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Shifting and Sharing Responsibility for Public Safety Problems

Response Guide No. 3 (2005)

by Michael S. Scott & Herman Goldstein

Translation(s): Transferir e Partilhar Responsabilidades nos Problemas de Segurança Pública (Portuguese)


The public calls upon the police to respond to an astounding range of problems and to perform an extraordinary diversity of tasks, all the while assuming that police have the expertise and resources to do so. Many of these problems and tasks fall to the police through the default of others: from gaps in government services, to the abandonment of responsibility by private citizens, corporations, and other organizations. This has always been a concern. In recent years, through a more methodical approach to policing, police are increasingly pressing for a more rational distribution of responsibilities based upon a detailed examination of the differing facets of police business.

This guide details the ways in which police can persuade or coerce others to address crime and disorder problems. As such, it differs from other guides in the Response Guides series; whereas most Response Guides examine the kinds of responses that can be used to address common crime and disorder problems-crackdowns, street closings, publicity campaigns, video surveillance, and so forth-this guide examines how police can get others to respond to such problems, regardless of the form that such responses may take, provided they do not violate basic standards of propriety and legality.

Public safety problems are commonly addressed through a combination of responses; seldom is a single type of response sufficient. Of course, many public safety problems are adequately addressed by the police in the exercise of their normal authority and expertise. Increasingly, however, police and others are discovering that it is not only the police who have the authority and expertise to respond to many public safety problems; consequently, the police have come to depend heavily upon others to aid them in responding effectively to crime and disorder. There is growing evidence that by addressing the conditions that underlie crime and disorder problems, rather than merely looking to arrest offenders, police can more effectively prevent and control such problems.1

There is also growing evidence-much of it found in the literature on situational crime prevention-that demonstrates how public safety problems can be prevented, reduced, and controlled with little or no police involvement, a process by which police unquestionably benefit.

See the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing on-line library for further readings on situational crime prevention.

Indeed, the very process of producing the Problem-Oriented Guides for Police-particularly the review of police reports submitted to problem-oriented policing award programs

The two most prominent award programs are the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing (administered in the United States) and the Tilley Award (administered in the United Kingdom).

-reveals that police frequently conclude that they must somehow get others to respond to problems that would otherwise be inadequately addressed if the police were forced to act alone.

Once the problem and a remedial strategy have been identified, it is important to determine which of the various stakeholders is in the best position to implement and enforce the proposed solution. Depending on the situation, the police, private citizens, industry, or the government may all bear some responsibility for addressing a problem. In some instances, it is clear that the police are the best choice. For example, where a criminal investigation and arrests are necessary, the police are typically responsible, as most other individuals and organizations lack the authority and expertise to perform such tasks. In other instances, however, it is clear that someone other than the police should be responsible. For example, where changes in corporate policies or practices are necessary, it is the corporation, not the police, that has the authority to effectuate the necessary policy decisions. In still other instances, although the response is clear, there may be any number of viable actors who are able to accept responsibility for carrying the response to fruition. For example, where educating, warning, or advising citizens is called for, it is very much an open question whether the police or someone else should be responsible for developing and delivering the message.

There are few firm rules that dictate who is primarily responsible for addressing a particular public safety problem. What rules, for example, dictate who is responsible for preventing and controlling retail theft. Is it the police? The shop? The consumer? The insurance carrier? The difficulty arises because every problem stems from a variety of sources, each of which can plausibly be said to bear some responsibility for its remediation. Much depends on who possesses the skill, knowledge, authority, and resources to implement changes that will effectively reduce or control the problem. However, much also depends on who possesses the political power to avoid accepting responsibility-leaving to others, including the police, the responsibility for dealing with the problem. Although important, the full range of factors that determine legal and moral responsibility for public safety problems, as well as the processes and sources of authority under which such determinations are made, are beyond the scope of this guide.

How responsibility for addressing public safety problems is apportioned in society has more far reaching implications than can be discussed in this guide. For further exploration of those issues, see Scott (forthcoming). [Full text]

This guide focuses on problems that police accept as falling within their proper mandate and that they feel obliged to address-even though the acceptance of a measure of responsibility for dealing with a problem should not automatically burden the police with the sole responsibility for it. This guide does not address the problems and duties that police seek to transfer to others on the ground that they do not fall within the proper scope of police power and authority. Many police agencies find themselves performing a variety of duties that have little to do with their core functions. Some argue that tasks such as providing funeral and banking escorts, teaching moral values to schoolchildren, guarding construction sites, transporting probation violators to jail, investigating intrusion alarms, and the like, should not be police duties. To some degree, police have been the victims of their own success in advancing the principles of community policing because some outreach efforts have resulted in citizens bringing problems to the police that the police may not be best suited to address. And although police may encourage citizens to bring crime and disorder problems to their attention in the hope that other agencies will collaborate in addressing them, many problems that are brought forward result in little or no commitment to cooperation.

