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Crime Reduction
Problem Solving Process

Pa rt Two - The
p rocess of crime
re d u c t i o n
I n t ro d u c t i o n
The aim of this section is to give you an understanding of the
problem solving process used in crime reduction.

O b j e c t i ve
By the end of this section you will be able to:
Describe the problem solving process used in
crime reduction
Identify each stage of the process
Describe the tools that can be used to help crime reduction
Identify how the process can be used in
crime reduction

O ve rv i e w

28 Section One - Problem solving

Covers and identifies each stage of the problem solving approach
to crime reduction.

33 Section Two - Crime reduction tools

Describes and explains some of the tools that can be used in crime

Case Study
This will give you a chance to practice using the problem solving
process and the crime reduction tools.

69 A summary of key points in this part can be found on page 69.

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Problem Solving Process

Problem solving
The problem solving process in crime reduction has four stages. The
stages are:

- spotting problems
using knowledge, basic
data and other

Assessment - using information and
- looking back to see if technology to dig deeper
the solution worked and into the characteristics
what lessons can be and underlying causes of
learned. a problem

- devising a solution,
working with the

This process is often called SARA and it is a process that has been
used for some time as an integral part of community policing and
therefore often referred to as Problem Oriented Policing or POP.
The techniques and skills involved in SARA are used by community
safety practitioners in every field and are not confined to ‘policing’.
Applying the process will help to ensure that a crime problem is
effectively identified and tackled and will also help organisations in
partnerships to deal with local problems.

We will now look at each stage of this process in turn.

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Problem Solving Process

Identify the problem - Scanning

There is an almost endless range of situations that could be

described as a problem. Incidents may vary in terms of seriousness,
cost and impact on the community.

To identify a problem it is important to pay attention to crime and

disorder patterns and the underlying causes of crimes rather than
simply dealing with the individual incidents. Scanning allows
incidents to be grouped into clusters. These comprise similar,
related or recurring incidents that can be identified from:
Calls from the public
Local intelligence
Partner agencies
Police data

Adopt the use of intelligence and information about offenders and

their activities to increase the effectiveness of your organisation by:
Matching resources with increasing demand
Tackling repeat victimisation
Encouraging multi-agency and partnership working
Adopting long term sustainable solutions

It is important that problems identified are part of a pattern or series

of incidents, not a single incident. It makes sense to spend time and
resources on long-term problems rather than on ones that will only
last for a short time.

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Problem Solving Process
The details of the problem - An a l y s i s

In this phase, you can identify the conditions that give rise to a
particular problem by examining its characteristics and impact in
greater detail. For example, scanning might reveal that there were
many thefts from shops in a particular area, but analysis will provide
the hour, day or month that the thefts took place and from which
particular shops.

Analysis may involve collecting information about offenders and

victims, the time of occurrence, location and other details of the
physical environment, the history of the current problem, the
motivations, gains and losses of involved parties, the apparent (and
hidden) causes and competing interests, and the results of current

Practitioners will need to talk to colleagues, partners, local

businesses and members of the community to better understand the
problem. As well as police data, information held by other
organisations such as insurance companies, hospitals, local
A tool which can authorities, probation and schools may be useful.
be useful at this
stage is the
Triangle. See
page 33 for an
explanation. What facilities have you got in your organisation for
collecting and analysing data about crime and

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Problem Solving Process

Take appropriate action - Re s p o n s e

Once you have identified the problem and analysed it, the response
should be identified. Response is any action taken to try to address
a problem and it should be devised and implemented involving the
relevant agencies, organisations and members of the community. It
might vary from the simple (for example a practitioner advising
someone what they should or should not be doing) to the complex,
such as a practitioner involving the community and local bodies to
set up a project to help young people.

Work done in the analysis phase helps to identify or isolate the

element that can most easily and effectively be tackled to try to
resolve a problem. Often, responses will combine actions to tackle
more than one aspect of the problem identified during the analysis

In selecting responses, it is crucial to work out in detail how they

are expected to produce their intended effects. At this stage the
Routine Activity
Theory is a
useful tool to use.
You can find out
more about it on
Your response must be Appropriate, Realistic and page 39.
Cost effective (ARC).
Appropriate to the risk - If the risk is small a simple
solution will be appropriate. The higher the risk the more that will
need to be done.

