Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

2004 POP Conference Papers

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Fear of Crime: Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself? PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Gary Cordner

Fear of crime became a well-recognized problem worthy of police attention in the early 1980s and subsequently played an important role in the birth and development of community policing. A few police agencies took a genuinely problem-oriented approach to fear of crime 20 years ago, but those efforts seem to have been short lived. This session explores the reasons why a POP approach to fear of crime was not sustained, presents findings from a national search for current U.S. police efforts targeted specifically at fear of crime, considers some information about a major public reassurance initiative underway in the United Kingdom, and provides some discussion about the feasibility of using POP to make the public feel safer.

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Open–Air Drug Markets: A Public Toxin

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Alex Harocopos

Drug dealing in open-air markets presents a considerable challenge for the police. Experience has shown that arrests have little impact on market operations and that it is important to consider how best to disrupt the mechanisms of the market. This workshop will examine the characteristics of open-air drug markets and the factors that increase the risk of their development. The group will then review some of the key questions which can be used to analyze this problem and explore how to answer these using appropriate data sources. Finally, drawing on the idea that enforcement alone will have a limited effect and that a multi-agency approach can achieve more substantive change, there will be a discussion about some possible responses to open-air drug markets and how to tailor these to local circumstances.

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Identity theft: Stolen Lives, A Growth Industry PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Graeme Newman

Is ID theft as serious a problem as the media says it is? What exactly is ID theft and the different aspects of it? What aspects of the problem is your jurisdiction experiencing most? What aspects might be under the radar but present in your jurisdiction? Learn what you can do to prevent ID theft and reduce the harm it does to victims and businesses alike.

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Interviews of Bank Robbers: Why the Buck Doesn’t Stop Here

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Martin Gill

What can we learn from talking to robbers? The world of crime prevention has paid relatively little attention to the views of offenders; this is a strange omission for one obvious fact about prolific offenders is that they are able to avoid the threat security measures pose. In this talk Martin Gill will describe how interviews with offenders can help inform crime prevention. He has worked with burglars, thieves and fraudsters; in this talk he will discuss his work with robbers.

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Crime and Disorder in Budget Motels: We’ll Leave the (Red) Light

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Karin Schmerler

Is there a motel in your community that experiences persistent problems ranging from minor disturbances to robberies? Find out how other communities have diagnosed and reduced problems at budget motels through a variety of analytical techniques and responses, including strict guest and visitor rules; perimeter control; performance bonds, business licensing standards, and other measures that don”t require ongoing enforcement efforts by policing agencies.

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Underage Drinking: More Than a Minor Issue PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Kelly Dedel Johnson

Young people use alcohol more than any other drug, including tobacco. Underage use of alcohol is associated with a wide range of health, social, criminal justice and academic problems. Minimum-age drinking laws have been very effective in reducing many of the harms associated with underage drinking, such as traffic fatalities and alcohol-related injuries, as well as assaults and other crimes. This presentation discusses why underage people drink, the environmental factors that contribute to the problem, how underage people obtain alcohol, and where underage drinking is likely to occur. This discussion is followed by examples of effective responses to reduce underage drinking that increase the effort required to obtain alcohol and that increase the risk legal-age individuals face if they choose to provide alcohol to minors.

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The Effect of Security Cameras in Public Places: The Eyes Have It? PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Martin Gill

Use of CCTV (closed circuit television) in public places is a relatively new security measure attracting considerable support in reducing crime problems, especially in the UK. Martin Gill will discuss the evidence about whether CCTV is working drawing on his research findings involving a national review for the United Kingdom’s Home Office. The presentation will focus on CCTV impact on crime rates, public perceptions, and include offenders’ views of CCTV. Martin Gill will suggest ways in which CCTV is and is not effective based on new and original research. Joe Kuhns, presenter for this session, will open the session and discuss the application of CCTV’s in the United States.

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Speeding Vehicles in Residential Areas: Burning Rubber-Neighbors Seeing Red

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Rana Sampson
  • Dave Maddox

Even when areas are high crime, why do residents often say their #1 problem is speeding vehicles? What more can we do about speeding vehicles in residential areas? Are we doing the right thing now? This workshop will introduce you to a new national curriculum on speeding vehicles in residential areas, which will be available free for you to use within your department or with community groups.

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Street Racing: The Price of Pursuing a (Tail) Pipe Dream PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Ron Glensor

Illegally altered fast cars, dangerous speeds, noise and accidents, all of these are elements of a street racing phenomena that has cropped up in different parts of the country. This session will focus on the problem of street racing and discuss the factors that contribute to it. Hear about ways to analyze the problem in your own jurisdiction and successful police practices to address it, as well as methods for evaluating impact.