Although some individuals will not question the basis upon which the police ask others to assume responsibility for addressing a problem, the force of such requests can be greatly strengthened if police can explain persuasively the rationale for the request, including:

Police are increasingly seeking to shift and share responsibility for addressing public safety problems, largely because of several trends within and without the police profession, including:

Determining and assigning responsibility for addressing public safety problems will become ever more important as the general understanding of what causes problems and what best addresses them improves. Until better arrangements are made within local communities and in society at large for determining and assigning such responsibilities, it will continue to fall to police to analyze public safety problems and to take the lead in apportioning responsibility for addressing them.

Problem-oriented policing depends heavily on strong, mutually trusting partnerships among police and other entities and constituencies, partnerships in which each party assumes its fair share of responsibility. The overriding goal of problem-oriented policing is to adopt responses to community problems that are more equitable and effective for the community as a whole than are current responses. Police should not set out merely to divest themselves of responsibility for various tasks. It is only after careful exploration and analysis that police should conclude that someone else should be doing something different to better control a particular crime or disorder problem.

Methods for Shifting and Sharing Responsibility for Public Safety Problems

The police can apply a variety of methods to get others to assume greater responsibility for public safety problems.2 The list of methods in Figure 1 is not intended to be exhaustive or definitive, but rather illustrative. One way in which the methods differ is the degree of coercion that police apply to achieve their objective. The list begins with methods that are generally less coercive and proceeds to those that are generally more coercive, although the degree of coercion may depend upon the specific context and not necessarily on the nature of the method applied.

In many instances, it may make sense to first employ the methods that are relatively non-coercive and to move to more coercive methods only if the former fail to achieve the desired cooperation. (See "Determining the Appropriate Degree of Pressure Police Ought to Bring to Bear to Shift Responsibility," below, for further discussion of this matter.)

In its ultimate form, the police effort to shift responsibility for public safety problems entails assisting others to develop the capacity to identify and rectify problems without further police intervention. A prime example occurs where police work at the neighborhood level helps residents develop what sociologists term collective efficacy, "the ability of neighborhoods to realize the common values of residents and maintain effective social controls."3 Short of a complete shift in responsibility, in most instances police look to shift or share part of the responsibility with respect to a specific problem or set of problems, bounded in time and space.

Figure 1. Methods for convincing others to accept responsibility for community problems

  • Educating others regarding their responsibility for the problem
  • Making a straightforward informal request of some entity to assume responsibility for the problem
  • Making a targeted confrontational request of some entity to assume responsibility for the problem
  • Engaging another existing organization that has the capacity to help address the problem
  • Pressing for the creation of a new organization to assume responsibility for the problem
  • Shaming the delinquent entity by calling public attention to its failure to assume responsibility for the problem
  • Withdrawing police services relating to certain aspects of the problem
  • Charging fees for police services related to the problem
  • Pressing for legislation mandating that entities take measures to prevent the problem
  • Bringing a civil action to compel entities to accept responsibility for the problem

Explanations and examples of the successful application of the various methods for shifting and sharing responsibility for public safety problems follow. For many of the examples, a more complete and detailed account can be found in the original source documents, many of which are accessible online via the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing website at www.popcenter.org.

In many instances, police and others employ a variety of methods to address a problem, thereby complicating efforts to understand precisely the effect that each method has had on the problem. The methods used are not mutually exclusive. For example, where the police succeed in encouraging another agency to confront the persons causing a particular problem, while at the same time they persuade a legislative body to enact a law imposing special fees for the relevant police services, a combination of methods has been employed.

Two important notes of caution are in order. First, many of the examples cited below are drawn from reports prepared by police agencies. Although such reports have been widely accepted and considered credible, few of these initiatives have benefited from rigorous and independent evaluation; consequently, the conclusions drawn should not be considered the sort of proof that is demanded by social science. The study of policing would benefit greatly by subjecting police initiatives to more rigorous assessment. Second, some methods that police may propose to persuade others to assume greater responsibility for addressing public safety problems, such as a newly-crafted ordinance, may will undoubtedly face legal challenges. Police should make full use of legal counsel where such challenges are likely. At the same time, however, counsel would be well-advised not to reflexively nix all initiatives that might face such a challenge. Proper legal analysis in the problem-oriented context may, on balance, conclude that the degree of coercion inherent in the new alternative may be less intrusive and more refined than is current practice. An ordinance controlling solicitation for prostitution, for example, may be preferable-in both the resulting fairness and effectiveness-than continued overuse of less discriminate arrest and prosecution.

