Monday, September 30, 2019
Policing and Crime Reduction Essay
As the logic would imply, policing and crime rates have been thought to be related in certain ways. The public generally view that police powers depend on the quantitative aspect than on its qualitative characteristics. Comparably to the perspectives of far that perceives quantity reigns victor in the end, the public indeed view that the quality of security depends mainly on the number of police squad patrolling the area. There has been a lot of research that discusses the possible effects of quantity of police powers in reducing the crime rates. Various contributing factors have been considered in these studies in order to justify the rationale of this belief. However, the results still vary according to methodologies used, geographical area and socio-cultural atmosphere. In the course of our discussion, the primary topic shall center on this issue of increasing police officer count that induces reduction of crime rate. Analysis and interpretation of various data obtained through review of literature and records analysis shall be employed in order to validate the said claims. The following queries shall be answered throughout the discussion: a. What are the pros and cons of increasing the quantity of police officers for policing purposes? b. Identify various theories and concepts related to the subject of policing, particularly community policing, hotspot theory & deterrence theory. c. How are the conditions of San Diego, NYPD and Kansas City PD in terms of crime reductions way back in 1990s? d. Discuss and elaborate the study on foot patrol and New Jersey problem-oriented policing The discussion of the over-essay shall focus on the above queries; hence, these statements shall be the functional scopes of the entire study. The increase of police officers in the streets only leads to of the two consequent effects: either decrease of crime rates or even more increase of crime casualties. Essentially speaking, one reason patrol activity may be less effective than desired is the lack of adequate resources to facilitate the proper service. Does adding more police help bring down the crime rate? Discussion: Pros and Cons of Increased Policing In general view the evidences and the studies that pertains to this subject is mixed. According to some reviews, the number of law reinforcement officers in a jurisdiction seems to have probable little effect on area crimes. Comparisons of police expenditures in U.S. cities indicate that cities with the highest crime rates also spend the most on police services. While these results are disappointing, a number of recent studies, using various methodologies, have found that police presence may reduce crime levels and that adding police may bring crime levels down. In addition, increasing the size of the local police force may have other benefits for the overall effectiveness of the justice system (Siegel & Senna, p.182). Whether adding more officers to an already large police force causes crime to decrease; however, is somewhat less clear. Studies of the marginal effect of police and crime suffer from a number of difficulties. First, not only might additional police cause decline in crime, one might expect additional crime to result in the hiring of more police. This simultaneity effect makes it very complicated to sort out what causes what. The second problem is temporal order wherein cities with higher and lower levels of policing possesses indefinite data in terms of the addition of the police in cities with presently huge number of policing system, especially if the data gathered preceded or followed their current crime levels. Lastly, there is a great deal of measurement error in the counts of police officers and in the crime rates (Sherman, 2002 p.303). Pros of Increase Police Powers Evidence shows that cities with larger police departments, which have more officers per capita than the norm, also experience lower levels of violent crimes. Police departments that use a proactive, aggressive law enforcement style may help reduce crime rates. The methodologies of various local or federal policing firms greatly contribute the results of this reduction. As for this research that resulted in possible effects of quantitative policing, the proactive policing and aggressive policing are used, which may have affected the diminished results of violent crimes (Siegel & Senna, 2004 p.181). According to the recent studies, it is possible that the added police will make more arrests, which is another factor that helps lower the crime rate. Traditionally about 20% of all crimes reported to the police is cleared by arrest. Research indicates that if police could make an arrest in at least 30% of all reported crimes, the crime rate would decline significantly. If there were greater police resources, police departments would have the luxury of engaging in aggressive, focused crime fighting initiatives with the result being more arrests and a greater deterrent effect (Siegel, 2004 p.83-84). For example, UCR data show that index crimes are the ones most often cleared by arrest. Due to the visibility of homicide in the media and the importance police agencies place on homicides clearances, homicide detectives work aggressively to clear all homicides regardless of where they occur or the personal characteristics of homicide victims. It is possible that this aggressive approach to solving crime, spurred on by media attention to high-profile cases, has helped lower the homicide rate (Siegel, 2004 p.84). Public pressure for more police contributes to the formation of extremely necessary reforms. Collectively, these reforms provide more resources of labor for public security and focus public attention on real problems. They increase the capacity of the police to respond to crime in timely, fast, appropriate and accurate manner. Increasingly the numbers of police on the street or those deployed to specialized directed units can also have an impact on crime. In the case of open-air drug or gun markets, when police patrol a targeted area around the clock, there is an immediate deterrent effect (Wiatrowski & Pino, p.200). Cons of Increase Police Powers There is no definite evidence that suggests larger police forces reduce crime rates. There is also little evidence that a policy of adding more police will actually reduce crime. In 1968, the Crime Commission found that no direct correlation existed between the number of police per thousand citizens and the crime rate. It has been labeled as Ã¢â¬Å"doubtfulÃ¢â¬ that any police agency can bring about an extend, significant decrease in crime rate (Marion, 1994 p.226). Moreover, it is unlikely that the bottom will fall out of public safety if we reduce the number of police, even quite substantially, and it is equally unlikely that crime will be reduced if we try to spend our way to safety by adding police officers. Changes in the number of police within any practicable range will have no effect on crime (Bayley, 1994 p.5). Summing up all the evidence, the authoritative