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  • Crime prevention leading to more crime?

    Just read an interesting article in the August 2015 issue of Security, "Could Crime Prevention Lead to Greater Crime?" by Steve Ballantyne. Gist of it is when implementing situational crime prevention (SCP) we need to be cognizant of "side effects" that may occur.

    The one that caught my eye was escalation. Basically, physical measures or changes in procedures may trigger more agressive behavior. Barriers or equipment put up may be vandalized or torn down in response. (We had to tell the managers on our site that any cameras they wanted to keep should be high enough to be out of the range of a swinging baseball bat).

    Social media in Seattle has noted that street muggings have become more agressive in response to increased patrols of certain areas. The muggers employ "shock and awe" (multiple assailants, firing guns, etc.) to quickly take victim's wallets, cell phones, etc., and then get away in a vehicle before PD can be alerted or arrive on the scene.

    Best recommendation was to do thorough analysis of measures before and after they are taken, in order to stay at pace (and hopefully ahead of) the criminals.
    Last edited by Condo Guard; 09-29-2015, 10:57 PM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    Great post. Interesting subject. Makes sense in that the percentage of criminals left will take stronger actions to reach their goals.

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    • #3
      Sounds familiar. When our security company got a contract to patrol one of the major business complexes (large complex with 4 gas stations, 3 hotels, hundreds of stores, several office buildings, and a recreational center) of Dallas, crime actually got worse in a sense. Before we arrived, there was an infestation of burglars with very little violent crime, but after we arrived, we saw a large increase in robberies and aggravated assaults (against security officers and civilians alike). We were eventually able to get the area under control within a half a year however.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
        Just read an interesting article in the August 2015 issue of Security, "Could Crime Prevention Lead to Greater Crime?" by Steve Ballantyne. Gist of it is when implementing situational crime prevention (SCP) we need to be cognizant of "side effects" that may occur.

        The one that caught my eye was escalation. Basically, physical measures or changes in procedures may trigger more aggressive behavior. Barriers or equipment put up may be vandalized or torn down in response. (We had to tell the managers on our site that any cameras they wanted to keep should be high enough to be out of the range of a swinging baseball bat).

        Social media in Seattle has noted that street muggings have become more aggressive in response to increased patrols of certain areas. The muggers employ "shock and awe" (multiple assailants, firing guns, etc.) to quickly take victim's wallets, cell phones, etc., and then get away in a vehicle before PD can be alerted or arrive on the scene.

        Best recommendation was to do thorough analysis of measures before and after they are taken, in order to stay at pace (and hopefully ahead of) the criminals.
        I have read something to this effect. A level of tension is instituted, or alertness level is increased when a city is `occupied' by its own troops, for example. There are many factors to consider. For me, I believe I would react well.
        `Shock and awe' tactics. This would be worrisome to me, I would have to find a way to respond, but do not carry a firearm, so...
        sigpic

        Semper paratus!

        Comment


        • #5
          Criminals have always adapted to changes in the security environment. We hide the cheese, the rats find it. So...we move the cheese, but the rats find it again. So...we buy a cat, but the rats feed it fish laced with arsenic. So...we buy another cat and install an arsenic-detector, but the rats chew through the power cord. So...we armor-clad the power cord, but the rats pull the main breaker. So...we install a backup generator, but the rats clog the fuel line with toilet paper from the restrooms. So...we remove the toilet paper from the restrooms, and suddenly our problem isn't with the rats.

          And the bad thing is, if you carry security measures far enough you find yourself removing toilet paper from the restrooms - i.e., hindering or harming the very people or operation that you're charged to protect. This is one of the constraining factors we have to deal with, along with limitations in resources, and others.

          For rats, stealing the cheese isn't optional, like "Should I go to my job as a nuclear physicist today, or rob an old lady at a bus stop?" Stealing the cheese is all the rats know how to do or want to do. A life of crime is the life that they choose for themselves. They've got to have the cheese to stay alive, and one way or another they're determined to get that cheese.

          The real solution is removing the rats from circulation entirely. The courts refuse to do this, and at the end of the day THAT is one of the main reasons for crime and for increases in crime, not the measures we're taking to try to protect the cheese.