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Finding Bad Guys through Temporary Vehicle License Plates: Tag, You’re It PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Matt White

North Carolina’s temporary license plate system is being exploited and is costing the state dearly. The current “temp tag” system, which is similar to many other states contributes to disorder, enables the criminal lifestyle, and endangers officers. The study”s found that even relatively minor and inexpensive changes to this system would save millions and improve law and order.

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Goldstein Award Winner!

Hampshire Constabulary (UK)

Tackling Vehicle Crime in Portsmouth: Reducing the Odds PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Julie Earle
  • Alan Edmunds

One of Europe’s most densely populated cities experienced a 16% increase in vehicle crime even as the rest of the country experienced a downward trend. They found that certain car years were most at risk and repeat locations accounted for a large part of the problem. Certain hot-spots had seasonal risks others held relatively steady through the year. Multi-agency environment projects were initiated, forensic potential and intelligence gathering improved, vehicle crime levels on individual streets were monitored, and a media campaign constructed. Overall, Portsmouth vehicle crime fell 31% and the principles of the project are now being replicated to tackle other crime issues in Portsmouth.

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Goldstein Award Finalist!

Lancashire Constabulary (UK)

Public Housing: Reversing a Spiral of Decline, the Hopwood Triangle PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Stephen Armes
  • Gareth Pearson

The “Hopwood Triangle”, a local government-owned housing development close to the city’s center, suffered from a rapid decline and fell prey to property damage, burglary, drug dealing, prostitution and anti-social behavior. Fearful residents surrendered their tenancies leaving one-third of all the apartments unoccupied. Those residents remaining were too scared to participate as part of the community. Initiated in January 2002, the “Hopwood Triangle” was a multi-agency partnership approach designed to deliver long-term and sustainable changes and improvements to the area and community life. By January 2004, both crime and police calls to service had been significantly reduced, properties were fully occupied, and the area was benefiting from an active and increasingly empowered residents association.

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Goldstein Award Finalist!

Vestvold Police (Norway)

The Problem with Gypsy Cabs - Roving for Dollars PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Knut-Erik Søvik
  • Johannes Knutsson

Gypsy cab operations are illegal because they are unlicensed as a taxi service, their drivers do not pay the appropriate taxes, and the vehicles do not meet standards for passenger transport. As a result they unfairly undercut their legal competition and police are asked to intervene. After traditional policing approaches failed in a Norwegian town, its police teamed with a researcher to better understand the problem and discovered that some of the drivers were outright criminals, raping, robbing, and assaulting their customers. In fact, 44% of the checked drivers had criminal records. Innovative strategies were designed that substantially reduced the problem and increased the accessibility of legal transport.

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Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers Part I PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Rachel Boba
  • Karin Schmerler
  • Deborah Lamm Weisel

This workshop highlights 10 common pitfalls in crime analysis that can mask or mislead police about the true nature of common public safety problems ranging from street level drug sales and speeding, to burglary and domestic violence. The session offers practical strategies for avoiding these pitfalls. Both pitfalls and solutions are illustrated with practical examples from actual law enforcement experiences and research studies from across the nation. This session is appropriate for both analysts and users of analysis, from line personnel to law enforcement executives.

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Robberies at Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, and Fast Food Restaurants: Analyzing Stop and Robs PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Jay Malcan
  • Brad Koch

Presenters will discuss the research on violent crime in convenience stores, drawing practical lessons and sharing research-oriented prevention strategies. In addition, recent information on robberies in fast food and gas stations will be shared. Special attention will be given to: 1) statewide convenience store studies completed by the Virginia Crime Prevention Center, 2) studies sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), and 3) an examination of 650 surveyed convenience stores, fast food restaurants and gas stations in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County (NC) which revealed that more than one-third had been robbed in a one-year period. Results of the study of the business practices and physical conditions of these stores will also be discussed in this workshop.

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Dens of Iniquity: Why Do So Many Bad Things Concentrate in So Few Places PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • John Eck

Why are most places virtually crime free, but a few places so crime prone? Is this a sad fact that we must live with, or can something be done about it? This plenary will discuss the theory and research regarding causes of hot spot places and risky facilities, as well as principles of effective interventions. These will be illustrated with data and analysis by the Chula Vista Police Department.

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Goldstein Award Finalist!

