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Crime analysis is the methodical study of crime and confusion problems in addition to other police-related issues - which includes sociodemographic, spatial, and temporal factors - to make it possible to the police in criminal concern, crime and disorder decrease, crime prevention, and evaluation. (Boba 2005, 6)
A detailed explanation of each aspect of this definition assists to prove the different elements of crime analysis. In general, to study means, to examine closely, to investigate, and/or inspect information. Crime analysis, then, is the alert and organized examination of crime and disorder problems in addition with other police-related matter.
However crime analysis is a reactive approach which means that you are reacting to find means to reduce crime. As crime is happening it then transforms to a proactive approach so that it transforms data to important information and supports crime prevention.
Criminal Intelligence is the information gathered, investigated, and/or distributed an effort to expect, prevent, or monitor criminal activity.
Criminal Intelligence is information collated or collected, analyzed, reported and disseminated by law enforcement agencies relating to types of crime, identified criminals and known or suspected criminals. It is effectual when dealing with organized crime. Criminal Intelligence is improved by using surveillance, informants, interrogation and research.
The area for my particular study is a playground and its surroundings in the outskirts of Victoria; it is between the village of Sannat and Victoria. The zone is located in Tac-Cawla which is a place with a very small population.
The SARA model
The SARA model is the most common procedure for acting problem-oriented policing (POP). The acronym SARA means Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment. Scanning contains looking at data, meeting and talking to people, and observing the area so as to identify potential problems. Analysis includes studying potential problems to establish if they be worth of intensive attention and, if so, trying to improve precise descriptions and explanations of them. Response includes searching for a broad range of explanations and then deciding and implementing the ones with the most assure. Assessment involves collecting of data after the response to establish if the problem has been at least reduced if not eliminated. If success has not been attained, then extra investigation and another set of responses may be needed.
A notion that was build to help enhance the SARA model is the problem analysis triangle. The victims, offenders, and locations are the three sides of the triangle. When examining particular problems, officers are promoted to focus on victims (who are the victims, what are the damage they suffer, why are these individuals offended and not others?), offenders (who are the offenders, why do they commit these offenses?), and locations (where do the problems happen, why do they happen in some particular places and not others?). Thinking carefully on these issues makes sense because crime and other police officer problems normally are not erratically dispersed. To a certain extent, crimes and many other problems are focused between comparative small number of offenders, victims, and localities.
The reason of this procedure is to verify that a continuous and considerable problem exists. The procedure involves of collecting data and information from different sources to support the claim that a problem exists. Some problems will be immediately evident, while others may require more investigation.
During my scanning procedure it involved the studying of the circumstances to verify that a problem is being existent. It also included the gathering of data on what, when, who, where, why, and how. I also identified frequent problems by using different methods and grouping comparable incidents into subjects of groups.
12:00 - 16:00, 20:00 - 22:00
Children aged between 7 to 15
Going around in the entrances of flats.
Vandalism, Personal used for their bicycle.
Passers by, Children living in the area
Vandalism, just for fun. Because of such limitations to enter the playground.
Vehicle related thefts
People living in the area, passers by.
Personal use for their vehicle, vandalism
Theft from persons
9:00 - 11:00
To acquire their needs.
8:00 - 9:00
People living in the area
10:00 12:00, 4:00 - 21:00, 23:00 - 1:00
Gathering of groups.
To show power.
19:00 - 23:00
People living in the area
Gathering of people in the playing field.
Most people live in flats.
19:00 - 14:00
People from the area
Hump garbage bags left in different points.
Most people do not take account of time of garbage collection.
Between 10:00 am - 13:00p.m
Car stopping, handover - exchange
Traffickers live in the area.
The reason of this stage is to expand a complete understanding of the whole problem. At this stage it's very important to establish response plan which includes resources for dealing with particular problem.
The process involves by using the information gathered to delineate the particular problem while studying the past the type of problem. It also includes using knowledge to expand a hypothesis and choosing useful resources.
When analysing my area, it comes out that it's a suburb area with quite a high population. During my scanning process it comes out that the area is a housing estate. Housing Estates are usually built and run by the government to facilitate housing to those who does not have affordable housing. This means that most of the families have very low incomes. In many cases they are also unemployed. It also comes out that some of the families have social problems where family members which are part of this society living very close together will have conflicts. Sometimes these problems are impossible to avoid and people living in the same flat doe not get along.
Some social issues include domestic violence, unemployment; people hold different opinions about situations like unplanned pregnancy and many others.
All these issues correlates why people commits such crimes like theft, vandalism, foul language and other related crimes.
The idea of this step is to develop a general strategy that is designed to tackle the community problem. The three main one are developing, selecting and implementing. At this point in time it depends on the degree how analysis has been carried out. One has to make sure that the first two steps have been completed. Such solutions can be designed to reduce, eliminate and dealing with the problem.
In my opinion in this particular area one has to develop ownership and awareness.
To remove such opportunities one has to control the environment. Example of this must be CPTED, Block watch and Volunteer Patrols which can be done by the community itself. Include also such services such as crime prevention units and engage civil law to control public trouble.
