Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Goldstein Awards 2005

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Winner! Project Centurion

Isle of Man Constabulary, British Isles, UK – 24 Pages

Project Centurion is a multi-agency project established in January 2003 in response to public concern of alcohol related crimes occurring on Douglas Promenade. It aims to reduce crime and disorder on the Promenade through a Problem Oriented Policing approach. Analyses revealed three primary contributory factors for the problem: 1) Concentration of assaults, criminal damage and disorder during times of customers leaving nightclubs at weekends, particularly after “pay day”; 2) A lack of late night public transport which extended the waiting period of intoxicated customers on the Promenade; and 3) a lack of facilities and activities for young people lead to public intimidation caused by large gatherings of young people with little to do. Responses included an increase in intelligence led policing; improved co-operation between the police, licensees and the Youth Service; 5 new taxi ranks and improved taxi rank management; the issuing of 12 additional taxi licences; improved operating conditions for taxi drivers through a “Taxiwatch” initiative; and a range of events, activities and facilities for young people. Since inception, a 33.4% reduction in the target crimes of assault, criminal damage and public order offences has been achieved. The project also improved working relationships between the project partners.

Belmont Neighborhood Violence Reduction Project

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte, NC US – 24 Pages

The Belmont neighborhood, in the heart of Charlotte’s inner city, experienced an increase in violence in 1999. A preliminary review of offense reports showed that many of the victims of violent crime did not live there but were traveling through the neighborhood to purchase drugs. Further analysis indicated that over 80% of the drug arrests in one section of the neighborhood were of individuals who did not live there. Officers suggested the installation of traffic barriers on two neighborhood streets to prevent drug traffic into the area. Officers partnered with the City Department of Transportation to install the barricades and worked extensively with neighborhood residents to gain acceptance for the barricades to be installed for a trial period. An analysis of five years of pre/post data shows that violent crime in the study area decreased by 46%; overall arrests decreased by 51.8% and arrests for violence decreased 57%.

Neighbors Against Drugs

Sheboygan Police Department, Sheboygan, WI US – 25 Pages

In 2003 Sheboygan was faced with unprecedented demographic changes, increases in reported illicit drug dealing, and an introduction to crack-cocaine. It was found that many suspected drug houses were not being followed up on due to the tedious process of traditional law enforcement investigations and gathering enough evidence to get search warrants to make an arrest. Following verification of drug activity problems specific neighborhoods were targeted through a multi-pronged approach that included anti-drug signs with the lone exception being the suspected drug house; educational meetings; civil abatement and evictions; and a media awareness campaign. After twenty months 59 drug houses were eliminated. Comparison of posttest-pretest surveys indicated significant changes with perceptions of neighborhood safety (82% vs. 40%, respectively; p<.001) and suspected drug houses (5% vs. 52%, respectively; p<.001). Additionally, 78% of posttest respondents reported being more willing to call the police since NAD intervention and 51% reported being more willing to talk to their neighbors about suspected drug houses.

Nowhere to run, Nowhere to Hide: Neighborhood Burglary Reduction

Staffordshire Police Department, Staffordshire, UK – 17 Pages

Between the years 2000-2002 a total of 121 combined burglaries occurred within the Highfields housing estate in Stafford, a figure in excess of the UK’s national burglary average. A co-ordinated approach was formulated, initiated and subjected to ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Agencies and community contacts participated and discussed ways of tackling the evidenced problems and guided by the Police Crime Reduction Unit, an action plan was formulated. A 3 year plan was formulated and tasks were identified and allocated along a set timeline. Using baseline figures for 2000-2002, reductions in house burglaries of 67.5% and burglaries of sheds and garages by 62.4% over the three year target period were achieved. Overall, crime decreased 24% along with a positive diffusement of benefits across other crime types.

Operation Cloak and Dagger

Boston Police Department, Boston, MA US – 21 Pages

In 2004, the City of Boston experienced the highest number of homicides that it had witnessed in ten years. A small area of the Dorchester section of Boston that geographically encapsulates 1 square mile, accounting for only 2% of the entire land area of the City of Boston, generated nearly 40% of the City’s total number of gun-related homicides. Using a multi-faceted, comprehensive operation designed to combat the gun violence and existing street crime, a 63% decrease in shooting incidents in the nine months following the inception of the operation was achieved. Shooting homicides were reduced by 87%. Street crimes (i.e. robberies, stolen cars, and car breaks) also showed double-digit decreases.

Operation Dodger

Sussex Police, Sussex, UK – 22 Pages

This project began as a result of persistent complaints regarding the activities of persons engaged in street drinking and begging which prompted a dramatic increase in fear of crime. Analysis indicated that many of the offenders had drug or alcohol addictions or had suffered mental health issues. In response, a regular multi-agency conference was convened that would decide upon action plans for each individual to address their behaviour. Monthly Street audits were conducted to count and help identify individuals engaged in begging or street drinking. A target to reduce begging by 60% by the end of March 2005 was set. In a 15 month period, the number of observed beggars was reduced from 33 to just 3, a 90% reduction. Street drinking hotspots decreased from 18 to 5, with the numbers of persons engaged in street drinking being reduced from 158 to 70.

Safer Sex Works

Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire, UK – 40 Pages

Safer Sex Works was conceived and developed to address substantive continuing issues arising from Street Prostitution in Preston. The project was initiated to bring a mechanism and structure to a range of issues historically given a low priority by successive governments and the police service. Following in-depth analysis and broad experiential consultation a range of innovative responses were developed and adopted in close co-operation with key partner agencies. These responses were no longer reliant on traditional enforcement but were aimed at introducing a structured tiered approach, prioritizing problematic behavior. A key objective of the project was to maximize outcomes using limited resources in order to deliver manageable and sustainable interventions. Assessed in December 2004 ‘Safer Sex Works’ achieved genuine, sustainable reductions in the problem of street prostitution in Preston. A reduced level of street sex work could now be safely tolerated with an emphasis on partnership working to deliver health care, harm reduction and exit strategies.

Team: Reducing Vehicle Burglaries

Carrollton Police Department, Carrollton, TX US – 25 Pages

The Carrollton Police Department CPOP Team, a cross section representation of all of the Patrol Division, was assembled and tasked to identify and tackle the most pervasive crime and quality of life issues. The team quickly identified vehicle burglaries as a problem that was causing concern amongst the citizens and devouring police resources. The officers discovered that offenses were occurring in concentrated areas of the city and that citizens were not preventing themselves from becoming victims of vehicle burglaries. Through the implementation of various public awareness and instructional efforts as well as environmental changes, the officers were able to achieve a substantial reduction in vehicle crimes with no indication of displacement.