Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Goldstein Awards 2008

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Winner! Operation Pasture

Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire, UK – 26 Pages

An agricultural area ranks the third worst in the UK for collisions, with farm-vehicles working a patchwork of fields over 5000 acres in different parishes, a major-contributor. Analysis revealed that collisions were attributable to mud on roads, farm-vehicles emerging from fields with limited forward visibility, and farmers not using warning-signage. With collaboration a 3-point plan was developed to increase awareness, education, and form partnerships. Warning-signs were tested and implemented, and a road-cleaning trailer was established. Environmental changes were made at collision hotspots to improve visibility. A media campaign was launched which entailed a multi-agency ‘Safety Awareness Days’ (SAD’s), a celebrity endorsement, and distribution of leaflets and flyers. In 2007, farm-vehicle collisions reduced significantly for first time in 3 years, with serious injuries reduced by 100% to zero, and slight injuries down to 1. Cost benefits of the project resulted in a savings of $680,000.

District D-14: Breaking & Entering Solution Plan

Boston Police Department, Boston, MA US – 36 Pages

Employing the COMPSTAT process and holding meetings with community stakeholders, the Boston Police Department (BPD) identified residential breaking and entering (B&E) as the primary crime issue facing District D-14, an area largely inhabited by college students and young professionals. In 2006, the District accounted for 20% of the City’s residential B&E. A four step, in-depth, district level analysis of the residential B&E issue revealed that B&Es were clustered around a handful of repeat locations and high-traffic/density areas; there were rampant failures in basic building security in those areas; some areas could improve on how calls for service were handled; and maintenance crews with building access was a principle threat to security. A three-pronged response model was implemented which included 1) increased use of BPD resources targeting these problems; 2) residential community education; and 3) hotspot targeted programs. Assessment of the program revealed a 40% reduction in residential burglary. Individual hotspot targeted programs saw decreases in residential burglary up to 75 percent. As of May 22, 2008, D-14 was ranked fifth in residential burglary among all districts, accounting for only 7.6% of the City’s residential B&E’s.

Halloween on State Street

Madison Police Department, Madison, WI US – 55 Pages

A traditional Halloween street event that erupted into a riot involving disorderly behaviors, extensive criminal damage, assaults, injured officers, and looting of businesses in 2002 led to an annual problem-solving project designed to prevent injury, property damage, and instill peace. Repeated analysis of video clips, officer observations, and GIS analysis implicated problems with crowd movement; synthesis of arrest data showed the arrestees were 18-25 year old males from Wisconsin and surrounding states, had university affiliation, and were disproportionately legally intoxicated. The response was guided by what had been used in other locations experiencing similar problems, and models of crowd behavior and theory. Stability was restored with policing responses and a fully gated event area with a fee assessed for admission, and entertainment on several stages. At the conclusion of the event the fencing was adjusted and police were used to facilitate crowd movement away from problem areas. Halloween related arrests decreased significantly over a two year period, most notably for alcohol and disorderly conduct. Crowd attendance stabilized to safe levels. Injuries to attendees and officers all but disappeared. Little or no property damage occurs, and the impact to the surrounding neighborhoods has been minimized.

MOPPIN up Dodge

Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire, UK – 45 Pages

A neighbourhood made up largely of rental units ranks within the top 10 percent of deprived communities in England. Inflicted with disorderly youth, drug use, high fear of crime levels, and little community involvement. A multi-pronged analysis lead to Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART) objectives with built in accountability mechanisms. This entailed a response which included enforcement, situational and social crime prevention guided by crime science research. Specific tactics included standard law/ housing enforcement; innovative crime & disorder legislation (ASBOs, ASBIs, Dispersals, Closures); a media campaign; diversion tactics, youth outreach & a buddy system; reparation, restorative justice and ABCs; target hardening (improve lighting/fencing); modification of public places to discourage disorderly behavior; and early intervention schemes. The project achieved a 57 percent reduction in all crime, a 47 percent reduction in calls for service, and ongoing residents group (RAFT) and PACT meetings.

Motorcycle Safety Through Licensing, Education, and Enforcement

Washington State Patrol, WA US – 25 Pages

In 2005 Washington state experienced the highest number of motorcycle fatalities since the reinstatement of its motorcycle helmet law in 1990: an increase of 164 percent since 1997. In 2006, the WSP joined forces with other state agencies and citizen groups to form the Governor’s Motorcycle Safety Task Force with the goal of determining the primary causes and providing recommendations for their reduction. Analysis revealed that the most common factors in fatal motorcycle crashes were lane errors, speeding, impaired driving, and inattention. Additionally, it was found that one-third of fatally injured riders did not have a motorcycle endorsement. The response entailed additional training to officers on the detection of impaired motorcycle riders and increased enforcement of collision-causing and driver’s license violations. Legislation to authorize impoundment of motorcycles operated by unendorsed riders was sponsored and media campaign directed at motorcycle safety was launched. Enforcement focused on serious violations by motorcyclists, speeding, impaired driving, and endorsement violations. The year 2007 ended with a 17.5 percent reduction in fatalities compared to the previous year and marked the first drop in motorcycle fatalities for Washington State since 2000.

Operation Spotlight

Arlington Police Department, Arlington, TX US – 79 Pages

Years of decay in the evolving central business district of North Arlington resulted in a thriving drug and prostitution market affecting the quality of life and preventing the opportunity for revitalization of the downtown area. Analysis of past policing efforts, calls for service, offenses, citizen complaints, and review of the literature on problem topics as well as identification of key stakeholders and physical attributes of the area led to a multifaceted response plan. This included attacking all major contributors to the problem and developing stakeholder groups. Specific goals and performance measures were identified and a plan for sustaining the project was developed. Assessment of the project revealed that area motels experienced a 30 to 50 percent decrease in UCR offenses and a 45 percent reduction in calls for service. A 29 percent increase in crime among area car dealerships was attributed to an increase in reporting. Street prostitution was virtually eliminated.

Tackling Youth Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour on London’s Buses

Transport for London, London, UK – 18 Pages

An increasing problem with youth behavior on the bus network which coincided with the introduction of free travel for young people was amplified by political attention and sensationalised media reports. Past efforts to address crime and anti-social behavior on the bus network appeared to be having limited impact. Scanning and analysis of the problem identified a number of environmental and situational factors which produced opportunities for youths to commit crime and disorder and evade detection. A comprehensive problem-solving approach was adopted which comprised of enforcement of law and transport regulations; a multi-faceted education and marketing campaign; partnerships with local community; and environmental measures to reduce opportunities for crime and anti-social behaviour. Crime on the bus network allegedly involving one or more under 16 suspects in 2007/8 was 24% lower than in 2006/7 when it peaked. The rate of youth crime per million bus passenger journeys was 24 in 2005/6 and 20 in 2006/7 (a 17% improvement). The rate of youth crime fell to 12 in 2007/8 (a further improvement of 40%).