Response can be reinforced by the police such as protection like surveillance and strategic enforcement. A championed idea as a response must be the social development by implementing new programmes.
The reason of this is to appraise the procedure and the effect of the response strategy. This means to evaluate whether the response strategy was adequately linked to the problem or has it been reduced or eliminated. However for this study one cannot apply this part.
What is causing the crime problem and linked theories
Rational Choice Theory
This theory holds that people freely choose their behaviour and are stimulated by the evasion of pain and the pursuit of pleasure. Persons calculate their choice of actions in compliance with each option's facility to create advantage, pleasure and happiness. Rational choice produce a micro view point on why individual offenders decide to commit such crimes like tearing the fence or breaking the markers around the filed; people choose to appoint in crime because it can be rewarding, easy, satisfying and fun. The central principle of this theory is that individuals are rational beings whose behaviour can be personalized by a fear of punishment. (Siegel and McCormick, 2006).
This applies to the crime problems I have identified during my observation where such crimes where committed to pursuit pleasure such as vandalizing. Breaking down the markers around the fields it's only done to give power and pleasure to the young ones. Similar to this also goes when tearing the fence surrounding the ground; it only gives pleasure to these individuals as they can enter when ever they want.
Routine Activity Theory
Developed by Cohen and Felson (1979), routine activities theory necessitates three components be present for a crime to occur: an encouraged offender with criminal aims and the power to act on this preference, a suitable victim or target, and the absence an individual who can prevent the crime from happening. These three helps for a crime to occur.
"Routine activities theory provides a macro perspective on crime in that it predicts how changes in social and economic conditions influence the overall crime and victimization rate." (Felson and Cohen 1980) Criminal activities are a "structurally significant phenomenon," which means infringements are neither accidental nor insignificant events. Routine activities theory associates the pattern of offending to the everyday patterns of social interaction. Therefore crime is normal and is reliant on available opportunities to offend. If there is a target and there are rewards, a motivated offender will commit a crime.
This means that having people coming out in the same times having the same routine are targets for crime such as thefts from persons and households like cars, garages etc.
Crime opportunities are very connected to its time and space. For example being without any lights during the night gives more opportunity for vandalizing and stealing. These opportunities are very specific like stealing a car for joy riding have different pattern than stealing it for parts. Another example of this theory is when a routine is assessed regularly a weak point is assessed and can be used by the offender to take the opportunity to commit crime. Also it is a good opportunity for the offender when bicycles and other household which are valuable and unattended. This came out during my scanning process. Another crime goes when people takes out their garbage bags during the night, this gives opportunity to others to leave there waste leaving the area very dirty.
Self - Control Theory of Crime
This theory is about the lack of people self control as the important factor behind criminal behaviour. This theory suggests that people who were incompetently parented before age 10 develop less self control than those who were raised with better parenting. Research was found that low level of self control is linked with criminal and impulsive conduct. This theory is related to my study because many children stay for long hours in the playing field area, which means that most of them are not monitored by their parents and so there is no one to correct them when they are using such language and finally committing such crimes.
Broken Windows Theory
The broken windows theory says that in a neighbourhood area where buildings have broken windows, individuals are more likely to commit and engage in bad behaviour. Hirschi argues that it can be from different aspect maybe offenders think that they are not going to get caught or there is no one who cares. Examples to my study leaving bikes left unattended in the field are more likely to be stolen than well parked next to an apartment. The same goes to vehicles when left parked, unattended in a field is more likely to be stolen and vandalised than one parked in a parking.
After working on this project I recommend some recommendations linked to theories and demonstrate them in practice. Firstly I will organise the community and develop awareness and ownership on such crimes which are an opportunity to such offenders. I will work as much as possible with existing forms of informal social control like parents and community cohesion to regulate such behaviour and self control. Then I will regulate the environment to remove broken windows and opportunities like volunteer patrols, neighbourhood watch and CCTV cameras. This will also help to reduce routine activities and such crimes related to this theory. I will also engage civil laws to control public trouble and individuals think twice before committing crimes freely. This applies to the rational choice theory. Finally I will educate and implement new programs as part of the social development.
Strength and Weakness
For the purpose of this report I will go through some strengths and weaknesses. If the population is well educated, it will automatically reduce such crimes. This is because if neibourhood watch is implemented, the community will report such crimes and helps the offender to think twice before committing crime. On the other hand because most of the buildings are flats and it's a housing estates one will mind others business. Also if the area is inspected it will automatically reduce crimes as the offender will be aware that he/she will be caught. Alternatively the area must have adequate lightning during the night. If the area is cleaned from time to time and well kept and law enforcement is implemented individuals are afraid to offend as they might be caught. However if law is enforced and there is no surveillance it not worth implementing such laws. Although individuals might become more frustrated and no matter what they try to be more negative.
Finally in my opinion if I have to implement what has been recommended if crime is not eliminated at least it's reduced. I think that a change will occur no matter what the effort is. Although it might take some time for people to understand such implementation at the end of the day I think that it will effect some of them. Even though there might be obstacles I am sure that there will be a reduction on the occurrence of the problem, reduction on the harm done and positive aspects of the interventions.