I thought this piece was interesting. There was a story over at Boston.com that looks at the decline in motor vehicle theft rates in the Boston area. The drop in vehicle thefts has been surprising and largely due to better anti-theft technology in cars.
Today, the proliferation of antitheft technology in new models has “driven out the casual thief” responsible for most stolen cars, Hazelbaker said.
The thing to take away from the success in reducing motor vehicle theft is that the way to solve some crime problems is not the old, reactive “git tough on crime” approach of tougher laws, longer sentences or more arrests. Instead motor vehicle thefts were reduced by better preventative technology changing the cost/benefit ratio for the thief out of his favor.
My first pickup truck was a 1971 Chevrolet. They were incredibly easy to steal by reaching under the dash, unplugging the wiring harness off the back of the ignition switch and plugging the harness into a switch you got at the auto parts store. Two minutes of your time and a $20 switch got you a pickup truck.
In whose favor was the cost/benefit ratio back then?
This Week’s Crime Analyst Resource
We’re going to look at the Problem Oriented Policing Center’s POP Guides over the next several months. These guidebooks can help you solve particular crime problems at your agency.
One of the best things about the guidebooks is that they force you to look at a crime problem with a focused, analytical approach. Another benefit is that these POP Guides will sometimes give you a suggested solution to a crime problem that you might not have thought about.
This week we’re highlighting the Problem Specific Guide #1, Assaults In And Around Bars.
A vibrant nightlife can be both a boon or a bane to a community. A well managed nightclub can draw visitors to a community while a poorly managed one can become a crime generator and a serious drain on limited police resources.
One common crime problem associated with bars is assaults. Reducing assaults in and around bars can lead to a safer environment around them and reduce the amount of time police spend responding to these incidents.
This POP Guide can help you to understand the problem in your community and develop a strategy that works to solve it.