Problem-Solving Tools

Analyzing Crime Displacement and Diffusion
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), August 2009. Analyzing Crime Displacement and Diffusion provides an introduction to crime displacement and diffusion, discusses the nature of displacement and its varieties and then describes ways to manage displaced crime to ensure your projectís success. It also describes methods for measuring and analyzing displacement that can be used to determine the overall effectiveness of problem-oriented policing projects.

Analyzing Repeat Victimization
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), August 2005. This guide is intended as a tool to help police identify and understand patterns of repeat victimization for a range of crime and disorder problems. It describes the concept of repeat victimization and its relationship to other patterns in public safety problems, such as hot spots and repeat offenders. The guide also focuses on techniques for determining the amount of repeat victimization for specific public safety problems and how analysis of repeat victimization may be used to develop more effective responses.

Assessing Responses to Problems: An Introductory Guide for Police-Problem Solvers
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), February 2004. This problem-solving tool summarizes knowledge about information gathering and analysis techniques that might assist police at any of the four main stages of a problem-oriented project: scanning, analysis, response and assessment. Extensive technical and scientific literature covers each technique addressed in the guide.

Enhancing the Problem-Solving Capacity of Crime Analysis Units
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2008. This guide in the Problem-Solving Tools Series of the Problem-Oriented Guides for Police, is intended for police managers who wish to ensure that their crime analysts are properly inducted into the police environment and that their analytical work is fully integrated into departmental operations. The guide is organized around nine fundamental concerns that must be addressed when developing a problem-solving capacity within a crime analysis unit. Following each of the nine concerns, posed as questions, the author offers several recommendations for consideration when developing a group of skilled problem-solving crime analysts.

Implementing Responses to Problems
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), August 2007. This guide deals with the process of implementing responses to problems in problem-oriented policing (POP) initiatives. It addresses the reasons why responses do or do not get properly implemented, and offers suggestions to better ensure that they do. The guide is divided according to the four key stages of implementation: The pre-implementation stage, which addresses the factors to consider before implementation; The planning stage, during which the specific implementation mechanics and systems should be considered; The implementation stage, in which responses should be put in place, monitored, and adjustments made; and The post-implementation learning stage, in which implementation successes and failures should be considered.

Partnering with Businesses to Address Public Safety Problems
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2006. In the United States, the annual cost of crime to businesses is in the billions of dollars. This guide reviews the impact of crime on business and the roles businesses play in contributing to crime. It presents and analyzes types of partnerships and strategies for forming partnerships. It concludes with examples of business-police partnerships and programs, some that are known to be effective and others that are still largely untested.

Researching a Problem
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2005. This guide, one of the Problem-Solving Tools Series, summarizes knowledge about information gathering and analysis techniques that might assist police at any of the four main stages of a problem-oriented project: scanning, analysis, response, and assessment. This tool takes the mystery out of conducting research on problems by helping the user to define their problem, use technology to conduct Internet searches, get advice from experts, visit libraries, and evaluate their primary sources of information. The guide offers helpful hints to understanding and identifying responses to problems based on the research gathered.

Understanding Risky Facilities
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2007. This guide serves as an introduction to risky facilities and shows how the concept can aid problem-oriented policing efforts by providing answers to the following key questions: What are risky facilities? How widespread are risky facilities? How is the concept of risky facilities different from hot spots and repeat victimization? How can the concept of risky facilities assist problem-oriented policing projects? How can risk be measured? How is the concentration of risk among facilities calculated? Why do facilities vary in risk? How are risk factors identified for a particular group of facilities? How can risk be reduced?

Using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in Problem Solving
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), October 2005. Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is an approach to problem solving that considers environmental conditions and the opportunities they offer for crime or other unintended and undesirable behaviors. CPTED attempts to reduce or eliminate those opportunities by using elements of the environment to (1) control access; (2) provide opportunities to see and be seen; and (3) define ownership and encourage the maintenance of territory. This guide is a resource for understanding and using crime prevention through environmental design as a problem-solving tool. The guide explains the basic principles of CPTED and outlines a process for identifying problems, evaluating the physical environment, and identifying strategies that will remove or reduce opportunities for crime.

Using Offender Interviews to Inform Police Problem Solvers
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2005. This guide provides a summary of important findings from offender interviews and concrete recommendations on how to set about conducting offender interviews for problem-oriented policing projects. It highlights findings from interviews with drug dealers and users, residential burglars, armed robbers, gang members, and gun offenders. A step-by-step description of interviewing offenders is provided, including the goals of the interview, who should conduct the interview, how to find appropriate subjects, informed consent, conducting the interview, sorting out the truth, and presenting the findings of the interview.