Educating Victims and Offenders

Police have long been involved in systematically conveying information to the public on how to prevent crime. They do this through presentations, brochures, and a variety of other programs. Some of these efforts are aimed broadly at the general public; others are targeted at specific constituencies. Educational messages and programs are directed either at potential victims, instructing them on how to avoid being victimized, or at potential offenders, instructing them on how to avoid offending. Central to all of these efforts, however, is the fact that those to whom the message is directed are in a position to take actions that will protect themselves from either victimization or arrest. Such educational materials and presentations are generally low-key; one can take the advice or ignore it. Educational messages to potential offenders adopt a helpful rather than a warning tone: they are aimed at people who are inclined to obey the law, but who might offend out of ignorance or carelessness.

Making a Straightforward Informal Request

The use of straightforward requests is a natural first step that police take when seeking to have specific individuals or organizations take responsibility for addressing a crime or disorder problem. Naturally, a positive response to the initial request obviates the need for any increased pressure.

Here, the police are not simply broadcasting prepared advice on prevention to a large audience. Rather, they are focused upon asking citizens to resolve an immediate problem by taking a specific remedial action. Although the fact that the police are making the request may imply that consequences will follow if the request is ignored, it is often the case that police are merely informing a citizen of something of which she was not aware, and the citizen gratefully and graciously complies with the request.

Making a Targeted Confrontational Request

One of the clearest results of recent changes in policing is the increased tendency of police agencies to confront aggressively those adjudged responsible for a large volume of incidents that fall to the police to handle. Police typically resort to this more confrontational mode when straightforward requests are ignored.

Typically, police document both how a problem is caused and how it is aggravated by the actions or inactions of others. The resulting documentation is then presented to the offending party, together with a request that preventive measures be taken. The hope is that when confronted with such documentation the party will feel obliged to assume responsibility for taking the requisite preventive measures. However, depending on the specific situation, the confrontation may be bolstered by either a subtle implication or a more overt threat that failure to comply will result in more coercive measures. The potential for more coercive measures argues for a high standard of accuracy by police in documenting conditions.

Community policing efforts, which place a great deal of emphasis on cultivating relationships with citizens affected by problems, also contribute to an increase in confrontational requests. Whether confronting a drug house, a troublesome bar, or disorderliness in a park, police may feel empowered to be more confrontational by virtue of the support they receive from aggrieved citizens.

Engaging Another Existing Service Agency

Much police business consists of handling problems and cases that fall through holes in the social safety net or that constitute an overflow stemming from the limited resources of other agencies: mentally-ill persons who are not adequately cared for in the community; drug addicts who do not receive adequate treatment services; parks, playgrounds, and housing developments that are not adequately maintained; cars and homes that are abandoned; and so forth. In such cases, police sometimes attempt to shift the responsibility for crime prevention to another government agency or nongovernmental organization that provides relevant services in the community.

In-depth inquiry of the type called for in problem-oriented policing often identifies a default or a gap in services that, if corrected, would reduce or eliminate a problem. Although a particular situation or circumstance may initially be characterized as a crime or law enforcement problem, penetrating inquiry often redefines the problem and more clearly identifies the conditions that contribute to it. Thus, a problem initially reported as disorderly, threatening teenagers may upon further analysis turn out to be a case of strained relationships between senior citizens and teenagers that is brought on by the policies of a neighborhood school. Engaging school authorities in exploring preventive strategies may well result in their taking responsibility for the problem.

Brokering preventive strategies to another agency can create tension if the agency perceives the police initiative as an effort to set the agency's agenda or to off-load work onto it. This is particularly true during periods of government retrenchment when budgets may be limited. Other agencies might not be precisely positioned to provide the type or level of service recommended by police and may need additional resources to meet these new service demands.

Often, public health and safety departments and nongovernmental organizations that serve the disaffected and disenfranchised must weigh the initiatives recommended by the police against other priorities. Therefore, the documentation of the case by the police and the links they are able to establish between their findings and their recommendations can be critically important.

It is equally important for police to establish an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding between themselves and agencies with overlapping interests; applying more coercive measures to shift responsibility is warranted only when trust and mutual understanding have broken down. The whole movement toward greater institutional partnerships has been tremendously important in this regard. Whether such partnerships are mandated by legislation, as is the case in the United Kingdom, or are either wholly voluntary or compelled by executive decree, as is more common in the United States, police requests that other agencies change their policies and practices are better received if the members of those agencies understand and trust the police. Indeed, some individuals and organizations may see such police requests as helpful rather than coercive. In some cases, police documentation of a problem has been used by local authorities and governmental organizations to justify programs they have long advocated. In other cases, private groups have used police documentation to justify expansions in their programs and supporting budgets.

