Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Summary of Responses

The table below summarizes the responses to crimes against tourists, the mechanism by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they ought to work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

General Considerations for an Effective Strategy
# Response How It Works Works Best If... Considerations
1 Working with the tourism industry to identify and address crime-related concerns Increases the likelihood of tourist crime prevention by combining police and industry efforts …the police know and can inform others about good safety practices used locally and elsewhere Should promote good practice by police, tourism officials, and private business owners who cater to tourists; should not be limited to directing extra police patrols
2 Training police and private security staff to recognize and address tourist-related safety concerns Enhances the ability of, and the confidence in, personnel to address the problem …high-quality training programs are used, based on established, successful curricula Costs to police agencies or local governments to develop/administer training
Specific Responses to Reduce Crimes Against Tourists
# Response How It Works Works Best If... Considerations
3 Facilitating tourist victims’ testimony in criminal cases Increases the likelihood of convicting offenders, and thus may deter potential offenders …legislation provides funding for victims’ travel expenses, or for equipment for them to testify via teleconferencing Increases costs to the local jurisdiction; may or may not result in conviction
4 Imposing additional taxes in tourist areas to support special security measures Provides funding for enhanced security measures in tourist areas …local government leaders and business owners are willing to pay the cost to improve the area and reduce tourist risks Taxpayers may be reluctant to pay extra taxes if they believe police should assume the sole responsibility for safeguarding tourists
5 Encouraging hotels and motels to adopt practices that will reduce guest victimization Reduces opportunities for tourists to be victimized in the first instance …hotels/motels have a strong motivation to prevent crimes, and use knowledgeable personnel to determine needs and to install equipment Implementation costs can be high; hotel/motel managers may be reluctant to raise concerns among guests about the potential for crime victimization
6 Offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who commit serious crimes against tourists Increases the likelihood of convicting offenders, and thus may deter potential offenders …offers of reward money are well publicized and sufficiently high to encourage those with information to come forward Costs to fund the program (reward money, administrative costs, etc.)
7 Educating tourists to reduce their risk of victimization Promotes safe practices among tourists …tourist information is available in different languages Costs of producing and disseminating the information
8 Increasing uniform patrols in tourist areas Potentially deters offenders, and increases the likelihood that tourist crimes will be interrupted …officers patrol high-risk locations Requires a substantial commitment of personnel and other justice system resources
9 Deploying citizen patrols to supplement police patrols Potentially deters offenders, and increases the likelihood that tourist crimes will be interrupted …volunteers are properly trained, have instant communication access to police, and are conspicuously dressed Costs of employing, training, and equipping citizen patrols
10 Conducting surveillance at high-risk locations Enhances the ability of police to identify offenders, and potentially deters offenders …cameras and/or officers surveil high-risk areas Labor-intensive and costly to conduct; electronic surveillance equipment must be vigilantly monitored
11 Changing the physical environment to reduce opportunities for tourist crimes Increases the difficulty of committing offenses …the changes are tailored to the immediate environment’s particular risks Requires a sophisticated understanding of the principles and methods of crime prevention through environmental design