Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Goldstein Awards 2003

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Winner! Oakland Airport Motel Program

Oakland Police Department, Oakland, CA US – 7 Pages

Recurring nuisance and criminal activity at a motel gained the attention of a police officer. The motels' problems included inordinate calls for police service, prostitution, illegal drug activity, abandoned cars, an illegal auto repair business in the motel parking lot, and the rent­ing of rooms to minors. Data checks, site visits, interviews, undercover surveillance, and comparisons of manage­ment practices to other nearby motels led police to conclude that it was the poor manage­ment practices at the motel were allowing the crime and nuisances to flourish at this motel. After meetings the motel's management failed to resolve the motel's problems, the police and city attorneys filed a drug nuisance abatement lawsuit against the motel's parent corporation. After intense negotiations, the parent corporation agreed to improve its management practices and to post a $250,000 performance bond and $35,000 to cover the costs of its investigation. Improvements were made to the physical environment and management practices at the motel. Two years after the agreement was signed, there have been few calls for police service at the motel.

Operation Kerb

Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire, UK – 21 Pages

Street prostitution and nuisance created by kerb crawlers soliciting women from their vehicles created a highly visible problem in Preston . Incident logging, reported crime, and consultation with the community and partners were used as indicators of the problem. The prostitute caution register was updated and a street survey was conducted to assess the number of women actively involved in street prostitution, areas they frequented, drug habits, and the numbers of vehicles visiting the area. An Internet site dedicated to kerb crawlers was also discovered and monitored. Partnerships were used to alter street design to limit the movements of visiting vehicles, increase enforcement on the prostitutes and kerb crawlers. Acceptable Behaviour Contracts were introduced to offer offenders the opportunity to address their behaviour. Reports/complaints involving a prostitute decreased by 46%; the number of prostitutes on the streets decreased by 71%; and 91% of the kerb crawlers who received letters did not return to the area.

Surrey Street Standards

Surrey Police, Surrey, UK – 17 Pages

West Surrey Division consists of two Boroughs whose residents have a notably high fear of crime. Between 1995 and 2001, the number of public houses in Guildford Town Centre increased by 57%. Whilst priority crimes such as burglary and auto crime continued to fall, violent crime and incidents of disorder increased. The response was to introduce a "standard of behaviour" imposed by a yellow/red card warning system similar to that used on the football field to target 18 to 24 year old males. Surrey Street Standards was launched in June 2002 in Guildford and Staines Town Centres. It addresses five key areas: using obscene language, throwing of a missile, obstruction of the highway, Section 5 of the Public Order Act (causing alarm and distress) and urinating in the street. Individuals who commit one of these offences are warned and issued with a yellow card. Should they re-offend the same evening, they are shown a red card and reported for summons. Surrey Street Standards has reduced crime and disorder by 30%.

The Tower Project

Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire, UK – 26 Pages

In 2001 levels of street robbery, house burglary or autocrime increased by about a third compared to the previous year. A large proportion of Blackpool 's persistent offenders were excluding themselves from mainstream services and drug treatment. They are trapped in a cycle of offending, drug taking with increased crack cocaine use, poverty, homelessness, and prison. The Tower Project targets local persistent offenders, who are selected based upon their rate of offending especially in robberies, burglaries or auto crime using a computerised evidenced matrix and the professional judgement of staff. Clients are approached in prison or the community and are offered immediate access to drug treatment and support with accommodation, benefits, employment, and lifestyle issues. In 2002, o 2001, Western Division of Lancashire Constabulary had 17.7% fewer crimes, 44.8% fewer house burglaries, 33% fewer theft from vehicles, and 20% fewer street robberies compared to 2001. The Project has been independently evaluated by Huddersfield University who concluded that the project has met its 30% crime reduction targets for the client group.

Underage Drinking: More than a MINOR Issue

Plano Police Department, Plano, TX US – 10 Pages

Officer Glenn noticed that the numbers of calls for service involving minors in possession of and consuming alcohol were increasing. The calls included juvenile problems, noise, and party disturbances. While enforcing these violations, the minors advised him that they could easily walk into a beer store in Plano and purchase alcohol. Glenn observed that store clerks who sell the alcohol, the police department, and the residents of the City of Plano were also a part of the problem. Glenn conducted special enforcement details and obtained specific data on which stores were selling alcohol to minors to educated violators. The number of stores selling alcohol to minors in Plano has significantly decreased during the time that he has been working on this project.

Vehicle Ownership Security

California Highway Patrol, CA US – 9 Pages

In California, vehicle theft increased by 94 percent between 1983 and 1992. The CHP analyzed the problem by: using an outside consultant to look at current laws and regulations, jurisdictional issues, and public opinions; examining departmental data to identify spe­cific characteristics of vehicle theft; and relying on the observations of street officers and vehicle theft investigators to gain a "street perspective" on the problem. Five broad categories were devise to encompass the vehicle theft problem. A variety of new programs were implemented between 1993 and 1999 including enhanced enforcement techniques, changes in state law, public awareness, participation by CHP officers and allied law enforcement agencies, federal agen­cies, private sector entities, and other affected community groups. During the seven-year period, the CHP and participating allied law enforcement agencies succeeded in reducing vehicle theft by 46 percent and vehicle theft rates by 49 percent.