Realistic - Make sure that your response tackles the

specific problem and any other potential risks.

Cost effective - the cost to implement your response

should be in proportion to the risk and affordable.

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Problem Solving Process
Evaluation - As s e s s m e n t

In the final stage of SARA, you will need to review attempts to deal
with a problem and evaluate how successful they have been. There
are three major reasons why the assessment stage is very important:
To find out whether a particular problem still exists and
requires continuing attention. This is important in
deciding whether the resources are being used effectively
to tackle the problem and whether to continue to
deploy resources.
To improve problem-solving skills by finding out what
seems to work in different circumstances. This avoids
reinventing the wheel and contributes to the "what works"
knowledgebase and the dissemination of good practice.
To enable effective problem-solving to be recognised and
to acknowledge individuals’ efforts.

Assessment can be difficult to do well and as a result is often largely

overlooked. It must be a routine feature of any problem-solving
structure. Assessment is not an evaluation of the performance of
those involved but what happened when a problem was tackled.

An assessment that concludes that a problem has been dealt with

successfully does not always mean that it has been eliminated. There
are many different types of success.
For example:
The problem and its impact remain the same but the
volume of police effort to respond to it may be reduced.
The harm to the public may be reduced even though the
number of incidents remains the same.
For more The number of problem incidents may be reduced.
information on The problem may be entirely eliminated.
evaluation go to
page 71 and read
the Evaluation

Problem solving is the framework you use to tackle crime and disorder. The
next section looks at some of the tools needed to solve problems effectively.

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Crime reduction tools

Crime reduction tools

This section looks at some of the most widely used tools in crime

The Problem Analysis Tr i a n g l e

This tool can be used to analyse problems in the second stage of the
SARA process. The Problem Analysis Triangle (PAT) breaks incidents
down into three constituent elements:
the features of the location of the incident
the features of the victim
the features of the offender or of the source of
the incident.

It helps to be as precise as possible when defining the problem,

having identified the incidents to be included in the analysis. It is
crucial to establish what it is about the place, victim, and the
offender or source of the problem that causes it to arise, and how
and when it happens. It may need some lateral thinking to define
the factors behind a problem.


An accurate assessment of the problem is one of the main elements

of Problem Oriented Policing. If a response to a problem fails, you On the next page
can then return to the analysis to see whether another element is an example of
might be influenced. how the Problem
Analysis Triangle
(PAT) can be used
to analyse a

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In our example there is a problem with shoplifting from a corner

shop. Here’s how to use PAT in a structured way.

First, write down what the problem is

The problem is with shoplifting.
The shop is a small corner shop on the main road about
500 yards from a local comprehensive school. It is in a
small precinct with 5 other shops.
The shopkeeper has reported at least 6 offences of
shoplifting from the shop in the past 4 weeks, but
suspects that there are many more than that.
The offenders that have been reported are children.


N ow write down all the features of the location you can

find out about
Sweets are stolen from the shop, especially from a display
rack next to the door.
The shop is the nearest sweetshop to the school and
children usually gather outside the shop on the way home
from school.
The offences mainly take place between 3.30 pm
and 4.00 pm.

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N ow write down all the features of the offenders

The offenders are all children aged between 12 and 15.
They are all from the local school.
There are about 6 of them, but none are known to
the shopkeeper.
Large groups of children congregate near the shops after
school. A common complaint from children is that
there is nothing for them to do in the area.

Finally write down what you know about the victim

The shopkeeper is an elderly woman.
She runs the shop alone.
She feels vulnerable because there is no one
else in the shop to help keep an eye on the problem.
She feels intimidated by the older children
who come into the shop.

There are several factors that cause this problem: the location of the
school, the presence of potential offenders and a vulnerable victim.

You will probably find that there is always more than one cause of
a problem, but by using PAT you can identify all the features that
may have an impact. Knowing the causes will help you to find the When you are
right solutions. clear about the
problem you are
going to address,
you must set
clear aims and
objectives for
your project.

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SM A RT O b j e c t i ve s

It is important not to confuse aims and objectives. An aim is a

simple statement, which sets out the purpose of the project.