Audit Commission in Britain wrote: The terms of public debate need to move off the assumption that more police officers and more police expenditures lead to a commensurate increase in the quantity and quality of police outputs (Bayley, 1994 p.5). The number of patrols in an area may be doubled, halved, or even removed altogether without changing crime levels. A review of 36 correlational studies, most of them weak in research design found little evidence that more police reduce crime rates. A recent review; however, of 27 studies of the effect of police numbers on violent crime came to similar conclusions. Criminologists have tried to address this question for over a quarter of a century, with no consistent and evident results (Sherman, 2002 p.303). On the contrary, other researches testify that increasing the police powers of certain areas may even increase the occurrence of crime since the number of arrest is also assumed to increase as this situation occurs. In addition, military or police control may overly occur in the area and may even induce anxiety over the civilians in the area. If the number of arrested individuals increases in an area, chances are the perception of security in the given place is also affected heavily; thus, criminal fear among the civilians is therefore increased (Skogan etal, p.224). According to the studies made, the increase of police powers is not even evident or justified to decrease the criminal rate; hence, such intervention possesses higher risk of possible ineffectiveness. Theories and Concepts Community Oriented Policing Problem solving and community partnership have become valued aspects of police service since the time of the reform era. True police professionalism must therefore incorporate the duty of servicing the community. Community policing can bridge the gap between police and citizens by uniting them in a common effort to prevent and control crime. Community policing is the collaboration between the police and the community that identifies and solves community problems. Ideally, such collaboration helps develop better relatio9nships and mutual understanding between police officers and community members, which in turn help in solving community problems (Glenn, 2003 p.93). It is not military-style policing with a central bureaucracy obedient to directive legislation, which minimizes discretion. It is not policing that is autonomous of policing consent and accountability. It is not policing that is committed primarily to reactive crime-fighting strategies or measured by output in terms of professional efficiency. Community policing is also essential because it is a key component of an export drive from the West in the development of new policing structures in transitional societies. In the United States, community oriented policing represents the dominant ideology of policing as reflected in a myriad of urban schemes, in funding practices, and in research publications (Brognen & Nijhar, 2005 p.1-2). Community policing works only if an area is flooded with police that would require hiring tremendous numbers of officers and huge amounts of spending for salaries other expenses. Critics also argue that community policing simply displaces crime to another area in which there are fewer police. However, community policing makes good political sense on a bipartisan basis and could help end the ideological battles over crime policies (Marion, 1994 p.226). Deterrence Theory Deterrence theorists portray humans as rational, pleasure-seeking, pain-avoiding creatures. This assumption leads to a relatively simple theory of crime: people will engage in criminal behavior when it brings them pleasure and carries little risk of pain. Deterrence theorists point out that punishment is most effective when it is swift, certain, and severe enough to outweigh the potential rewards of criminal behavior. The basis of deterrence theory-that formal punishment reduces criminal behavior-is very straightforward. Testing deterrence theory, however, is more complex. General deterrence is the proposition that increases in the certainty, severity, or swiftness of punishment produce decreases in criminal behavior for the population at large. The severity of punishment is relatively easy to measure. One could look, for example, at the average prison sentence for crimes in different jurisdictions. Studies on capital punishment, though, are by far the most common tests of this aspec t of deterrence theory (Vito etal, 2007 p.57). In some point of view, punishment based on deterrence or incapacitation is wrong because it involves an offenderÃ¢â¬â¢s future actions, which cannot be accurately predicted. Punishment should be the same for all people who commit the same crime. Criminal sentences based on individual needs or characteristics are inherently unfair because all people are equally blameworthy of their misdeeds. Deterrence theory holds that if criminals are indeed rational, an inverse relationship should exist between punishment and crime. The certainty of punishment seems to deter crime. If people do not believe they will be caught, even harsh punishment may not deter crime. Deterrence theory has been criticized on the grounds that it wrongfully assumes that criminals make a rational choice before committing crimes, that it ignores the intricacies of the criminal justice system, and that it does not take into account the social and psychological factors that may influence criminality. The most evident disappointment for deterrence theory is the fact that the death penalty does not seem to reduce murders. There is little evidence that harsh punishment actually reduces the crime rate (Siegel, 2004 p.84). Hot Spot Theory Hot spot theory argues that predatory crime is associated with certain types of geographical areas, such that relatively few locations or hotspots are associated with a high percentage of crimes. Many of these hotspots exist in urban areas. Crimes against tourists are likely to cluster in these areas involving the concentration of tourism amenities and attractions, and therefore by implication, are likely to be higher in areas hosting special events. A transient population comprising local, domestic and international visitors increases the potential targets for crime and the individual anonymity for offenders. This is combined tendency for some tourists to decrease their safety consciousness on holiday, indulge in risk taking behavior and enter unfamiliar environment, which increases their exposure to criminal activity (Wilks & Page, 2003 p.198). Hot spot theory looks at locations, which provide convergent opportunities in which predatory crimes can possibly happen. These areas are described as crimogenic places where there are lots of bars, nightclubs and strip joints catering to tourists and providing ancillary services such as prostitution and drugs. Some of the crime these areas generate is of course victimless crime since tourists themselves often engage in deviant actions, such as drugs that have criminal consequences (Albuquerque & McElroy, n.d p.3).