Response Guides

Benefits and Consequences of Police Crackdowns

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), August 2006. This response guide deals with police crackdowns, a response commonly used to address crime and disorder problems. Crackdowns involve high police visibility and numerous arrests. They may use undercover or plainclothes officers working with uniformed police, and may involve other official actions in addition to arrests. This guide provides the reader with on overview of the types of crackdowns, how crackdowns work to reduce crime, and how law enforcement can use crackdowns to address specific problems, such as robbery, burglary, gun-related crime, traffic problems, drug problems and street prostitution.

Closing Streets and Alleys to Reduce Crime: Should You Go Down This Road?

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), September 2004. This response guide will assist police with determining whether closing streets and alleys is an appropriate response to problems being confronted in their local neighborhood or community. The guide discusses why street closings might help to reduce crime and disorder, summarizes the literature on their effectiveness, and discusses the arguments for and against their use. The guide also provides lists of questions that should be asked and steps that should be followed when implementing street closures.

Crime Prevention Publicity Campaigns

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), June 2006. Developing innovative efforts to reduce crime and social disorder is an integral part of modern police work. Law enforcement agencies that undertake such interventions should consider advertising their work and ideas. This response guide shows how law enforcement agencies can help remove crime opportunities by teaching and encouraging the public to adopt better self-protection measures, or to warn offenders of increased police vigilance. When designed properly, publicity campaigns can offer law enforcement agencies another problem-solving tool in the fight against crime.

Dealing with Crime and Disorder in Urban Parks

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), August 2009. Dealing With Crime and Disorder in Urban Parks reviews how a park’s design, maintenance, and policing can affect its crime and disorder problems. This guide also makes recommendations to help police take an important leadership role in reclaiming an urban park and ensuring that its facilities can once again benefit a broad spectrum of citizens.

Shifting and Sharing Responsibility for Public Safety Problems

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), August 2005. Although the police address many public safety problems effectively in the exercise of their normal authority and expertise, they have come to depend on others to aid them by addressing the conditions that underlie crime and disorder. With such help, the police can more effectively prevent and control such problems. This guide examines how the police can persuade private citizens, business, or the government to respond to common crime and disorder problems, provided that they do not violate basic standards of propriety and legality.

Sting Operations

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), November 2007. Sting operations have been part of the modern police response to crime for over 40 years, although artful deceptions and undercover operations have been part of police techniques for as long as policing has existed. This response guide for police by Graeme R. Newman, with the assistance of Kelly Socia, takes a broad approach to include a wide range of crime types, and the different sting operations that target them. This guide is intended to help law enforcement decide whether a sting operation would be right for them by reviewing both the benefits and negative consequences of sting operations.

Video Surveillance of Public Places

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), March 2006. A number of surveys have examined the perception of closed circuit television (CCTV) system managers and the public in regard to CCTV’s crime prevention benefits. The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the use of CCTV systems as a problem-oriented policing response to a crime problem. This guide explores the benefits and problems associated with CCTV and summarizes the findings of numerous CCTV evaluations.