Plano Police Department (Texas)

Traffic Safety Around a School: Getting Out of a Jam

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Alicia Nors
  • Richard Glenn

Area residents complained of traffic congestion and accidents around a school. Crashes and other traffic safety problems jeopardized the area. Police, school district staff, residents, an area planning team, and other city agencies developed a coordinated and comprehensive traffic management plan that improved traffic flow, reduced accidents, and minimized negative consequences to the area.

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Goldstein Award Finalist!

Lancashire Constabulary (UK)

Finding Missing Persons: Who’s Responsible for Whom? PDF

The Lancashire (UK) Constabulary investigates 9,000 missing person cases a year at an annual police cost of £5.4m ($9.7M). Some portion of those missing become victims of crime, while some others end up as offenders. After careful study, the Constabulary and its partners (County Council, private care companies, and hospitals) developed a graded response to the problem implementing it in one division, using the rest of the force as a control group. Comparing three quarter-year periods, the number of repeat missing persons decreased by as much as 68 percent in two of the quarters with a projected annual savings of £209k ($378K) for that division and £1.8m ($3.2M) for the force. By tackling repeat missing persons from care facilities, children’s homes, and mental health wards, the Constabulary reduced the police burden, releasing resources to tackle crime and disorder. While it is difficult to quantify, the Constabulary believes it can demonstrate that reductions in repeat missing persons means that an individual’s potential involvement in crime, drug misuse or prostitution will have been prevented benefiting the individual, the local community, and reducing the consequential burden on police resources.

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Tilley Award Winner!

Staffordshire Constabulary (UK)

Truck Load Theft: Heavy Lifting PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Andrew Smith
  • Darrell Burns

Truck load theft is a UK national problem. A rest stop along the major highway that crosses through Staffordshire was a chronic target. The rest stop catered to over 180 vehicles each night and besides theft it also suffered from prostitution and anti social behavior. The Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit analyzed the site and suggested cost effective solutions leading to a 62% reduction in crime. As a result, this project was identified in the UK as a “Best Practice” for highway rest stops and has been adopted at similar sites along the country”s highway system. This project received one of the UK 2004 Tilley Awards (the UK-equivalent of the Herman Goldstein Award for Problem-Solving).

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Bomb Threats at Schools: Class Dismissed PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Graeme Newman

There are probably many bomb threats in schools you don’t hear about. Should you know about them? This session reviews what we know about bomb threats and bomb incidents, how to take action that will prevent them from occurring, and if they do occur, how you and other first responders should work together to reduce the harm.

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False Alarms: Crying Wolf, Is it the Price of Protection? ZIP

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Shanna Werner
  • Simon Hakim

Ever since the late 1800s police have responded to burglar alarms. Mark Twain, in one of his famous short stories, complained about his cat repeatedly setting off his home alarm system drawing police again and again to his house. Have things changed much in the more than 100 years since? Burglar alarm calls may be as much as 20 percent of the police workload nationwide and between 94 and 98 percent are false. What do we know about this problem, whose problem is it, and what are the economics of the different approaches police can take?

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Displacement: POP the Balloon PDF

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • John Eck

Tired of everyone complaining about displacement but nobody doing anything about it? This workshop explores the research on and experience with crime displacement, and its opposite, the diffusion of crime prevention benefits. It examines various forms of displacement and examines why displacement is not inevitable. The workshop will also look at using 1) the opposite of displacement to increase effectiveness, 2) the possibility of predicting displacement, and 3) methods for measuring displacement when assessing problem-solving effectiveness.

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Crime Analysis for Problem-Solvers Part II: 55 Steps to Becoming a Problem-Solving Crime Analyst PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Ron Clarke

What does it take to impact crime? Problem-oriented policing cannot fulfill its potential without the more active involvement of crime analysts in identifying, steering and implementing projects. To do this, police agencies must understand what crime analysts should know, including environmental criminology and situational crime prevention, as each make important contributions at all four stages of the SARA model. The recently published, “Become a Problem Solving Crime Analyst: In 55 Small Steps“ gives analysts crime guidance. This manual is also important to police leaders/managers as crime reduction is also obviously their business. In this workshop one of the manual’s authors discusses the role of crime analysts in problem solving, what they need to know, and illustrates the application of the concepts covered.

