Wednesday, September 19, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 49 - Examine Displacement To Other Targets, Tactics And Crime Types

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.

In my last post in Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we looked at the problem of displacement. There are a number of ways that crime problems can be displaced. Last time the post covered geographic and temporal displacement.

In this post on Step 49 - Examine Displacement To Other Targets, Tactics And Crime Types, we're going to look at some other types of displacement. These other types of displacement are:

  • Target displacement - involves offenders shifting from newly protected targets to other targets
  • Tactical displacement - occurs when offenders change their tactics or procedures
  • Crime Type displacement - this occurs when offenders switch to another type of crime
The authors, have this caution to offer regarding displacement:
There is no perfect solution to this problem and compromises must be struck. The consequence is that it is often difficult to know if displacement is occurring and difficult to judge the effectiveness of the intervention. Compounding these difficulties is that multiple forms of displacement can occur simultaneously. Indeed, sometimes one form of displacement will necessitate another form as well. Target displacement may require a change in tactics, and if the new targets are not in the same places as the old targets, geographical displacement will occur, too.
They also state that "you cannot find displacement unless you look for it". If you are going to determine the effectiveness of your solution, you have to know whether displacement is occurring.

Next time we'll cover Step 50 - Watch For Other Offenders Moving In.

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