Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Additional Resources

Landlord Training

John Campbell, of Campbell DeLong Resources Inc. (www.cdri.com), wrote a Landlord Training Manual PDF that has been adopted by many police departments around the country. Here is the version used in Santa Cruz, CA.

Las Vegas has an ordinance requiring people who want to manage apartment building to complete a landlord training program

Tim Zehring of the Mesa Police Department in Arizona developed the very successful Crime-free Multi-housing program. In only ten years it has spread across the country and internationally as well.

Bureau of Justice Assistance (1995). Keeping Drug Activity Out of Rental Property: Establishing Landlord Training Programs. BJA Fact Sheet.

Ordinance Enforcement and Nuisance Abatement

Many cities have codes and ordinances in place concerning owners who allow drug dealing on their properties. Here are two examples.

  • Davis, CA Municipal Code on Nuisance Abatement
  • Albany, NY Nuisance Abatement Brochure
  • This website, by the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington, discusses different methods of nuisance abatement.

Other Sources

This new guide to policing crack markets is based on good practice models from the UK and incorporates recent studies and experience. - Burgess, R. (2003). Disrupting Crack Markets: A Practice Guide. [PDF] London: Home Office.

Eck, J.E. and J. Wartell (1999). Reducing Crime and Drug Dealing by Improving Place Management: A Randomized Experiment. [PDF] NIJ Research Preview. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

Finn, P. (1995). The Manhattan District Attorney's Narcotics Eviction Program. [PDF] NIJ Program Focus. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

Green Mazerolle, L. and J. Roehl (1999) Controlling Drug and Disorder Problems: Oakland's Beat Health Program. [PDF] NIJ Research in Brief. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

Robertson, Ian, and Kevin Flemen. (nd). Tackling Drug Use in Rented Housing: A Good Practice Guide [PDF], Home Office.

Abstracts of publications that have appeared since this guide was written

Disrupting Crack Markets: A Practice Guide. Burgess, R., N. Abigail, M. Lacriarde, and J. Hawkins (2003). London: Home Office (2003)   Available at: www.drugs.gov.uk/ReportsandPublications/Communities/1051178536

This practice guide offers suggestions for how the police can work with partners to implement a range of actions that will disrupt crack markets. Specifically, the guide was written for police partnerships in England and Wales, but may also be applicable to situations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Disrupting supply is not the only way of addressing crack problems in the UK. In fact, demand-reduction measures, such as treatment and education, are on their own unlikely to lead to the decline of drug markets in the short term. Enforcement tactics and the disruption and reduction of opportunities to sell crack are an essential part of any local action to tackle crack problems. Nevertheless, action to reduce demand should also be developed to support enforcement activity. Drawing on best practice from the UK and beyond, this guide brings together tested approaches to controlling crack markets; and where possible, project examples are included. In particular, the strategies are discussed in 4 sections: How crack markets operate; Preparing for action against crack markets; Action to tackle markets; and Assessing the impact of police action against crack markets. Overall, a wide range of action is described that can be tailored to the precise form of any local operating market.

The Impact of a Police Crackdown on a Street Drug Scene: Evidence From the Street. Aitken, C., D. Moore, P. Higgs, J. Kelsall, and M. Kerger (2002). International Journal of Drug Policy, 13(3):189-198.

This study documents the impact of a police crackdown on a street heroin market in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, as perceived by individuals involved in the market. The initiative involved a deliberate focus on incoming traffic, passive deterrence through high visibility, and increased efforts to intercept buyers and sellers through a greater police presence. The effect of the operation is essentially superficial and temporary. While the crackdown achieves its objective of reducing the visible aspects of the street drug scene, the market rapidly adapts to its new conditions. Negative outcomes include the partial displacement of the drug scene to nearby metropolitan areas; the discouragement of safe injecting practice and safe needle and syringe disposal; and more frequent occurrences of violence and fraud. These outcomes appear to outweigh any perceived positive impacts, which are achieved at significant public expense. In line with long-standing Australian policy, the case is made for approaches that incorporate and balance demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction principles.

Advancing Problem-Oriented Policing: Lessons From Dealing With Drug Markets. Sampson, R. (2003). In J. Knutsson (ed.), Problem-Oriented Policing: From Innovation to Mainstream. Crime Prevention Studies, Vol. 15. Monsey, N.Y: Criminal Justice Press.

In the early 1990s, American policing, applying a problem-oriented approach, displayed much creative energy in closing drug markets. This has not translated to a wider range of quality efforts in tackling other common crimes, such as burglary, auto theft, and shoplifting. While few of the factors that combined to fuel wide exploration of creative solutions in drug markets are present for other crime and safety problems, there may be some simple ways to engage the police to further study and target other crimes. Three strategies are offered: identifying, understanding, and responding to snowball crimes; using a situational crime prevention approach to graded responses for repeat victimization; and examining privately-owned properties for disproportionate demands on police service with an eye toward shifting responsibility for crime-place management to these owners.