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MODEL ACADEMIC CURRICULUM MODULE 10. Understanding and Responding to Crime Places. Module 10 Topics. Hot Spots Risky Facilities Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Displacement and Displacement Theory Closing Streets and Alleys to Reduce Crime . Routine Activities Theory.

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Understanding and Responding to Crime Places

module 10 topics
Module 10 Topics
  • Hot Spots
  • Risky Facilities
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
  • Displacement and Displacement Theory
  • Closing Streets and Alleys to Reduce Crime
routine activities theory
Routine Activities Theory
  • Rational offenders come across criminal opportunities (including places) as they go about their daily routine activities and make decisions whether or not to take action.
place den problems
Place (Den) Problems
  • Repeat location problems that involve different offenders and different targets interacting at the same place.
  • Place (Den) problems occur when new potential offenders and new potential targets encounter each other in a place where management is ineffective.
does the 80 20 rule apply
Does the 80-20 Rule Apply?
  • Repeat Offenders
  • Repeat Victims
  • Repeat Places or Hot Spots

Other “Crime” Concentrations

  • Hot Products
  • Risky Facilities
  • Time
what is a hot spot
What is a “Hot Spot?”

A geographic concept; a place (or

address) that has a disproportionately

high rate of reported crimes or calls for

police assistance. 


What Makes Hot Spots Hot?

  • Hot Spots – “Busy or dangerous places or locations”
  • However, what makes spots hot (lots of dots) may determine the success in reducing them
  • Mapping is important for SARA process
diagnosing hot spots three basic forms of chronic hot spots
Diagnosing Hot Spots Three Basic Forms of Chronic Hot Spots
  • Hot lines – are street segments where crime is concentrated.
  • Hot areas – are neighborhoods where crime is concentrated.
  • Hot dots – are specific locations with high crime levels.


Zone 1

Zone 2

know how hot spots develop
Know How Hot Spots Develop
  • Crime generators – are places to which large numbers of people are attracted for reasons unrelated to criminal motivation.
  • Crime attractors – are places affording many criminal opportunities that are well known to offenders.
  • Crime enablers – occur when there is little regulation of behavior at places: rules of conduct are absent or are not enforced.
case study taverns bars liquor stores and crime
Case Study: Taverns, Bars, Liquor Stores and Crime
  • Chicago PD examined the relationship between taverns (places) in two neighborhoods (locations)
  • Assumption – A large number of places that sell or serve liquor contribute to drug problems and violent crime
  • Methodology - 5,947 liquor places in study, 3,364 crimes during first 3 months: 33% violent crimes & 31% thefts or burglary
case study findings
Case Study: Findings
  • High concentrations alone is not a good predictor of crime
  • High crime places are often located in nightlife areas serving young adults; also located in affluent singles areas close by that contain one or more bars or clubs
  • These areas attract large crowds and high traffic and have easy access and escape and low surveillance
case study findings17
Case Study: Findings
  • Thus, high levels of crimes in certain places occurs because of an interaction of generally high levels of crime in the area and routine activities generated by place and location.
  • The overlap of victims and offenders and the availability of transportation to bring victims and offenders to an area provides quick escape
  • Neither place itself nor surrounding area by itself is enough; it is a combination of the two that fuels opportunities for crime.
8 reasons facilities are risky
8 Reasons Facilities are “Risky”
  • Random variation
  • Reporting practices
  • Many targets
  • Hot products
  • Location
  • Repeat victimization
  • Crime attractors
  • Poor Management
examples of risky facilities
Examples of Risky Facilities
  • Convenience Stores
  • Gas Stations
  • Banks
  • Schools
  • Bus Stops
  • Parking Facilities

