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Clarifying Responsibility for Crime and Safety Problems:

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  • The traditional assumption is that the police control crime. In reality we all have a part to play - perhaps none more so than as individuals - parents, teachers, citizens. It is useful to draw a comparison here with preventive medicine. As individuals we all wash our hands in the bathroom, and teach our children to do the same; we have children inoculated against a variety of illnesses and we make full use of all the preventive medicine options available to us. But we can only do these things if central and local government create a context within which they are possible. We need a plumbing system, and local medical scheme and an option on vaccination if we are to use these facilities. They have to be provided, maintain and developed in an organised and cost effective manner and that calls for action on the part of central and local government in organising and providing the relevant services and encouraging their use. To return to crime then; while as individuals we have a responsibility to support the crime prevention effort we rely on the local and central government and the service they support to create the right context. It is in this sense that I shall be taking about responsibility in the remainder of this talk.
  • This is a rather different concept but I think it is crucial in getting things done. Competency refers to the individual, agency, group, with the power to change the situation. I have listed some example s on the slide. If we feel that car security is poor then it is not the police, the local authority or even the government that need to act but the car manufacturers. Similarly, if the store layout is felt to encourage crime then the store owner may have to take some action to prevent it - and many now do. And so on. I will come back to these agencies later to give some examples of what has been achieved in encouraging change over the last few years but first let me step sideways slightly and remind you about the ‘preventive process’, or what ever your preferred label for it is - basically the process through which good crime prevention initiatives are developed.
  • How was this achieved? In 1991 car crime accounted for 28% of recorded crime. Cars were easy to steal. Home Office published the first car theft index in 1991. It showed the risk of theft by car type. It also showed that cars with better security were less vulnerable. The publication of the car theft index concentrated the minds of the manufacturers but they did not work in partnership. Nevertheless the most recently published car theft index, published last year, shows great improvements in car security and reduced risk.
  • Losses were running at £150m per annum in 1990 and were rising fast. Partnership between financial institutions led to the investment of £500m in the development of more secure systems. In the shorter term improved procedures reducing card misuse at point of sale ensuring safe card delivery encouraging the public to take more care of their cards all led to significant reductions and a 41% drop from 1992 when the new procedures were coming in to 1994 when our evaluation report was published.
  • As many of you will know, because this is quite an old example, we looked at shop theft in Oxford Street. I might say incidentally that the beat boundary goes right up the centre of Oxford Street separately Marylebone and Vine Street divisions. This was to help in manpower and resources, but you can imagine what it did to the concept of a hot spot! We found that HMV, a small record store in Oxford Street, accounted for 43% of all arrests. Items recovered from thieves is shown on the slide. I will not go into the details of what was done, but suffice to say that the store was very reluctant to move from its policy of holding the cassettes and records live in the sleeves on the shop floor so that people could pick them up and just take them to buy. Of course many people took them, but not to buy. After a series of initiatives, the next slide shows the effect.
  • As you can see, arrests fell in HMV. The shop did not, however, implement the initiative measures because they thought it was a good idea or because of some altruistic social responsibility notion, but because they were told that if they did not, the police would caution all offenders arrested on the doorstep and let them go. This is what I mean by a lever. Other examples - reorganising how the costs of crime fall - car park owners and liability, hotel owners and liability, false alarms and alarm companies, Car theft Index
  • Sound rationale - includes being realistic, not overly ambitious, being clear how it will work - something everyone will recognise as being evidence based once those with the competency to act have been identified then those with the responsibility need to think through just how that action is going to be generated. Remember - levers can be applied at various levels - local, regional and national Some examples.
  • Nationally, in support, you need a structure that can hear and respond to locally identified problems Suitable levers for action being identified at national level and perhaps an environmental scanning facility to ensure that early problems are picked up.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Clarifying Responsibility for Crime and Safety Problems: Who is responsible for what? Gloria Laycock Institute of Crime Science University College London
    • 2. Agenda
      • What’s the problem?
      • Responsibility and competency
      • Roles and responsibilities
      • Identifying levers
      • Some examples:
        • Car crime
        • Credit card fraud
        • Shop theft
      • Structural implications
    • 3. What’s the problem?
      • A large retail store has the highest calls for service within all 3 districts of the division
      • They refuse to implement cp policies
      • The main office and ‘legal’ refuse to let them meet with the local police – bad for their image
      • The police say they’d like to take action but the company pays taxes to the city ….