Pressing for the Creation of a New Organization

Police are not always in a position to implement measures that will best address a specific problem, and there may not be any other appropriate entity to do so. Police may then find themselves advocating the creation of a new organization with the mandate and resources to address the problem.

With the increase in efforts to organize neighborhoods, especially in large urban areas, it is frequently not necessary for police to be the primary catalyst of such efforts; instead, police often assume a supportive role. There are also situations in which a community organization grows organically out of concern for a given problem, with the police enlisted in support of the objective. However, as organizations come into existence and are sustained, police find that they are gradually transferring responsibility for specific prevention strategies to the new organizations.

Shaming Delinquent Parties

Public shaming is often an intermediate step between the type of private confrontation described earlier and resort to legal action. The stakes in resorting to public shaming are high for both the police and those against whom it is directed. The police must obviously be on solid ground. Public reputation is of great value to individuals, businesses, and agencies; hence, having police publicly discredit them can have significant long-term consequences. This method of shifting responsibility can be perceived as the most coercive. Consequently, police typically resort to it only after more private methods of persuasion have failed. The police goal is to call to public attention the nature of the problem, the factors that cause or contribute to the problem, the reasonableness of police requests, the refusal or failure to respond to less coercive measures, and the arguments for holding others accountable for their contributions to the problem.

Withdrawing Police Services

Police occasionally seek to force the adoption of preventive strategies by refusing to respond, investigate, arrest, or take other official action where an individual or organization has refused to implement measures that are designed to reduce the likelihood of victimization. If a complete service withdrawal is not feasible, police may respond with fewer resources, which can be done by lowering the priority given to certain types of incidents, by putting more of the reporting burden on the complainant, or by reducing the level of follow-up service after the taking of an initial report.

Typically, the withdrawal or modification of police services occurs in the context of a business operation, where there is overwhelming evidence that a problem would be eliminated if certain measures were put in place, measures which the business owner or operator will not implement based upon a belief that doing so would reduce sales.

The decision to withdraw services should only be made after a consideration of the disparate impact withdrawal might have on those who cannot afford even the most elementary remedial measures. For example, where imposing such a cost forced an already marginal business to close its doors, an additional consequence might be to deprive a depressed neighborhood of a vital business or service.

Complete withdrawal of police service is rare, most likely because police are reluctant to be seen as refusing to perform what others perceive as "their job." Police may also worry that the failure to respond to a simple request for assistance may result in their failing to attend to a more serious infraction than the one that was originally reported.

Most service withdrawals arise out of commercial transactions that are arguably civil rather than criminal matters. A few typical examples follow.

Other than commercial transactions, the most common incident that police refuse to provide service for is intrusion alarms that have not been verified as suspicious. (See the example and reference under "Pressing for Legislation," below).

Charging Fees for Police Services

Some police agencies seek to recover the cost of providing a particular service from the individuals who benefit from the service. The rationale for cost recovery is that those who make excessive claims are consuming more than their fair share of public resources, or at least more than their tax payments reasonably entitle them to. In some jurisdictions, legislation authorizes police to recover the actual cost of police investigations from defendants. In 2003, for example, police in Oakland, California successfully recovered $35,000 in investigative costs from the owners of a problematic motel.28 Elsewhere, police and emergency rescue agencies charge thrill-seekers for the costs of rescue if their adventures go awry. Increasingly, police are extending the cost recovery principle to owners whose properties generate an inordinate volume of calls, such as taverns and apartment complexes.

Such fees are not intended as penalties; therefore, recovery is typically limited to the actual cost to the police agency. Nonetheless, the fees provide an economic incentive to individuals and businesses to keep the cost of police services under control by keeping problem behaviors under control.

Fees differ from fines in that fees merely recoup the government’s costs while fines may exceed the government’s costs, imposing punitive costs. Either fees or fines can be effective incentives to encourage those required to pay them to change their policies and practices so that police are less likely to be needed.

Pressing for Legislation

In addition to having recourse to the many laws that directly proscribe illegal and harmful conduct, police have long been aided by a variety of municipal ordinances and administrative regulations that are designed to manage and control the conditions that foster and engender offending and harm. These reflect a legislative judgment that certain businesses, organizations, and individuals are responsible for ensuring that the activities in which they are engaged are carried out in a safe and orderly fashion; a prime example is the extensive regulation of the sale of alcoholic beverages. Police now commonly establish conditions for issuing permits for public events such as parades, festivals, demonstrations, and street parties-conditions that require event organizers to provide for the public's safety and to prevent disorder and crime. The primary responsibility for such measures rests with the license or permit holder. The police role is secondary: to reinforce the responsibility of the license or permit holder through regulatory enforcement. By virtue of the special knowledge they have acquired by analyzing crime and disorder problems, police are often in a position to propose specific new laws and regulations that assign responsibility for controlling criminogenic conditions to certain individuals, businesses, or groups, and that impose penalties upon those who fail to do so.

