Why does it take 30 people to arrest solo strangers knocking on the front door? It's a labor-intensive operation, involving drumming up suspects, performing "open source intelligence," installing hidden cameras, filling out police paperwork, cuffing suspects, dealing with suspects' vehicles, and executing search warrants on suspects' homes after arrest. Each operation requires:
House commanderVia Ars Technica
Investigative support team
Prisoner transport/takedown team
Audio-visual and IT support
A "house scribe" to handle documentation
That seems like a heck of a lot of police resources to make a single bust. It seems to me that there has to be an easier, less resource intensive way to police to discourage this kind of activity.
The Problem Oriented Policing Center has excellent publication in their Response Guide series that looks at police sting operations that is worth reading. The guide looks at both the positive and negatives of police sting operations.
Does your agency conduct sting operations? If so, for what types of crimes?