The subject is a male Caucasian. He is single and on the wrong side of thirty. He is six feet tall, tanned and muscular from many years of labor in his earlier years. Growing up wasn’t easy. A miner father and a mother that was a housewife. His mother was passive. His father was strict and did not spare the rod. He didn’t spare the bottle either. The subject spent his entire childhood and youth in the suburbs. As a youth, he had friends in the gangs. Many of these friends were into petty crime, but some were into more serious crime. On one occasion, he had been a witness to violent crime.
The subject has four siblings, three brothers and a sister. He is the last child. His father was self-reliant and taught his son the same. He had never seen his father ask anyone for anything. At the age of sixteen he took a job as a farm hand. His income helped to keep him away from the gangs. He left the suburbs for the city when his father got a new job at the age of twenty five. In order to further his education, he got a job as a city policeman. After ten years as a policeman, the subject has some experience in the dos and don’t s of crime.
The subject is clean, meticulous and rational. He doesn’t drink, nor does he smoke. He is good at his job as a policeman and liked by many of the citizens in the community. As a patrol man, he knows many parts of the city like the back of his hand. He also knows many citizens that live on the wrong side of the law. He knows the drug dealers, the pimps, the loan sharks, bookmakers and so on. The subject has one weakness, he is addicted to gambling. He owes a loan shark four thousand dollars, which he lost at the race track. He has only forty eight hours to repay
the loan. There is none he can ask for a loan to repay the money. He can’t take an overdraft from the bank, he is already overdrawn. There is no criminal he can shakedown for the Crime Analysis and Investigation amount in two days. He has nothing to sell that will yield him the desired sum. He plans to steal because he believes he can get away with it. The fact that he is a policeman may aid his plan. As a meticulous and rational man, after careful thought, the subject comes up with three plans. This supports rational choice theory.
“According to this view, law-violating behaviour should be viewed as an event that occurs when an offender decides to risk violating the law after considering his or her own personal situation (need for money, personal values, learning experiences) and situational factors (how well a target is protected, how affluent the neighbourhood is, how efficient the local police happen to be). Before choosing to commit a crime, the reasoning criminal evaluates the risk of apprehension, the seriousness of the expected punishment, the value of the criminal enterprise, and his or her immediate need for criminal gain. ” (Siegel, p. 131, 1992)
He decides to keep away from murder and any plan that will involve many perpetrators. One of them could be apprehended and lead law enforcement agents back to him. It will have to be a one man job. He will get caught only by his own mistakes and not someone else’s mistake. He decides against any crime that will involve the use of weapons of any sorts. If caught he will have to serve a long sentence and also the law enforcement agent hardly give up looking for armed robbers. He decides to steal, knowing that if he is not caught in the act it will be difficult to prove in a Court of Law if he covers his tracks and leaves no evidence.
Plan A. Stealing and selling confiscated drugs. Crime Analysis and Investigation The subject first contacts some old friends from his past. The gang-bangers he used to know when he lived in the suburbs. They now sell drugs on the streets for a crime syndicate and they don’t mind making some money on the side. They make him understand they can’t handle more than two thousand dollars worth of drugs in forty eight hours. The subject knows that there are confiscated drugs in the police station. These drugs are kept in the exhibit room in the basement along with other exhibits.
The drugs are in different sizes and of different kinds. The most abundant drug is cannabis but he will have to steal a very large quantity because of the attendant street value. Carrying a large sack may attract attention since he has decided to carry out the crime at night when most personnel are gone for the day. He will have to drug the night duty officer with a flask of coffee laced with a sedative. Enough to put him to sleep, but not enough to harm him. He settles on cocaine. A small quantity which he can carry on his person will bring a high price.
To get into the exhibit room, he will have to employ the service of a key maker that he once arrested for aiding and abetting a jewel thief. The key maker will make a duplicate of the key to the exhibit room. The subject will have to make an impression of the key on a bar of soap. This will not be hard since the key hangs on a keyring in the police department. Of course, the key maker will not know what key he is duplicating. In order to prevent possible detection, he decides to leave the large wraps of cocaine and go for the small ones. They won’t be missed easily. He hopes to realize two thousand dollars from the sale of the drugs.
In order to delay the detection of the crime, he plans to make a dummy of the wrap of cocaine using the same wrapping material but with icing sugar inside. These he will use to replace the cocaine wrap. Selling the drugs in the suburbs and not in the city will help make it more difficult Crime Analysis and Investigation for him to be detected. Some of the dealers in the city are police informants. Plan B. Stealing parking ticket payments from the police department. After careful analysis, the subject realizes this particular crime will not be easy to execute and escape detection and eventual apprehension.
