Crime Prevention and Community Policing

Crime prevention refers to the attempt that is made either by a society or any given body with the sole aim of reducing victimization and to hamper the work done by criminals. In addition to this, any measures that are aimed at preventing and curbing any criminal activities equally constitute crime prevention (Ekblom, Wyvekens & Council of Europe, 2004). Community policing which is also termed as neighborhood policing is a strategy of policing which is based on the notion that a given community is supposed to either interaction or support any initiatives that would deter any criminal activities.

This can entail a philosophy that promotes the systematic use of problem-solving techniques and supports partnerships in enforcing any collaborative efforts which are geared towards the promotion of a fruitful relationship between the community and law enforcement agencies (Palmiotto, 2000). It is therefore the objective of this paper to analyze the studies of community policing within the United States in terms of their effectiveness. Furthermore, the paper will deduce which programs are the most successful then give substantial reasons as to why a given program would be the best to be employed.

It worth noting that one of the most effective crime prevention strategies in Newark that was brought in 1991 was the installation of a CCTV system that was known as the Video Patrol. This system provides 24 hour surveillance within a range of two square miles area in the business district of this city. 6 CCTV cameras that are protected and enclosed by the environmental housing are equally connected by fiber optic cables and the cameras usually have zoom lenses with a turning radius of 360 degrees. The maintenance of this system is via a private security system which is police monitored.

The video tape that is in the system is either erased or re-used after every 72 hours but it is only the portions of the tape that link an individual to a criminal incident are stored for court purposes (Nieto, 1997). This makes the system very efficient and effective in crime prevention because the CCTV surveillance system gives greater security for all consumers and it equally encourages them to return to the area whenever they need to carry out shopping. Basing on statements made by the police spokesperson for Newark, incidents of car theft in this region has significantly ever since the installation of the CCTV system (Nieto, 1997).

Moreover, there has been a remarkable growth in commercial activities in the business district. The most effective community policing strategy in Newark was the reimplementation of the foot patrol program in 1978 (jrank. org, 2010). This particular strategy took a city-wide perspective where the officers had to leave their patrol cars and walk on foot. The aim of this foot patrol was to find out if in the long run the increased visibility attained by the patrol officers aided in putting off crime. It was evidently deduced that the fear of crime among the citizens and the rate of crime in Newark greatly reduced.

With increased foot patrol levels citizens believed that crime levels had decreased and they developed positive attitudes toward the police. Consequently, the officers that took part in foot patrol experienced a relationship that was more positive relationship with the members of the community. Furthermore, the community members were in a better position to find solutions to problems in the community from an array of alternative solutions thus this has helped crime rates in Newark to reduce greatly. One strategy that has been employed in San Diego that is in line with crime prevention is the increased use of marked police cars.

It has been noted that crime rate in San Diego especially during the high-crime periods has greatly reduced. This is because field interrogation is included in this strategy where by the police officer will stop any individual that they suspect is involved in some form of suspicious activity then question the person (Dolling & Feltes, 1993). Furthermore, the officers at times search the vehicles of such people. The evaluation of this program in San Diego indicated that this procedure has given promising results especially if carried out with respect.

Moreover, it was found that the interrogation caused the rates of crime to decrease significantly in San Diego (ncjrs. gov, 1999). The San Diego Police Department has employed the computerized crime mapping ever since 1989 in efforts to promote community policing and to prevent crime. In the earlier efforts of implementing this strategy, only snapshots of criminal activities were used with minimal analysis. Later in 1994, however, the department resorted to the incorporation of neighborhood problem-solving as well as delineated patrol beats that were done in the neighborhoods.

These strategies encouraged the police officers to search deeper and find the real cause of a given criminal act. The strategy uses some sort of data-driven problem-solving model which is referred to as SARA. SARA is an abbreviation for Scanning, Assessment, Response and Analysis. Officers work with crime analysts via the technology to bring both residents and business people into the process of solving crime. With this approach it was noted that between 1992 and 1997, serious criminal acts like rape and murder declined by 61 percent in San Diego (govinfo.

library. unt. edu, n. d). In Seattle it is worth noting that in efforts to prevent crime, neighborhood watch programs have been on the limelight (Whittemore, 1989). Here the focal point was on the neighborhood burglary problems that resulted in several meeting aimed at coming up with substantial information pertaining to home security. The residents were then required to select block watch captains then exchange their phone numbers. This caused a remarkable reduction in the number of burglary incidents in Seattle (ncjrs. gov, 1999).

In 1994, after the Washington State Legislature came up with a new law that made it an offence for persons under 18 years to have anything to do with firearms, the Youth Handgun Violence Initiative was implemented as part of community policing efforts in Seattle. The police officers, physicians and prosecutors were required to teach the middle school students about the legal as well as the medical impact of unlawful firearm possession. This has greatly reduced the rise of violent acts in which the youth employ firearms (ncjrs. gov, Seattle’s Effective Strategy for Prosecuting Juvenile Firearm Offenders, 2000).

Among all the crime prevention programs, it is apparent that only the viable programs in the regions were discussed but among them the Video Patrol CCTV system is evidently the most successful. It is the most recommended program to be adopted because it can provide recording thus can easily avail court evidence when a crime is committed. It equally has quality and performance options like the email alerts and motion-detectors which enable it to capture any crime incident in totality. Considering community policing the discussed strategies are the most feasible in the respective towns but the best strategy is the foot patrol option.

This is because the patrol officers are in a position to witness live criminal acts and take the relevant step. Furthermore, the officers become more familiar with the members of the community which eventually causes the people around to comfortably associate with them and thus, they are free to report any criminal activities. References: Dolling, D. , & Feltes, T. (1993). Community policing: comparative aspects of community oriented police work. Berlin: Felix-Verlag. Ekblom, P. , Wyvekens, A. , & Council-of-Europe. (2004). A partnership approach to crime prevention.

Strasbourg: Council of Europe. govinfo. library. unt. edu. (n. d). SAN DIEGO: NEIGHBORHOOD PROBLEM SOLVING. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://govinfo. library. unt. edu/npr/library/papers/bkgrd/crimemap/section5. html#SanDiego jrank. org. (2010). Police: Community Policing – Origins And Evolution Of Community Policing. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://law. jrank. org/pages/1649/Police-Community-Policing-Origins-evolution-community-policing. html ncjrs. gov. (1999). Community Interventions.

Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. ncjrs. gov/html/ojjdp/jjbul9910-1/comm.html ncjrs. gov. (2000). Seattle’s Effective Strategy for Prosecuting Juvenile Firearm Offenders. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/178901. pdf Nieto, M. (1997). Public Video Surveillance:Is It An Effective Crime Prevention Tool? Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. library. ca. gov/crb/97/05/ Palmiotto, M. (2000). Community policing: a policing strategy for the 21st century. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Whittemore, S. L. (1989). Appendix C the Success of Community Crime Prevention. Canadian Journal of Criminology , 31.