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Where Do We Go From Here? Meeting for Chiefs and Command Staff

What’s been going on recently with problem-oriented policing here and in the UK? What has changed, what are your challenges within your organization and externally in implementing it, what concepts/approaches are competing with it for your attention? This session has been set aside for police chiefs and command staff to candidly discuss progress in problem-oriented policing at the agency level. Please join Herman Goldstein, Mike Scott (former police chief and current director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing), Gary Cordner (former police chief and researcher/educator), Darrel Stephens (Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief and former chief in several other cities), Paul Stephenson (Lancashire Constabulary Chief Constable), and Rana Sampson (former university director of public safety and problem-oriented policing consultant) for an informal discussion of these issues.

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Sexual Activity in Public Places PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Kelly Dedel Johnson

The phrase “sexual activity in public” represents a broad range of behaviors carried out individuals, same-gender couples, and opposite-gender couples. Although these behaviors do not pose a serious threat to public safety, there are many reasons why police should be concerned about the problem including the potential to offend community residents, to deter legitimate use of public spaces, and the potential to attract a hostile audience and the risk of violent crime. This presentation describes the typical participants in public sexual activity, the locations at which public sexual activity is likely to occur, and the motivations underlying the behavior. In addition, enforcement-, environment-, and publicity-based responses are presented with specific examples from jurisdictions that have addressed the problem successfully.

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An Interactive Problem Analysis and Response Tool: New Software for Problem-Solving

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • John Eck

You know SARA, and may have met PAT, now meet their cousin PAM. PAM is the Problem Analysis Module residing at the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing website. PAM is designed to ask you critical questions about your problem. Your answers are then used to help you find appropriate responses (and avoid less promising ones). PAM is available free to any police agency or community group with an Internet connection. It can serve as a virtual archive for documenting problem-solving projects. And it can be used by a single problem solver or a team of problem solvers. This workshop will introduce you to this first-time ever demonstration of PAM and its basic features.

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25 Techniques of Situational Crime Prevention: What They Forgot To Tell You in the Police Academy PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Ron Clarke

Knowledge of the 25 techniques of situational crime prevention can assist police in finding innovative ways of responding to both new and familiar crime problems. The techniques fall under the five broad headings of increasing the difficulty of crime, increasing the risks, reducing the rewards, removing excuses and reducing provocations. The session will outline the theoretical basis of the 25 techniques in crime opportunity theory and give practical examples of their use. It will also include evaluated cases studies showing the effectiveness of many of the techniques in a variety of different situations.

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Police Training Officer Program: Problem–Based Learning in Field Training

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Gregory Saville
  • Brian Cunningham

This interactive session provides a look at the newly launched PBL police training program funded by the COPS office over the past few years. It includes a new instructor development certification program in PBL (problem-based learning). Next year this new training method will be introduced to Regional Community Policing Institute instructors across the country. The PBL method is also the basis for the Police Training Officer (PTO) program which focuses on field training for recruits. The presenters include an original developer of both the PBL and PTO program, as well as a representative from one of the leading PTO police agencies in the country, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. You will hear how PBL works, how PTO is implemented, and the successes we are seeing in agencies committed to the PBL method. Both PBL and PTO are helping law enforcement agencies inculcate the values and methods of problem-oriented policing in the earliest stages of an officer’s career.

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Clarifying Responsibility for Crime and Safety Problems: Who is responsible for what? PPT

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Gloria Laycock

Of course we all know that the SARA process delivers results: Scan the problem, analyze the data, select the most appropriate response and then assess the effect. It sounds simple. So why is it that implementation is so difficult? Why does it take so long to get anything done? One reason is the lack of clarity on who is responsible for what - and then how you get them to take that responsibility. The session will look at who “owns” crime and safety problems. Clarifying ownership makes it easier to see what needs to be done and who needs to do it.

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Problem–Oriented Policing: Why Go to All the Trouble?

Presenters / Facilitators:

  • Chief Constable Paul Stephenson, Lancashire Constabulary (UK)
  • Chief Darrel Stephens, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
  • Gary Cordner, Eastern Kentucky University

So many underestimate the complexity of policing, the thorniness, gravity and the sheer number of issues police are expected to handle. The public and our politicians seem to add items to the police plate each year, constantly redefining society’s unattended dilemmas as local police issues (homelessness, the mentally ill, inadequate and dysfunctional parenting, truants, human trafficking, homeland security). The reality is that the police plate has been full for years. Can we go on like this? How effective are we now? Do we have to change? How does problem-oriented policing help and is it worth the trouble? Gary Cordner (former police chief, researcher and educator) will interview Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Darrel Stephens and Lancashire Constabulary Chief Constable Paul Stephenson during this plenary where they will discuss these issues, the challenges they face, where they think their departments are, and the next steps they think their departments need to take.

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