    • 4. Responsibility
      • traditional assumption - the police
      • In reality -
        • local authority
        • community/partnership groups
        • commerce
        • industry
        • individuals etc
    • 5. Competency
      • Any individual or group with the power to change the situation, eg:
        • motor manufacturers
        • shop keepers
        • head teachers
        • Government departments
        • fuel companies
        • credit card designers etc
    • 6. The Individual Should:
      • Take sensible precautions to protect themselves, their families, friends and communities against crime
      • Not commit offences themselves
      • Not buy stolen goods
      • Ensure that their children are safe and are not themselves offending
      • Report crimes to the police
      • Support the criminal justice process as victims or witnesses where appropriate
    • 7. The Police and Their Partners Should:
      • Collect accurate information on crime and disorder and share it
      • Ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to analyse their data and produce evidence-based responses on the basis of it
      • Target hotspots
      • Monitor the effects of their strategies and modify them where appropriate
      • Learn to use ‘levers’ to get action from other agencies and organisations
    • 8. Industry and Commerce Should:
      • Design goods, services and policies with ‘crime in mind’
      • Understand that goods fitting the acronym ‘CRAVED’ will be stolen and need extra protection
      • Resist marketing their goods in ways which risk drawing young people into crime
      • Take some responsibility for the threat of theft, attack and other offences being directed at customers
      • Take reasonable measures to protect staff from victimisation through thoughtful policies, practices and training programmes
    • 9. Federal, State and Local Governments Should:
      • ... create a context within which we can all take responsibility for crime reduction, as individuals, as members of communities as directors of commerce and industry. This means:
          • Providing an efficient and effective criminal justice system
          • Encouraging the reporting of crime and the attendance in court of victims and witnesses
          • Encouraging us all to take responsibility
          • Ensuring that all those with the competency to contribute to crime prevention do so
    • 10. Goldstein’s hierarchy of ways to shift ownership Increasingly difficult Less cooperative Bringing of a civil action Legislation mandating adoption of prevention Charging a fee for police service Withdrawing police service Public shaming Pressing for the creation of a new organization to assume ownership Engaging another existing organization Targeted confrontational requests Educational programmes Straightforward informal requests
    • 11. Motor Vehicle Theft
      • Scanning:
        • High rates of theft of and from cars
        • Top of the league in international comparisons
        • Vehicle crime accounts for over 25% of all crimes reported to the police
        • Some cars are more popular with thieves than others
        • Cars had poor security - inadequate locks and no immobilisers
        • Requests for improved car security had been ignored
        • Government advisory board established to make recommendations: we need a car theft index
    • 12. Why Did We Need a Car Theft Index?
      • The government exercised its responsibility to press the car manufacturers into action and acknowledged the need for a lever:
      • The car manufacturers alone had the competency to redesign the car
    • 13. The Car Theft Index
      • Number of cars stolen of a given type divided by the number on the road
      • Complications -
        • What does type mean?
        • How will security relate to the car type?
        • Where can we get accurate data?
    • 14. Some Techy Bits ...
      • Deciding how far to break down the car type was a major issue
    • 15. Outline of the SMMT classification system for motor vehicles MAKE Ford Vauxhall Volkwagen (Approx 70 makes) MODEL Escort Cavalier Golf (Approx 290 models) RANGE Escort Mk1 Cavalier Mk1 Golk Mk1 (Approx 350 ranges) Escort Mk2 Cavalier Mk2 Golk Mk2 Escort Mk3 Cavalier Mk3 Golk Mk3 Escort Mk4 LINE 1987 1392cc Ford Escort GL Plus Mk3 (Approx 4,500 Lines) 1984 1608cc Ford Escort GL Diesel Mk3 1981 1598cc Vauxhall Cavalier L Mk2 1989 1796cc Vauxhall Cavalier GL Mk3 1979 1093cc Volkswagen Golf GL Mk1 1976 1499cc Volkswagen Golf GLS Mk1
    • 16. Ford Escort Mk2 Ford Cortina Mk5 Ford Sierra MK1 Ford Fiesta Mk1 Rover Mini Ford Fiesta Mk2 Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2 Rover Metro Mk1 Ford Escort Mk3 Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Top 9 ranges in use at the end of 1989
    • 17. Theft risks for the top 22 volume car ranges HIGH RISK FORD CAPRI FORD FIESTA MK1 FORD CORTINA MK4 FORD GRANADA MK2/3 FORD CORTINA MK5 VAUXHALL ASTRA MK2 FORD ESCORT MK 2 MEDIUM RISK (SELECTED RANGES) BMW 300 SERIES ROVER MAESTRO FORD ESCORT MK3 ROVER METRO FORD FIESTA MK2 ROVER MINI FORD GRANADA MK4 ROVER MONTEGO FORD ORION MK1 VAUXHALL ASTRA MK1 FORD SIERRA MK1 VAUXHALL CAVALIER MK1 FORD SIERRA MK2 VAUXHALL CAVALIER MK2
    • 18. Notes ...
