Monday, September 17, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 48 - Consider Geographical And Temporal Displacement

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.

 We're up to Step 48 - Consider Geographical And Temporal Displacement in our walk through Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers.

When crime problems develop and an agency comes up with a strategy to tackle the problem, one thing that is often discussed is the possibility of displacement of the problem. Displacement can occur in several ways. In this step, we're going to look at these two ways:

  • Geographic displacement - when the crime problem moves from one physical location to another
  • Temporal displacement - when the crime problem moves to another time or day
For example, if an agency is experiencing a street prostitution problem and then launches the typical "crackdown" response, it wouldn't be unusual for the prostitutes and the johns to move to another nearby area to continue their trade.

The author's have this to say:
If geographical or temporal displacement occurs, it is most likely to shift crime to locations and times very similar to the locations and times affected by the prevention. Such shifts require less effort, learning, and risk for offenders than shifting to very different places and times. It is more likely that offenders will try to outwait the response, which explains Lawrence Sherman's finding that the effects of crackdowns decay. If offenders cannot outwait a response, it will be the most familiar locations and times that will have the greatest chance of receiving displaced crime.
Displacement is one of the reasons that short term crackdowns aren't always that effective. The criminals just wait out the crackdown (temporal displacement). They know that the police often can't keep up the increased enforcement posture for too long. For the criminal, temporal displacement is easier than geographic displacement.

If you plan for displacement when you develop a solution to a crime problem, you can adjust your plan accordingly should displacement occur.

Next time we'll look at other types of displacement when we cover Step 49 - Examine Displacement To Other Targets, Tactics and Crime Types.

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.