Examples of Particularly Risky Locations among Risky Facility Groups

  • Convenience Stores – The corner store on Main and 5th Street
  • Gas Stations – Bubba’s Garage
  • Parking Facilities – The East Parking Deck near the stadium.
cpted asks why here
CPTED asks “Why here?”
  • Crime research reveals that...
    • Crime is specific and situational
    • The distribution of crime is related to land use and transportation networks
    • Offenders are opportunistic and commit crimes in places they know well
    • Opportunities arise out of daily routines and activities
    • Places with crime are also places without observers or guardians
the cpted process
The CPTED Process
  • CPTED evaluates the crime environment and features of the environment that facilitate crime or undesirable behaviors.
  • CPTED attempts to remove or reduce these opportunities by changing various aspects of both environmental design and use of the environment.



cpted considers
CPTED considers…
  • building design
  • site layout and site amenities like lighting and landscaping
  • facility location and the influence of surrounding land uses
  • target hardening and security measures (or a lack thereof)
  • routine use, and activity schedules
  • rules and policies governing use and behavior.
three objectives of cpted
Three Objectives of CPTED
  • Control access by creating both real and perceptual barriers to entry and movement.
  • Take advantage of design to provide opportunities to see and be seen.
  • Use design to define ownership and encourage maintenance of territories.
cpted and pop consistencies
CPTED and POP Consistencies
  • Both consider a broad array of problems, not just crime.
  • Both require systematic analyses of events, conditions and factors that contribute to crime and disorder.
  • Both generate strategies that are tailored to a problem or location.
cpted and pop consistencies29
CPTED and POP Consistencies
  • Both engage citizens, government agencies and other stakeholders in addition to the police.
  • But, CPTED is one aspect of POP. CPTED focuses on environmental responses and modifications, while POP is a much broader process that involves environmental responses as one of many strategies.
displacement theory
Displacement Theory

There are five main ways in which this theory suggests crime is moved around:

  • Crime can be moved from one location to another (geographical displacement)
  • Crime can be moved from one time to another (temporal displacement)
  • Crime can be directed away from one target to another (target displacement)
displacement theory32
Displacement Theory

4. One method of committing crime can be substituted for another (tactical displacement)

5. One kind of crime can be substituted for another (crime type displacement).

displacement theory33
Displacement Theory
  • Positive – a crime is displaced to a less serious type of crime or a crime with greater risk, with lower rewards or causing less serious damage. It represents success since it produces a net gain.
  • Neutral – a crime is displaced to one of the same seriousness, of the same risk, rewards and damage.
  • Even-handed – prevention is concentrated on those who are repeatedly victimised in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of crime.
displacement theory34
Displacement Theory
  • Negative – a crime is displaced to a more serious crime, a crime with greater reward or greater social cost.
  • Attractive – activities and/or places attract crime from other areas or activities (eg ‘red light’ districts attract customers from other areas, as well as other criminal activities).

Diffusion of Benefits

  • Researchers looking for displacement have sometimes found the opposite.
  • Rather than finding that crime has been

pushed to some other place or time, they

have found that crime has been reduced

more widely than expected.

what does research reveal about street access and crime
What Does Research Reveal About Street Access and Crime?
  • Offenders find targets in familiar territory.
  • Offenders are quick to recognize a closely knit neighborhood and the presence of people who might notice them.
  • Burglars avoid cul-de-sacs and prefer corner sites where neighbors are less likely to see them.
what does research reveal about street access and crime39
What Does Research Reveal About Street Access and Crime?

Reducing through-traffic by closing streets or alleys means:

  • criminal outsiders are less likely to be familiar with the area;
  • residents learn who doesn’t belong in the neighborhood, which helps them keep watch near their homes;
  • residents committing crime in their own neighborhood cannot easily blame outsiders and thus deflect suspicion from themselves;
what does research reveal about street access and crime40
What Does Research Reveal About Street Access and Crime?

