avoided because research has found that they may stimulate theft in the area around the sting.
How many times has the response to a crime problem in your jurisdiction been to “set up a sting operation”? I think it’s important to be extremely cautious about sting operations for this reason. If your sting operation is crafted in such a way as to reduce the cost to the offender(s) then you are weighting the cost / benefit ratio in their favor. You may actually induce someone to commit a crime they ordinarily would not have if the cost / benefit was not artificially swung the wrong direction.

Next time, we’ll cover Step 42- Reduce provocations.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I reserve the right to remove defamatory, libelous, inappropriate or otherwise stupid comments. If you are a spammer or are link baiting in the comments, a pox be upon you. The same goes for people trying to sell stuff. Your comment will be deleted without mercy.