          In the world of security, truth be told, most of what we do involves displacement - chasing the rats off to someone else's corn crib. In a sense, that makes us all competitors with one another, me trying to make my problem your problem, and you doing the same. Security people aren't responsible for ridding the world of rats (solving the "crime problem"). We're only charged with expelling the rats from our site, or preventing them from creeping in through the drain pipes. If the rats perceive that your corn crib is more attractive than mine, or an easier target than mine, well, I've done my job, haven't I? It's every man for himself, and the Devil take the hind-most.

          Or, that old joke: "I don't have to run faster than the bear; I just have to run faster than you."

          As such, it really only makes sense to talk about "security" in terms of the crimes committed against a specific facility, not the aggregate incidence of crime in society. In the aggregate - the sum total of criminal behavior in society - this is a social problem, not a security problem, per se. We are not sociologists, and thinking about the "solution" to crime "in the large" as a social phenomenon really isn't very useful to security professionals in our daily work on any practical level. We can only address the specific threats to the site that we have been charged to protect.
          Last edited by SecTrainer; 10-08-2015, 04:31 PM.
          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

          Comment


          • #6
            Dew

            Thanks Sec'T'r, for your post! I like your apt analogy(and we tell the joke about the bear, up here too, in fact it is on t-shirts!).

            Distant Early Warning, of a kind is needed. A perimeter watch, devices and people. Some subtle signals, or silent ones to warn the residents of the neighbourhood for muggings.I also agree on your point of `sending the rats somewhere else'. This forces other areas to also beef-up measures to prevent crime at this micro level. In the US there is OPEN and PEEL I believe, these have been shown to be very effective in reducing gang violence.

            How about citizen's patrols, and a more effective way of immediately reporting suspicious behavior, as well as apps on phones?
            Arming the citizens? In a few parts of Florida, this has apparently worked. As for the rest of us, I can see things getting worse before they get better.

            I think vigilance and awareness.of citizens is the best method, and easy and effective ways of calling police, and they must have the will to do it, as well. If enough neighbourhoods can drive out the rats,more and more areas will prove to be high risk. Some things are not the area of guards, as you said, like social reform. This might be past of the `hearts and minds' part of the war on crime.
            sigpic

            Semper paratus!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
              Just read an interesting article in the August 2015 issue of Security, "Could Crime Prevention Lead to Greater Crime?" by Steve Ballantyne. Gist of it is when implementing situational crime prevention (SCP) we need to be cognizant of "side effects" that may occur.

              The one that caught my eye was escalation. Basically, physical measures or changes in procedures may trigger more agressive behavior. Barriers or equipment put up may be vandalized or torn down in response. (We had to tell the managers on our site that any cameras they wanted to keep should be high enough to be out of the range of a swinging baseball bat).

              Social media in Seattle has noted that street muggings have become more agressive in response to increased patrols of certain areas. The muggers employ "shock and awe" (multiple assailants, firing guns, etc.) to quickly take victim's wallets, cell phones, etc., and then get away in a vehicle before PD can be alerted or arrive on the scene.

              Best recommendation was to do thorough analysis of measures before and after they are taken, in order to stay at pace (and hopefully ahead of) the criminals.
              Condo Guard this is clearly visible in South Africa.
              Due to the increase in break-ins, home owners started putting up higher walls, stronger gates, better alarm systems.
              If the criminals can't break into a property, they wait for someone who has got access to the property to come home, then force that person at gun point to give them access into the property & switch off any alarm system.
              While interrogating a perp one day, he told us that they look for houses with a lot of security.
              Criminals assume that the more security you got, the more you have got to "hide"(meaning to protect).

              Here is a kidnapping caught on camera in Mozambique which is one of South Africa's neighbouring countries.
              http://www.thesouthafrican.com/watch...-camera-video/
              This is one of the modus operandii that the criminals use in South Africa aswell.
              Last edited by Warren14; 11-28-2015, 04:41 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Warren14 View Post
                Condo Guard this is clearly visible in South Africa.
                Due to the increase in break-ins, home owners started putting up higher walls, stronger gates, better alarm systems.
                If the criminals can't break into a property, they wait for someone who has got access to the property to come home, then force that person at gun point to give them access into the property & switch off any alarm system.
                While interrogating a perp one day, he told us that they look for houses with a lot of security.
                Criminals assume that the more security you got, the more you have got to "hide"(meaning to protect).

