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Urban Gun Violence: A Micro Approach

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The5thHorseman
The5thHorseman  
9/11/2014 3:37:34 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Well, that explains a lot...
I agree, that no amount of data collecting will stop crime. But it CAN tell us where to best focus police efforts to control crime. Crime, like corruption, can never be eliminated. Therefore the best we can hope for is to control it, and minimize it to the greatest extent possible.

A common misconception that I encounter, frequently, is the idea that the police can "protect" you. Police work, like data analysis, is reactionary. Neither can respond to events until they take place. Therefore, it is important to understand the use of the data. it provides a historical record of frequency of events, that can reasonably be used to predict further criminal activity in an identified area. Additional, more invasive surveilance in these hot spots is warranted, and should direct law enforcement activities. Once an area is under control, this same data should be used to train police that will remain in place when the surveilance is removed. This way, they are educated in the history of the area, types of crimes that are committed,and what to do to prevent it. These are the "Beat cops" that engage the community face to face. Getting to know the residents, in combination with data analysis, gives the police the best chance of predicting criminal activity, and the best chance of "Protecting" citizens.

Andy Griffith and Barney Fife didn't need guns to combat crime... because they knew the people in Mayberry, they were part of their lives. And when something wasn't quite right, they knew and could take action to head it off before anyone got hurt. We need Andy and Barney again...

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
9/9/2014 5:11:03 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Well, that explains a lot...
But we are not just talking about Gang Violence, we are talking about all forms of Crime in an area.

What I am saying is that once the crime is eliminated or at least reduced to where the crime isnt happening as often what happens? are those camera taken down, no more drone flights over head, no police walking the beat or at least patroling the area? Or are we keeping some sort of presence in the area from now on until the end of time?

I agree that once the crime is reduced that we need continued presence of the police and cameras and the like. No amount of data collecting is going to stop crime or tell me that yup...next week someone is going to get killed at this house or street corner or someones home is goign to get robbed etc. So we would need to have an indefinet police presence in the area to prevent or at least help to reduce the chances of these things from happening.

The5thHorseman
The5thHorseman  
9/5/2014 3:40:34 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Well, that explains a lot...
Hi Dave... Once the violent criminals have been apprehended and incarcerated, should the cameras and surveilance be removed, along with the police presence? My answer is no.... initially. You must return to the data to determine the need for the continued presence. Since this is a known violent crime area, and it is known that many of the perpetrators are affiliated with gangs, you must continue to surveil the area to ensure the problem does not simply continue, with new players. The unfortunate nature of gang violence is that young people are recruited into these gangs and taught these violent behaviors by older gang members, then pushed into these kinds of crimes to "earn their stripes" and prove their loyalty to the gang. If these people happened to be in Iraq or Afghanistan, they would be called terrorists... The behavior will continue, as long as the gang continues to thrive. As with solving any problem, you must address the root cause, or you will never solve it. The gun violence is a symptom, a consequence of allowing the root problem to continue. It is the gang mentality that must be addressed, and stopped. If it is not stopped, new members will be recruited and the violence continues. Like weeding a garden, the root must be removed, or the weed simpy re-grows. The answer is yes, the surveilance remains, along with the necessary police presence to eliminate the root cause. Once the cause is eliminated, a scaled back police presence is then designed specifically to detect the re-emergence of the gang presence, which can then be suppressed before it escalates to violence in the streets. Once this type of reactionary enforcement is established, a smaller force will be required to maintain the favorable result. This is where your beat cops would be introduced; they would be trained to police the specific areas, be taught what to look for to prevent the return of the gang culture. Once this is in place, video surveillance would no longer be needed. Here, an opportunity is created to involve police in the community in a positive way, re-connecting with community members on a personal level. The police get to know the people, and the people get to know the beat cops. And then maybe... trust relationships can be built between police and communities again. Well, that's my pipe dream anyway....

sunshine
sunshine  
9/5/2014 3:07:03 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: 80/20 Rule
Davedgreat 2000, we agree on this one.

The police are the people and the people are the police. The further you move from this then the more problems you get.

The better integrated the police are with the local community then the less opportunity for crime and the greater the chance of detection. Sadly we are moving further away with remote surveillance, military style police forces and less understanding between police and the community. In the UK we are told that crime is reducing year on year, yet our prison population is increasing year on year. It could be the police are becoming better at solving crime but one can't help but believe that the crime statistics are being manipulated to meet government targets.