Legislative enactments of this sort are to be distinguished from those which merely give police more authority to arrest offenders, provisions which while potentially useful, reinforce the notion that police bear primary responsibility for controlling problems.

The adoption of such measures is typically preceded first by informal public discussions and later by formal public hearings. The police may be among the proponents; occasionally, they are the initiators. And in the typical scenario, the individuals upon whom the new regulatory burden will fall oppose the proposal. The evidence in support of such a proposal is sometimes more anecdotal than statistical and efforts may be made to introduce data that are imprecise or unverifiable. One exception to this pattern is the heated debate over whether to require convenience stores to keep two or more staff on duty at specified hours of the day; this debate has drawn heavily on studies that measure the value of the strategy, and has been especially contentious because of the conflicting results of those studies.

Bringing a Civil Action

There are several avenues by which police and others can bring legal actions to force individuals and organizations to implement measures to prevent crime and disorder.34 This strategy is normally reserved for the most egregious conditions and is employed only as a last resort, because, with some exceptions, the process is difficult and the costs are high. Among the numerous forms of civil actions police may either initiate or support are nuisance abatement orders (in the United States), anti-social behavior orders (in the United Kingdom), civil injunctions and restraining orders, civil asset forfeitures, civil fines, enforcement of codified regulations, and evictions.

Studies relating to the problem of drugs inevitably focus attention on drug houses. The search for an alternative to simply acquiring evidence and making arrests has led police to dust off largely unused abatement proceedings and to obtain new specifically tailored legislation that enables them, through a court proceeding and upon the presentation of adequate evidence, to seize properties associated with a high incidence of crime. Their authorization to do so, punctuated by some successful efforts, is intended to force landlords to take greater responsibility for controlling the activities that take place on their properties. It is the threat of an abatement action that often renders targeted confrontational requests effective.

In one of the more novel uses of civil actions, the Safe Streets program, based in Oakland, California, trains local citizens to acquire the evidence needed to petition in small claims court for the abatement of a drug house, without any need for a lawyer; any receipts from sale of the premises are distributed among the petitioners. Police involvement in this process is limited to cooperating with community members seeking police documentation of criminal activity occurring in or near the subject premises.

An emerging, although unsettled, development in the United States is for police to support civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers and distributors as a means of controlling gun-related violence. Regardless of what one thinks of the merits of such suits, their success would provide an extraordinary example of how police and local government could compel a large industry to assume a significantly greater responsibility for the harm associated with its products.

Considerations for Shifting and Sharing Responsibility for Public Safety Problems

Making the Case for Shifting Responsibility

The process leading up to police efforts to shift or share responsibility typically involves:

Thus, gathering detailed information, including statistical data, is an integral part of the process before it moves forward. Because the police are using gradually increasing degrees of government power, such studies must be carried out meticulously to assure accuracy and fairness, and, when resulting in a proposal, to present the strongest possible case.

For guidance on conducting good problem analysis, see Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers in 60 Small Steps and Problem-Solving Tips: A Guide to Reducing Crime and Disorder Through Problem-Solving Partnerships [PDF], both listed in the Recommended Readings at the back of this guide.

Much of the body of knowledge that police rely upon to argue for shifting and sharing responsibility for addressing problems is based upon insights they have acquired through years of experience and, less commonly, upon rigorous research. The value of police expertise is sometimes underestimated by those who rely only upon the highest standards of social science and policy analysis to inform policy decisions; conversely, such expertise is sometimes overestimated by those who believe that "street smarts" outweigh research-based knowledge. Much police knowledge about the prevention and control of crime and disorder is largely untested. That does not totally diminish its value, and there remains a critical need to capture, test, and refine police expertise, thereby contributing to a more formal body of knowledge to support police practices.

Measuring the Effectiveness of New Responses

Quantifying claims of effectiveness can be tricky, because police often apply several different responses to a problem, some involving direct action (police enforcement, police presence) and others involving indirect action (persuasion and coercion of the type described earlier). Determining the effect of each response in isolation can be methodologically challenging. For more detailed guidance on measuring effectiveness, see the companion guide in the Problem-Solving Tools series, Assessing Responses to Problems: An Introductory Guide for Police Problem-Solvers.