For example,
“The aim of this project is to reduce the number of violent
disorders in Newton Grange”

Objectives are specific statements that can be measured and state

exactly what you want to achieve. Objectives are a key tool for
project management and they often cause problems for people who
have to write and use them.

Objectives must be written so that they can be measured. For this to

happen objectives should be SMART, which means they are:

S pecific - all objectives should have specific outcomes.

M easurable - the outcome of an objective must be capable of
being measured.
A chievable - the objective should describe something that can
be achieved within the timescale and resources set
for the project.
R ealistic - objectives describe something that can actually
be done.
Sometimes you T imebound - a deadline should be set by which the objective is
may hear the to be achieved.
additional points
are Evaluated and You set SMART objectives once you have done the analysis in the
Reviewed. second stage of SARA. You should set smart objectives for a specific
project before you start work on it. This is when you should also set
objectives for the evaluation of the project/initiative.

Setting your objectives will help you to target your responses in a

structured way.

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Below is a SMART objective. Which parts of the

objective do you think are:
Write your answers in the space below.

The objective is:

“By the end of the project (in six months time), the number of violent
disorders in Allertown town centre will have reduced by 20%”

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Here is the objective with all five SMART elements


“By the end of the project

(in six months time), the number of
the objective has a
specific outcome
violent disorders in Allert own town

it should be c e n t re will have been reduced by
possible to
evaluate the
outcome Timebound
20%” there is a timescale in
which the objective has
Realistic got to be achieved
targets should not
reaching the target
be set too high
can be done within
the timescale with
the resources

It’s important that project teams set a realistic number of objectives.

For most crime reduction initiatives three or four objectives are
enough, any more can make a project difficult to manage and very
difficult to evaluate.

Measurable objectives will always contain a target, which is the

measurable part of an objective. For example in this objective: “by
the end of the project (in six months time), the number of violent
disorders in Allertown town centre will have reduced by 20%” - the
target is a 20% reduction in six months time.

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Routine Activity Theory - RAT

This tool can be used in the third stage of SARA to identify effective
responses. RAT was developed by Marcus Felson, a criminologist
who has worked on crime reduction theories for a number of years.
This theory will help you understand why crimes occur by
analysing the 3 elements present when any crime is committed.
RAT, sometimes called the basic triangle, is a well known and
straightforward explanation that can be used as a practical tool by
practitioners in the field.

The theory states that in order for a crime to occur 3 things must
happen at the same time and in the same place:
A suitable target is available.
There is a lack of a capable guardian to
prevent/deter the crime.
A likely and motivated potential offender is present.

Suitable Capable
Target Guardian
There are plenty of potential
targets around and they can be a
person, an object or a place. Not all
targets are suitable. Four things make a
target suitable to an offender.

- the offender must either value the target for what they
may gain from it or value the effect they may have on it. In
other words, burglars value the objects they steal for the
money they can get from selling them, whereas vandals value the
satisfaction they get from the damage they cause.
- how easily it can be removed/moved. The size and weight of the potential
target can affect how suitable it is to the offender. For example, items such as
CDs are suitable targets for shoplifters because they are small and portable.
- how easy it is to see a target will affect how suitable it is. A television in
front of a window, or someone counting cash at a cash machine make visible
targets. The target would be less suitable if an offender would be clearly
visible while committing the offence.
- if a potential target is easy to get to, the suitability is increased. For
example, an unlocked car or goods displayed outside shops.
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Crime reduction tools A capable guardian is any person or object that discourages an
offence from happening. A capable guardian could be a
householder, neighbour, security guard, CCTV or alarm system etc.

The likely and motivated potential offender is a person who has

made the decision to offend for whatever reason.

To reduce the risk of an offence taking place, you should make sure
that the 3 elements cannot happen at the same time and in the same
place. If you have a potential target, but access is denied, the
potential offender will be unable to carry out the offence. Similarly,
making sure that there is a capable guardian in place will help to
protect the target.