First and foremost, the responsibility of collecting parking ticket payments follows a particular schedule. Different personnel are assigned the duty of collecting parking ticket payments at different times. He will have to find a way to get the job of collecting the payments for the next two days. If he succeeds in doing this, then he can falsify the records and collect some payment without issuing a receipt. Knowing that payments are delivered twice a day, it may be possible to siphon the money gradually till he realizes half his debt the first day and the other half the second day.
But then there limitations to this plan. First of all it is possible that there might not be enough offenders to help him realize his target of four thousand dollars in two days. Secondly, all parking tickets have a duplicate and triplicate for accounting purposes. By the time an audit is done, it will be clear to see that all the tickets are not accounted for vis-a-vis the amount of revenue realized. A simple search by the account officer will pinpoint the leak. Then it will not be difficult to trace the leak back to him. The only way to circumvent this will be to tamper with the financial records.
Tampering with the financial records will require him to get into the account office. This he will do at night. Again he will have to employ the service of the aforementioned key maker. Once inside he will cook the books to cover the crime. Another way will be to co-opt the accounts officer into the crime but this may not be simple. In a Crime Analysis and Investigation situation where the account officer doesn’t play ball, he will be in serious trouble. So first he has to commit the crime of stealing, then he has to commit another crime to cover the first. Plan C.
Blackmail. In his police department, the subject knows there is an intelligence unit that investigates citizens and corporate bodies. Citizens are investigated for possible engagement in criminal activities and corporate entities are investigated for unfair business practices. His plan is to ferret out information about these people or companies and make them pay him a bribe to expunge their names from the list. He decides to narrow the target down to companies since they are money making organizations that will not like a disruption in business activities.
In order to make this plan workable, the subject will have to co-opt the intelligence records officer into his plans. The promise of extra easy money and the knowledge of the man in question assures him that it is workable. He may also have to involve some of the officers that carried out the investigation. He will have to employ someone that will with the targets and collect the bribe money. Preferably, the courier will be a criminal that owes him a favour or someone he can put away if he doesn’t comply. Also he has to be someone expendable. He will have to focus on three companies and contact the bosses of these companies with hard facts.
He will demand ten thousand dollars from each company boss. Even if they pay half of the money at the end of the day, he will walk away with at least five thousand dollars and pay his debts. To achieve this, he will contact the company heads from a phone booth to avoid the call being trace back to him. He will let the targets know that he has information useful to Crime Analysis and Investigation them. During the call, he will read a paragraph of the report against the company. He will create fear in the target by letting him know the long prison sentence and fines he may face if the report sees the light of day.
This is to arouse the targets’ interest. He will let the targets know that he is a policeman and does not want to disclose his identity. He will ask the target to meet the courier who is carrying the complete intelligence report on the company at a secure location. The target hands over the money, he is given the report. The subject reasons he has to be in visual distance when the change is being made. Seeing the target and the courier but not being seen. This is to make sure that the deal is done and that the courier doesn’t come back to tell him any funny stories.
Most importantly there will be no evidence of his involvement with the courier. They will always meet where there will be no witnesses. The targets will know nothing about him. In the unlikely event that client sets him up, calls the police and the courier is arrested during the transaction he will simply slip away. However, this scenario is unlikely to occur since he will have full knowledge of it. After careful thought and analysis, the subject focuses on plan A and plan B. Of all three plans, plan C seems to be the most risky. It is very likely that one of the three targets will not yield to blackmail.
Secondly, too many people in the police department will be in on the job. You never know who will stab you in the back to curry favour from the boss or get a promotion. What stops the courier from turning an informant just to be on the right side of the law for once? Plan A is the best plan. It is a one man job. Failure or success rest solely on his shoulders. The possibility of pulling off this plan is very high with very minimal attendant risk factors. The only problem with plan A is that he can’t realize the full amount desired in two days. He will have to resort to plan B.
A combination of plan A and plan B will surely Crime Analysis and Investigation realize the desired sum in the time frame. The key maker will have to make both keys at once. If one plan fails he will be able to come up with at least half of the money and buy some time. The Script. The subject looks at his watch. The time is ten pm. He walks over to a small leather bag and checks the contents for the tenth time. He brings them out one after the other. The first to come out is a cellophane wrap the shape and size of a small box of tea. Inside is icing sugar. Next is a small Thermos flask.