Some people may feel uncomfortable about the police dealing with citizens in so heavy-handed a manner. Such concerns are certainly justifiable where requests and threats are made without supporting facts. Thus, a high standard of care in gathering and examining the facts can be an effective protection against abuse. In addition, in-depth inquiry into a specific problem may isolate its cause and may even identify specific measures that have the potential to effectively prevent it. Collecting hard data about a specific problem can play a central role in convincing others of the seriousness of the situation and can also serve as evidence where the preventive strategy involves legal action. Police should realize that efforts to shift responsibility can become an adversarial process in which they had best be prepared to document thoroughly both the conditions being exposed and the evidence that the person named is indeed responsible for them. And they should be confident that the measures they are proposing are likely to be effective. This is particularly true where the proposed shift in responsibility has the potential for a major economic impact, because in such cases police can anticipate that their activities will be challenged in the courts, where judges will weigh the adequacy of the evidence offered in support of the proposed regulation.

Determining the Appropriate Degree of Pressure to Shift Responsibility

Much of the art of policing consists of determining and applying the degree of pressure or coercion that is appropriate to a particular situation. Police officials who seek to shift or share responsibility for public safety problems should consider, among other factors:

No single factor will dictate which method or degree of coercion should be employed. Rather, the decision should be based upon a comprehensive analysis of the breadth and seriousness of the problem, the likely effectiveness of the proposed solution, and the probability both of cooperation from the various stakeholders and of support from the general public.


As police come to better understand the conditions, practices, and behaviors that give rise to specific public safety problems and can determine with greater certainty the responses that are most effective in preventing and controlling them, they will be in a better position to shift and share the responsibility for dealing with such problems. Doing so will strengthen the police as an institution by increasing their capacity to perform the functions that are legitimately within their mandate and expertise and will also reduce the need for police to attempt to solve problems that are beyond the limits of their experience and resources. Most importantly perhaps, it will move society toward a style of policing that is more effective, efficient, and equitable.


[1] National Research Council (2004); Weisburd and Eck (2004); Sherman et al. (1997) [Full text]; Tonry and Farrington (1995); Goldstein (1990); Eck and Spelman (1987).

[2] Goldstein (1996). [Full text]

[3] Sampson, Raudenbush, and Earls (1997), p. 918.

[4] San Diego Police Department (2001). [Full text]

[5] Bureau of Justice Assistance (2000). [Full text]

[6] Plano Police Department (2003). [Full text]

[7] Lancashire Constabulary (2000) [Full text]; Campbell Resources, Inc. (n.d.).

[8] Hamilton-Wentworth Police Department (1994). [Full text]

[9] See Lancashire Constabulary (n.d.).

[10] Chula Vista Police Department (2001). [Full text]

[11] Clarke and Goldstein (2003a). [Full text]

[12] Peel Regional Police (1996). [Full text]

[13] Hope (1994). [Full text]

[14] Miami Police Department (2002). [Full text]

[15] Lancashire Constabulary (1999).

[16] Lancashire Constabulary (2003a). [Full text]

[17] Fremont Police Department (1997). [Full text]

[18] Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (2002). [Full text]

[19] Fresno Police Department (1999). [Full text]

[20] Glendale Police Department (1997). [Full text]

[21] Racine Police Department (1999). [Full text]

[22] Fontana Police Department (1998). [Full text]

[23] Lancashire Constabulary (2003b). [Full text]

[24] Buffalo Police Department (2001). [Full text]

[25] Green Bay Police Department (1999).[Full text]

[26] Clarke and Goldstein (2003b). [Full text]

[27] Delta Police Department (1997). [Full text]

[28] Oakland Police Department (2003). [Full text]

[29] Halton Regional Police Service (2003). [Full text]

[30] City of Overland Park (2003). [Full text]

[31] Merseyside Police (2001). [Full text]

[32] Salt Lake City Police Department (2001). [Full text]

[33] Fresno Police Department (1997). [Full text]

[34] Mazerolle and Roehl (1998). [Full text]

[35] Oakland Police Department (2003). [Full text]

[36] Royal Canadian Mounted Police (2002). [Full text]


Buerger, M. (1998). "The Politics of Third-Party Policing." In L.G. Mazerolle and J. Roehl (eds.), Civil Remedies and Crime Prevention: Crime Prevention Studies, Volume 9. Monsey, N.Y.: Criminal Justice Press. [Full text]

Buffalo Police Department (2001). "Workable Solutions to the Problem of Street Prostitution in Buffalo, N.Y." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Bureau of Justice Assistance (2000). Keeping Illegal Activity Out of Rental Property: A Police Guide for Establishing Landlord Training Programs. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. [Full text]