                Here is a kidnapping caught on camera in Mozambique which is one of South Africa's neighbouring countries.
                http://www.thesouthafrican.com/watch...-camera-video/
                This is one of the modus operandii that the criminals use in South Africa aswell.
                "Adaptation" (of criminals) to security measures shouldn't be confused with "causation", or we'll come to the wrong conclusions (in this case, that these measures CAUSE more crime or more violent crime, etc.).

                This is a logical fallacy formally known in Latin as "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" - meaning "after this, therefore because of this." It's a "causation fallacy". Just because event Y follows event X doesn't mean that event X caused event Y. There may be a relationship between the events, but not necessarily a causal relationship. Another type of relationship between events is correlation.

                Suppose that every day after sunup, I take a stroll in the garden. And when it rains, I stay inside. This correlation between sunrise and garden-strolling (or rain and none) happens day after day, until two squirrels sitting in a tree observing this phenomenon reach the conclusion that sunlight causes human creatures to appear in the garden. But they would be wrong, no matter how predictably the correlation occurs.

                Springtime doesn't cause baseball. Umbrellas don't cause rain. Picnics don't cause ants, and horse manure doesn't cause flies. In each case, though one may follow the other as the night follows the day, we have correlation but NOT causation.

                The adaptation of criminal behavior to security measures is a correlative relationship, not a causative one. To take the position that security measures "cause" crime (you can't logically assert that MORE security measures cause MORE crime without setting up a security-->crime causation) is to imply that we would eliminate crime if we would just remove the locks from our doors, fling open the safes, disable the alarms, grind our cameras to powder, leave our credit cards piled out on the front porch along with our cash, TV sets and jewelry, and dismiss the police force.
                Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-02-2015, 03:26 PM.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Warren14 View Post
                  Condo Guard this is clearly visible in South Africa.
                  Due to the increase in break-ins, home owners started putting up higher walls, stronger gates, better alarm systems.
                  If the criminals can't break into a property, they wait for someone who has got access to the property to come home, then force that person at gun point to give them access into the property & switch off any alarm system.
                  While interrogating a perp one day, he told us that they look for houses with a lot of security.
                  Criminals assume that the more security you got, the more you have got to "hide"(meaning to protect).

                  Here is a kidnapping caught on camera in Mozambique which is one of South Africa's neighbouring countries.
                  http://www.thesouthafrican.com/watch...-camera-video/
                  This is one of the modus operandii that the criminals use in South Africa aswell.
                  Really very interesting subject. I am 100% agreed on your point that making home tough to break in by the burglars are posing more risk of lives of the owner and family members.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've always heard our "visual deterrent" is our main value and "proven to reduce losses and crime".

                    Sounds crazy to give in with a "please don't hurt us Mr Robber" stance. If crime rears up in response to increased security its time to steamroll the area and have cops arrest anyone they think may have spit on the sidewalk.

                    Sure they will likely just go to next town, but just "letting them have their way" seems nuts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Squid View Post
                      I've always heard our "visual deterrent" is our main value and "proven to reduce losses and crime".

                      Sounds crazy to give in with a "please don't hurt us Mr Robber" stance. If crime rears up in response to increased security its time to steamroll the area and have cops arrest anyone they think may have spit on the sidewalk.

                      Sure they will likely just go to next town, but just "letting them have their way" seems nuts.
                      It doesn't work that way...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I sort of get where Squid is coming from; but the problem is the police are stretched so thin these days that every day is triage. The small stuff gets ignored by necessity. The problem of no consequences is the bad guys figure it out real quick - security are just a bunch of "paper tigers."

                        I disagree with the concept of more hardening = bigger target. SA is, sadly, is a unique and very dysfunctional place for a variety of reasons, As a general rule, most non-violent criminals (especially druggies) are lazy - they want the easy score. They're not going to bother with the brightly lit, gated community with a guard when they can just go down the street and get into an older Honda in a dimly lit strip mall with no monitoring.

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