You may wish to Once you have used RAT to identify which element of a potential crime
use the Ten situation you want to alter to reduce the risk, you can then use the Ten
Principles as Principles to select the exact method.
a checklist
for assessing
whether you The Ten Principles of Crime Pre ve n t i o n
have considered
all the options for Before we look at each of the ten principles in turn, here is a list of
responding to the all ten of them.
identified problem.
1 Target Hardening

2 Target Removal

3 Remove the Means to Commit Crime

4 Reduce the Payoff

5 Access Control

6 Visibility/Surveillance

7 Environmental Design

8 Rule Setting

9 Increase the Chance of Being Caught

10 Deflecting Offenders

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1 Ta rget Hard e n i n g
Target Hardening is the first of the Ten principles. Target hardening
“Making targets more resistant to attack or more difficult to
remove or damage.”

A target is anything that an offender would want to steal or

damage. It could be an object, property, person or in some cases an
animal, such as a valuable pet.

In the space below, make a list of all the examples of

Target Hardening you can think of.

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Here are some examples of Target Hardening. You

may have thought of some we haven’t included.
fitting better doors, windows or shutters
window or door locks
screens in banks and building societies
fencing systems
repairing damaged and derelict property.

2 Ta rget Re m ova l
Target Removal is:
“Permanent or temporary removal of vulnerable persons or

Quite simply this means making sure that any object in which a
potential offender might be interested is not visible. This can
removing radios from parked cars
placing valuable items in a secure location
demolishing derelict property
removing jewellery from shop windows at night
moving small vulnerable items nearer to cash tills in shops
rehousing vulnerable people.

Target Removal can be quite a simple process.

Simply putting the car into the garage and locking it up is a good
example of target removal.

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3 Re m ove the Means to Commit Crime

The previous techniques are aimed at reducing the risks directly
associated with the target. Removing the Means to Commit Crime
looks at the problem from a different point of view.

Removing the Means to Commit Crime means:

“Making sure that material capable of being used to help an
offender commit a crime is not accessible.”

Look at this photograph. What could

be changed to reduce the chance of a
crime taking place?
Write your answer in the space below
and compare your answer with ours.

The dustbins could provide an easy access to the

open window. Removing these dustbins and locking
them away in a shed would remove the means to
commit crime. Think about how many times you
have seen large wheely bins around industrial premises. These can
easily be used as mobile platforms. To remove this threat they could
be chained or locked up so that they cannot be moved.

Other examples of removing the means to commit crime are:

locking up tools and gardening equipment
securing building materials such as scaffolding
using plastic drinking glasses in venues where there is a
history of disorder.

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4 Reduce the Pa yo f f
Before we give you a definition of this principle,
have a go at defining it yourself. In the space below,
write down what you think Reduce the Payoff
means. The answer and some examples follow.

Reduce the Payoff means:

“Reducing the gain for the criminal if a crime is

Examples of this include:

using a safe to reduce the amount of cash held in a till
using a replica in a shop window
property marking to make items identifiable and
therefore less valuable to the criminal.

Bear in mind that even though adequate insurance will not reduce
the gain to the criminal, it will reduce the loss to the individual or

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5 Access Contro l
Access Control means:
“Restricting access to sites, buildings or parts of sites and

Can you think of any examples of Access Control that

you have seen? Write your answers in the box and
compare your answers with ours.

There are many forms of Access Control. Some of

them are quite complex, but some are relatively
simple. They include:
door locks (and making sure doors are shut)
identity cards
entry card systems
entry phones
baggage screening
separate entries and exits
combination locks.

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6 Vi s i b i l i t y / S u rve i l l a n c e

This principle is defined as

“Making sure that offenders would be visible if they carried out
a crime.”

This principle ties in well with the idea of capable guardians in the
Routine Activity Theory (RAT).

Unlike any of the other principles, there are three types of

surveillance, these are:

Like all the other principles there is a range of methods and

techniques that can be applied.

N a t u ral surveillance
Involves modifying the existing surroundings to increase visibility.

It can include:
pruning or removing shrubbery
improving or installing lighting
changing the height of fences
placing a playground area so that it overlooks nearby
homes (and is overlooked by those homes).

Low level dusk to

dawn lights will
improve natural

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Formal surveillance
Uses technology or specialist staff who are employed or tasked to
deter and identify actual or potential offenders.