Campbell Resources Inc. (n.d.) Clandestine Drug Labs: What Every Hotel and Motel Operator Should Know. Portland, Oregon: City of Portland and Campbell Resources Inc.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Police Department (2002). "Hispanic Robbery Initiative: Reducing Robbery Victimization and Increasing Trust of Police and Financial Institutions in a Hispanic Community." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

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City of Overland Park (2003). Ordinance No. BC-2459, Section R328 (Physical Security). Overland Park Municipal Code. Overland Park, Kansas. [Full text]

Clarke, R.V., and H. Goldstein (2003a). Reducing Thefts at Construction Sites: Lessons From a Problem-Oriented Project. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Accessible at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/mime/open.pdf?Item=804. [Full text]

---- (2003b). Theft from Cars in Center City Parking Facilities-A Case Study. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Accessible at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/mime/open.pdf?Item=768. [Full text]

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Eck, J., and W. Spelman (1987). Problem-Solving: Problem-Oriented Policing in Newport News. Washington, D.C.: Police Executive Research Forum.

Fontana (California) Police Department (1998). "Ten-4: The Transient Enrichment Network. A Community Collaboration to Reduce Homelessness." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Fremont (California) Police Department (1997). "Domestic Violence Revictimization Prevention. Improving Police Response to Repeat Calls of Domestic Violence." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Fresno (California) Police Department (1999). "A Multiagency Approach to a Community Problem: Stemming Calls-for-Service Related to Child Custody." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

--- (1997). "Local Ordinances and Conditional Use Permits: The Empowerment of Law Enforcement." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Glendale (California) Police Department (1997). "Day Laborer Project: a Community's Response to the Problems of Casual Laborers." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Goldstein, H. (1990). Problem-Oriented Policing. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press.

--- (1996). "Establishing Ownership of Inquiries and Responses to Problems in the Context of Problem-Oriented Policing." Unpublished draft on file with author. [Full text]

Green Bay Police Department (1999). "Street Sweeping, Broadway Style: Revitalizing a Business District from the Inside Out." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.[Full text]

Halton (Ontario) Regional Police Service (2002). "Let's Dance: a Community's Collaborative Response to the Problems Created by an All Ages Nightclub." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Hamilton-Wentworth (Ontario) Police Department (1994). "Kidestrian. Child Pedestrian Safety." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Hope, T. (1994). "Problem-Oriented Policing and Drug-Market Locations: Three Case Studies." In R.V. Clarke (ed.), Crime Prevention Studies, Vol. 2. Monsey, N.Y.: Criminal Justice Press. [Full text]

Lancashire Constabulary (2003a). "The Tower Project. Blackpool Community Safety Project." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

---- (2003b). "Operation Kerb: Multi-Agency Problem Solving Approach to Street Prostitution in Preston." Submission for the Tilley Award Program for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

---- (2000). "Operation Adelphi: A Problem-Oriented Approach to Hotel Burglary Reduction." Submission for the Tilley Award Program for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

---- (1999). "The Nook Scrap Yard: a POP's Initiative." Submission for the Tilley Award Program for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.

---- (n.d.). "Nightsafe: Reducing Alcohol Related Violence and Disorder." http://www.lancashire.police.uk/nightsafe.html

Mazerolle, L.G., and J. Roehl (1998). Civil Remedies and Crime Prevention: Crime Prevention Studies, Vol. 9. Monsey, N.Y.: Criminal Justice Press. [ Full text]

Merseyside Police (2001). "Operation Crystal Clear." Submission for the Tilley Award Program for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Miami (Florida) Police Department (2002). "Allapatah Produce Market Power Play: Revitalizing a Produce Market through Cooperation." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

National Research Council (2004). Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence. Committee to Review Research on Police Policy and Practices. W. Skogan and K. Frydl (eds.). Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Oakland (California) Police Department (2003). "The Oakland Airport Motel Program. Eliminating Criminal and Nuisance Behavior at a Motel." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Peel (Ontario) Regional Police (1996). "The Last Drink Program: Targeting Licensed Premises to Reduce Impaired Driving." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Plano (Texas) Police Department (2003). "Underage Drinking: More Than a Minor Issue." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Racine (Wisconsin) Police Department (1999). "The Power of Partnerships: Revitalizing Neighborhoods through Community Policing Houses." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (2002). "Project Metrotown: Reducing Drug Trafficking and Related Crime through Multiagency Cooperation and Community Partnerships." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Salt Lake City (Utah) Police Department (2001). "The False Alarm Solution: Verified Response." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Sampson, R., S. Raudenbush and F. Earls (1997). "Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: a Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy." Science 277: 918-924.