Reducing through-traffic by closing streets or alleys means:

  • burglars cannot so easily gain access to properties, especially from alleys behind houses;
  • escape routes for robbers are blocked off; and
  • drive-by shootings are prevented because cars cannot easily enter a street, or because they have to backtrack to escape, exposing them to retaliation.
how should you meet the concerns of those who oppose street alley closures
How Should You Meet the Concerns of Those Who Oppose Street/Alley Closures?
  • Residents
  • Nearby neighborhoods
  • City Officials and Essential Service Providers (sanitation, fire, EMS)
  • The public at large, the media, and politicians
the sara process and street closures
The SARA Process and Street Closures
  • Identify and Select the Problem Area
  • Analyzing the Problem
  • Getting Support
  • Implementing the Closures
  • Assessing Effectiveness
analyzing the problem
Analyzing the Problem
  • Are the neighborhood’s boundaries clearly defined?
  • Is there reliable data about types of crime or disorder that are the concern?
  • What proportion of crimes are committed by outsiders?
    • How do they reach the neighborhood (by car or on foot)?
    • Do you know whether they go to the neighborhood specifically to commit crimes, or whether they just do so when passing through?
analyzing the problem45
Analyzing the Problem
  • How much crime will the barriers prevent?
  • What are the alternatives to street closures (e.g., CCTV, neighborhood watch, crackdowns, target-hardening)?
    • Why could these alternatives not adequately substitute for closures?
getting support
Getting Support
  • Is there support from police district commanders, the chief, and other key city officials (e.g., traffic engineer)?
  • Is there a clear mandate from residents and elected representatives to proceed?
  • Are residents content with the barriers’ appearance?
  • Are there resident concerns about neighborhood stigmatization?
  • Who will have keys (if keys are needed)?
  • What about the concerns of nearby communities about displaced traffic and crime?
getting support47
Getting Support
  • Are there concerns from emergency service providers (fire, ambulance, and police)?
  • Is the plan acceptable to garbage pickup, snow removal, and mail delivery service providers?
  • Does the plan accommodate any special needs of public transport or school buses serving the neighborhood?
  • Will the plan avoid excessive difficulties for delivery and cab drivers?
  • Is the local media briefed about the need for closures?
  • Is there a plan for dealing with public opposition?
implementing the closures
Implementing the Closures
  • How many streets and/or alleys will be closed?
  • Is there a map showing where the closures will be made?
  • Is there an explanation regarding the effect on neighborhood access and traffic patterns?
  • What kind of barriers will be installed?
  • How much will the barriers cost?
implementing the closures49
Implementing the Closures
  • How long will it take to install the barriers once agreement has been reached?
  • Who will install the barriers?
  • Does the plan include a trial period? If so, is it long enough to assess the closures’ effect on crime?
  • How will it be decided whether to make the closures permanent?
  • Does the plan ensure that any legal requirements for implementing closures can be met?
assessing effectiveness
Assessing Effectiveness
  • Is it possible to compare neighborhood crime or disorder before the closures with that after the closures?
  • Will the before-and-after time periods be comparable?
  • Is it possible to directly compare the proportions of crime committed by outsiders in the before-and-after periods?
assessing effectiveness51
Assessing Effectiveness
  • Is it possible to compare before-and-after crime trends in the neighborhood with those in nearby neighborhoods?
  • Is it possible to examine possible displacement/diffusion?
  • Is it possible to estimate barrier cost-effectiveness?
class exercise
Class Exercise
  • Choose one study from the last three slides, summarize the findings, and present the results to your class.
  • Draw your own conclusions – was the project successful?
graduate exercise
Graduate Exercise
  • Using the research from the next three slides, summarize findings for the street/alley closure studies that addressed property, violent, drug-related, and traffic offenses.
  • Include your assessments of the methodological strengths and weaknesses of the various research designs.
  • Draw conclusions about the effectiveness of street/alley closures within these specific crime categories.
officer exercise
Officer Exercise
  • Identify a street/alley or a number of streets/alleys that might be likely targets for closure in your jurisdiction.
  • Design a plan/project that includes an assessment phase.
  • Implement the strategy and evaluate the results.