When people say that we can't afford the cost of police walking the street do they take into account the cost of keeping someone in prison? In the UK it costs £120,000 for each new prison place and £45,000 per annum expenditure for each prisoner. In the UK (as in the USA) we have doubled our prison population in the past 25 years.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
9/5/2014 2:41:29 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Well, that explains a lot...
What happens once you eliminate the crime in an area and remove the cameras? does the crime return because no cops are coming around anymore or no cameras to record whats going on?

I'm for the cameras and the cops patrolling on foot and all that. but once the crime is gone, are the cops and cameras going to stay? or have much less of a presence in the area?

The5thHorseman
The5thHorseman  
9/4/2014 9:08:49 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Well, that explains a lot...
Great article, and proper application of research data. We are constantly bombarded with statistics, especially from politicians, which they use to justify actions, or new laws. Normally, you don't even know where they found these "statistics" and would be challenged to associate them with any known, reputable research. Your data is both from a very well respected source, and is derived from long term research, over 30 years. These findings explain a LOT... especially why legislation like gun control law has had little if any positive effect. Where grandstanding lawmakers, like Diane Feinstein, make a lot of noise with their "feel good" legislation, in almost all cases, it is doomed to fail. The reason; heavy handed law, crafted to make the public think their leaders are solving the problem, completely misses the point. Whereas gun control attempts to eliminate crime by eliminating inanimate objects, the Yale data could be used to prove that a handful of criminals in a known demographic are responsible for repetitive violence in known locations. Using a laser instead of a hammer, your techniques could be used to surveil only those areas, gather evidence and actually hold accountale the PEOPLE responsible for the crimes, and not the object used to commit it. If this kind of data were used for this purpose, I would actually be in favor of this additional surveilance! With a potential to eliminate 70 - 89% of gun violence nationwide, this single intelligent use of data would accomplish in a few years what "gun control" has miserably failed to in 50. Violence is a people problem, and no matter what objects you take away, you will never solve it until you address the human element. Great Post!

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
9/4/2014 4:38:05 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: 80/20 Rule
Interesting! Maybe this is more a global trend than I realized, Davedgreat. For sure the riot gear has been out around Europe of late.  

Your comment made me do a little rooting around, though, and I came across this interesting piece by a Russian journalist who looks at the division between traditional policing and the more miliary style. He suggests the latter is a hangover from colonial days when the local population was considered hostile, but that now it's being adopted "at home." And it's happening everywhere. 

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
9/4/2014 3:06:10 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: 80/20 Rule
When I went to Europe several years ago, the one thing I noticed that was totally different than the States were the police forces. European police carried machine guns and wore military style outfits. Today here in the States its becoming more like European Police with the exception of the uparmored anti-mine resistant vehicles commonly called a Tank.

I dont mind the Police having body armor and machine guns (the bad guys have the same things), but having a tank or armored vehicles to quell riots or what have you is not the way to go.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
9/4/2014 9:19:19 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: 80/20 Rule
That's a good point, Davedgreat. Cops cruising the streets in their patrol cars is more of a power play than a policeman walking his beat. It might appear more threatening to potential criminals but it's also less assuring for the average citizen.

There are a lot of police on the streets of downtown Barcelona and they're approachable and deferential. When an American visitor heard this, she commented that they couldn't be that effective then. It was interesting to me that she associated stern-faced cops, kitted out like commandos, with crime prevention. That that was the only way to go.

Is that TVs influence? Or just the slow and almost imperceptible militarization of the US police force that only recently seems to have become controversial. 

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
9/3/2014 9:22:26 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: 80/20 Rule
I'm with NewDream on this one. Big Companies now own most of the prisions in the United States, its costing $35000 a year to house criminal and guess what that money gets put into the pockets of stake holders, there is no helping these criminals get rehabilitated and put back into society as a law abiding citizen. They go out and commit crime once again and again get thrown back in jail. a Revolving door if you will. We hear about this all the time on the nightly news programs.

If we put the cops back on the streets, walking the beat and interacting with the people in the community, this creates a level of trust. Crime should go down in those areas. of course we can add in some cameras in key locations and put some beat cops on the seen as well.

My city used to have cops on Bicycles. I guess that got to much for them and they have since done away with that. But I felt better knowning these cops were on the ground walking er...riding by our side on bikes, they interacted with the people on a daily basis where as cops in cop cars just drive on by.

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