      • Car security isn’t the only issue when thieves target vehicles
        • some cars are more attractive to thieves
        • older cars are more likely to be parked in high risk places and owned by poorer people who don’t fit security devices
        • some spare parts are more difficult to get than others etc
    • 19. Effect of the Index (1992)
      • The police loved it
      • The manufacturers took it on the chin
      • The insurance industry was supportive
      • The consumer groups were keen
      • The media picked up on it
      • It avoided legislation
      • It was very popular with the politicians
    • 20. The Effect of the Car Theft Index? Years in which Car Theft Indices published
    • 21. Credit Card Fraud
      • Scanning:
        • Police report credit cards thefts are significant
      • Analysis:
        • losses rose by 126% between 1988 and 1990 across the sector
      • Response:
        • Report to financial institutions who worked together
        • Established Association of Payment Clearing Services
        • Raise floor limit of transactions
        • Change method of sending cards to customers
      • Assessment:
        • losses dropped by 41% between 1992 and 1994
    • 22. Other Card not Application counter- Mail non- Lost & Total present fraud feit receipt stolen 1991 1.6 0.4 2.0 4.6 32.9 124.1 165.6 1992 1.0 1.3 1.4 8.4 29.6 123.2 165.0 1993 0.8 1.6 0.9 9.9 18.2 98.5 129.9 1994 0.5 2.5 0.7 9.6 12.6 71.1 96.9 1995 0.3 4.6 1.5 7.7 9.1 60.1 83.3 1996 0.5 6.5 6.7 13.3 10.0 60.0 97.1 1997 1.2 12.5 11.9 20.3 12.5 66.2 122.0 1998 2.3 13.6 14.5 26.8 12.0 65.8 135.0 1999 3.0 29.3 11.4 50.3 14.6 79.7 188.3 2000 6.5 56.8 10.2 102.8 17.3 98.9 292.5 Credit card fraud losses, UK, £ millions
    • 23. Shop Theft
      • Scanning – Shop theft in Oxford Street, London
        • 40% of shop thieves arrested in one store
      • Analysis
        • Special data collection exercise by store detectives
        • £100 per thief to process through the CJS
        • Arrestees mainly juvenile first offenders, UK citizens
        • Store policy to detect crime rather than prevent it
        • Reason for high crime rate: irresponsible marketing
    • 24. Items recovered from thieves
    • 25. Response
      • Recommended response: Move to prevention – adopt the ‘master-bag’ system
      • Store said no!
      • Compromise on the basis of threat:
        • Move to prevention
        • Lower height of displays
        • Raise checkout platforms – improve sight lines
        • Employ security guards, not store detectives
        • Stop selling high risk computer tapes
        • Tag popular items
    • 26. Assessment: Average Monthly Arrest Figures
    • 27. The earlier example
      • Large retail store with too many calls for service, theft by customers and staff, bad checks, theft of and from cars on the lot:
      • Recommendations
        • Better and additional cameras on lot and in store
        • Greeters at all doors to check customers and look at receipts
        • Thumb print on all checks with 2 forms of ID
        • Large signs with cameras to lot about CCTV presence
      • No to all!
    • 28. So …..
      • Advice from Rana:
        • Tell them the problems: give them the facts
        • List the best practice responses – quote the POP guides
        • Copy to corporate HQ – ideally to the President personally
        • Say that the store said that Corporate HQ refused to let them take preventive measures and ask if that’s true
        • Tell them that the press will be interested in their reply
    • 29. Questions for scanning/response development stages
      • Whose problem is this?
        • Who is the victim?
        • Who bears the real cost?
      • Who has the competency to change the situation?
        • Are they motivated to do so (eg do they bear the cost of crime or profit by it?)
      • Does leverage need to be applied to get action? If so, what?
      • Who can apply that leverage?
    • 30. Structural Implications
    • 31. Locally you need
      • Good data and sound rationale
      • Inter-agency working relationships
      • Effective project management
      • To identify who has the competency to act
      • To make effective use of levers with the support of your local politicians
    • 32. At Federal and State levels you need
      • A structure to ‘hear’ problems
      • To identify ‘levers’ at national level
      • An environmental scanning facility to respond to problems before they happen
    • 33. What about academics?
    • 34. Academics should …..
      • Work with the police and others to:
        • Understand the nature of crime
        • Develop evidence based policies to prevent and detect crime
        • Communicate clearly
        • Train analysts
        • Behave like scientists
    • 35. A Word About Crime Science
      • About reducing crime ethically using the techniques of the scientist:
        • data
        • Logic
        • evidence
        • rationality
        • testing hypotheses
        • Establishing knowledge
      • Finding out what works, where and how
    • 36. Medical Science and Crime Science
    • 37. Future Prospects
      • By working together – police and scientists can:
        • Really understand the nature of crime
        • Reduce it to the lowest possible level
        • Make communities safer
      • But to do that they need:
        • To take a problem solving approach
        • Employ well trained analysts
        • Use levers
    • 38.