The kind that holds two cups of coffee. From the bag he brings out a blister pack of sedatives purchased from a down town drug store. His badge allows him to buy the drugs without a prescription. Next out of the bag is a pair of rubber gloves. Then a set of two keys. These keys were made earlier on by the key maker from an impression on a bar of soap he made earlier on in the day at the police department. The key maker grew up in a family of locksmiths but wasn’t satisfied with honest labour. Many criminals patronized him because he was good at his job and very discreet.
These however had not saved him from jail for aiding and abetting crime. While in prison he made new contacts and learnt new methods from other incarcerated key makers. Back on the streets he now keeps a low profile and pretends to live straight. The subject walks to the kitchen with the flask and the sedatives. Quietly he crushes two tablets of the sedative into a fine powder and pours it into the flask. He adds coffee and pours in hot water. He shakes the brew and seals the lid of the flask. This he returns to the bag with the keys and the icing sugar wrap. He lets himself out and walks into the street.
As he walks, he knows the Suarez brothers will be waiting for him at their secret rendezvous thirty miles from the city. His last Crime Analysis and Investigation contact with them was just three hours ago. He had grown up with the Suarez brothers back in the suburbs when he was young. Their parents had been murdered in their sleep when they were just in their early teens. From then on they had run with the gangs, in and out of trouble. Now they are big time drug dealers dealing drugs for a major mob bus in the suburbs. They had come a long way from breaking an entry. In a short while he is at the police department.
He meets the night duty officer sitting alone and offers him a cup of coffee. The man accepts. He pours two cups, one for the man and one for himself. Accidentally he knocks his own cup over. Both men laugh over it. In a short while, the night duty officer is asleep. Quickly the subject makes his way to the exhibit room and lets himself in after putting on his rubber gloves. It doesn’t take him long to grab the wrap of cocaine he has targeted earlier. He replaces it with the wrap of icing sugar. He lets himself out and locks the door. He shakes the night duty officer who looks groggily at him and says good night.
Soon he is on his way to meet the Suarez brothers. Discussion. How will authorities disrupt, intervene or prevent such a crime script? From the crime script, it is clear to see that the subject weighed his options rationally and made extensive plans to carry out the crimes. It is a reflection of the element of rational choice. Crime is purposive behaviour designed to meet the offender’s commonplace needs for such things as money, status, sex, excitement, and that meeting these needs involves the making of decisions and choices, constrained as they are by
limits of time and ability and the availability of relevant information. (Clarke, 1997) Crime Analysis and Investigation Rational choice theory argues that prevention is a better deterrent to crime than punishment. Crime can be prevented by making it harder for criminals to act. This can be done by increasing enforcement resources. In the routine activities theory, emphasis is placed on the characteristics of the crime rather than that of the criminal. These theory states that: For a crime to occur, three elements must be present, a) an available and suitable target
b) a motivated offender c) no authority figure to prevent the crime from happening Cohen and Felsen (1979) Using this to analyse the crime script, it can be seen that had there been officers at the police department round the clock, it would have been very difficult for the subject to commit the crime. In the crime prevention theory by Clarke (1997) the focus is on reducing opportunities rather on the characteristics of criminals. Dr. Clarke also states that the certainty of apprehension and not punishment is a major deterrent to crime.
The introduction of a large number of CCTV cameras at strategic locations in the police department would have made it difficult for the subject to carry out the crime. Target hardening makes a target harder for a criminal to access. Effective storage and security of confiscated drugs would have posed a problem for the subject. This strategy will reduce opportunities. The exhibit room should be seriously secured with the best security systems like CCTV cameras and alarm systems. Crime prevention or at least crime reduction, maybe achieved through policies Crime Analysis and Investigation
that convince criminals to desist from criminal activities, delay their actions or avoid a particular target. (Siegel, p. 133, 1992) When so many security systems are put in place, based on the theory of rational choice a criminal will not operate in a environment where he knows he will not escape detection or apprehension. Access control as proposed by Clarke and Homel (1997) is another method of target hardening that would have prevented the crime. The introduction of access identification smart cards at the police department would have made it difficult for the subject to gain access to the exhibit office without clearance.
Conclusion Carrying out effective prevention of crime is made more feasible with the application of crime analysis and investigative practices. Crime Analysis and Investigation References 1. Clarke, R. V. & Homel R. (1997). A Revised Classification of Situational Crime Prevention Techniques. Crime Prevention at a Crossroads. 2. Clarke, R. V. (1980). Situational Crime Prevention: Theory and Practice. British Journal of Criminology. 3. Clarke, R. V. (1997). Situational Crime Prevention. Successful Case Studies. 4. Cohen, L. E. & Felson, M. (1979). Social Change and Crime rate Trends. American Sociological Review.