San Diego (California) Police Department (2001). "Sexual Assault: Educating a Community About Non-Stranger Sexual Assault." Submission for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. [Full text]

Scott, M. (forthcoming). "Policing for Prevention: Shifting and Sharing the Responsibility to Address Public Safety Problems." In N. Tilley (ed.), A Handbook for Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice. London: Willan Publishing. [Full text]

Sherman, L., D. Gottfredson, D. MacKenzie, J. Eck, P. Reuter and S. Bushway (1997). Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. [Full text]

Tonry, M., and D. Farrington. (1995). "Strategic Approaches to Crime Prevention." Crime and Justice: A Review of Research 19: 1-20.

Weisburd, D., and J. Eck (2004). "What Can Police Do to Reduce Crime, Disorder, and Fear?" The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 593: 42-65.

Related POP Projects


The quality and focus of these submissions vary considerably. With the exception of those submissions selected as winners or finalists, these documents are unedited and are reproduced in the condition in which they were submitted. They may nevertheless contain useful information or may report innovative projects.

Allapatah Produce Market Play [Goldstein Award Finalist], Miami Police Department (FL, US), 2002

Bulldozing – Construction Site Burglary [Goldstein Award Finalist], Port St. Lucie Police Department (FL, US), 2006

Day Labor Project [Goldstein Award Winner], Glendale Police Department (CA, US), 1997

Domestic Violence Re-victimization Prevention [Goldstein Award Finalist], Fremont Police Department (CA, US), 1997

Group Homes: A Multi Agency Approach to a City Wide Problem [Goldstein Award Finalist], Fresno Police Department (CA, US), 1996

Highland Creek Garage Robbery Project, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (NC, US), 2004

Hispanic Robbery Initiative [Goldstein Award Finalist], Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (NC, US), 2002

KIDestrian: Child Pedestrian Safety [Goldstein Award Finalist], Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Service (ON, CA), 1994

Last Drink Program [Goldstein Award Finalist], Peel Regional Police (ON, CA), 1996

Let's Dance: A Community's Collaborative Response to an All Ages Night Club [Goldstein Award Finalist], Halton Regional Police Service (ON, CA), 2002

Nightsafe Initiative, Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, UK), 2004

Noise in Neighborhoods Achieving Community Together (ACT) [Goldstein Award Finalist], San Marcos Police Department (TX, US), 2011

Oakland Airport Motel Program [Goldstein Award Winner], Oakland Police Department (CA, US), 2003

Operation Adelphi [Tilley Award Finalist], Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, UK), 2000

Operation Kerb [Goldstein Award Finalist], Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, UK), 2003

Operation Crystal/Crystal Clear [Tilley Award Winner], Merseyside Police Department (Merseyside, UK), 2001

Operation Fragment [Tilley Award Winner], Avon and Somerset Constabulary (Bristol, UK), 2009

Operation Mullion [Tilley Award Finalist], Hampshire Constabulary (Hampshire, UK), 2006

Operation Pasture [Tilley Award Winner], Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, UK), 2008

Operation Spotlight [Goldstein Award Finalist], Arlington Police Department (TX, US), 2008

Project Metrotown [Goldstein Award Finalist], Royal Canadian Mounted Police (BC, CA), 2002

Reducing Crime and Disorder at Hotels and Motels in Chula Vista California [Goldstein Award Winner], Chula Vista Police Department (CA, US), 2009

Safer Travel at Night Campaign [Goldstein Award Winner], Transport for London (London, UK), 2006

Sexual Assault Prevention Through Community Awareness and Participation, San Diego Police Department (CA, US), 1995

Street Sweeping, Broadway Style [Goldstein Award Winner], Green Bay Police Department (WI, US), 1999

The Chula Vista Residential Burglary Reduction Project [Goldstein Award Finalist], Chula Vista Police Department (CA, US), 2001

The Elite Arcade: Taming a Crime Generator [Goldstein Award Finalist], Delta Police Department (BC, CA), 1997

The False Alarm Solution: Verified Response [Goldstein Award Finalist], Salt Lake City Police Department (UT, US), 2001

The Nook Scrap Yard POP's Initiative [Tilley Award Finalist], Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, UK), 1999

The Power of Partnerships [Goldstein Award Finalist], Racine Police Department (WI, US), 1999

The Tower Project [Goldstein Award Finalist], Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, UK), 2003

The Transient Enrichment Network (TEN-4) [Goldstein Award Finalist], Fontana Police Department (CA, US), 1998

Trolley Safe [Goldstein Award Finalist], Warwickshire Police (Warwickshire, UK), 2009

Underage Drinking: More than a MINOR Issue [Goldstein Award Finalist], Plano Police Department (TX, US), 2003

Workable Solutions to the Problem of Street Prostitution in Buffalo, N.Y. [Goldstein Award Finalist], Buffalo Police Department (NY, US), 2001