Formal surveillance methods include:

deploying police and security staff
store detectives
alarm systems
caretakers tasked with a security role
closed circuit television (CCTV) systems.

Some formal surveillance systems can be on a small scale, for

example individual shops and premises. On the other hand, there
are some large scale systems, such as city centre CCTV systems.

Informal or employee surve i l l a n c e

This involves residents, employees and the community
being encouraged to be vigilant and knowing what to
do when they see a potential risk. For example
receptionists, counter staff and office staff can be
trained to spot potential problems. Procedures should
be put in place to tell individuals or staff what to do if
they see anything suspicious.

7 E n v i ronmental Design
Crime prevention using Environmental Design is a large topic. It
“Changing the environment of a building, a site, an estate or a
town to reduce opportunities for committing crime.”

The emphasis is on putting a range of preventive measures in place

at the planning stage. Crime Prevention Through Environmental
Design (CPTED) can be used in existing environments, or in new
developments. It can include a whole range of features, such as:
Target Hardening
street and pathway layout

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Crime prevention
can be built into a
new housing
development at
the planning
On this estate there are several features:
All doors and windows have good quality locks.
Planting has been kept to a minimum to
increase surveillance.
The estate has an open design which also
increases surveillance.
There are parking spaces outside each house which deter
possible offences by providing more surveillance of
the cars.
Opposite the row of houses there is seating and a
park which encourages people to circulate.
The driveway paving is a different colour and texture to
the public spaces. This lets any potential offenders know
that they are on private land.
There is good street lighting and lighting outside each
front door.

The whole approach to crime prevention on this estate was

considered at the planning stage and crime prevention measures are
used in a co-ordinated way.

8 Rule Se t t i n g
Rule Setting means:
“The introduction of legislation, by-laws and codes of conduct,
which set out what is acceptable behaviour.”

There are many types of Rule Setting, here a just a few:

Wearing ID badges.
Internal rules within businesses.
Local by-laws, such as those limiting consumption of
alcohol in public places.
Signs prohibiting access to buildings or certain areas in
Requests to report to reception.
Laws enacted by Parliament.

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9 I n c rease the Chance of Being Caught

“Anything that slows down an offender or increases their risk of
being caught.”

Preventive methods are more effective if the offender risks being

caught. Anything that slows down an offender or increases the
chance of detection is an effective method of prevention. This
means that good Target Hardening increases the time it takes to
enter a building and increases the chances of being spotted. The
longer it takes to commit an offence, the more vulnerable the
offender feels.

Increasing the chance of an offender being caught can be

achieved by:
proper management of CCTV systems
lighting that makes offenders more visible
making sure security equipment works properly
putting several preventive methods in place, which slows
an offender down even further
alerting offenders to the fact that CCTV systems and alarms
are being used
publicising successes in detecting offenders.

Note: We use Ten

10 Deflecting Offenders Principles as a basis for
This is the final principle of crime prevention and means: formulating a response
“Diverting the offenders and potential offenders from to particular problems,
committing crime.” but you may have heard
of the 16 situational
This involves agencies working with young people and offenders to principles. These were
influence standards, thinking and attitudes. The aim is to prevent set out by Ronald V
potential offenders turning to crime. Examples include: Clarke in his second
education programmes & schools programmes edition of Situational
Crime Prevention:
drug action teams
successful case studies
youth groups and organisations
(Harrow and Heston,
providing training and work experience. 1997). The Ten principles
cover exactly the same
This method of preventing crime is increasing and the introduction areas as the original 16
of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships has encouraged but some principles have
multi-agency working. been combined where
appropriate to make it
This completes our view of the Ten Principles of Crime Prevention. Now easier to remember.
you can go on to the case study on the next page.
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Case Study

Case Study
This case study gives you the opportunity to practice using the
process of crime reduction and the crime reduction tools.

The case study is based around a cricket club. Below is a diagram of
the area around the club and some details of its history and the
potential offenders in the area.

Boundary Fence
Steel Open Ground
Container The Old 1.5 miles in
Pavilion either


New Pavilion Roller

Tree Screen


Terraced Houses

The Cricket Club

• The cricket club has been in existence for over 100 years.
• From the early 1980s the club went into a decline.
Membership dropped and the older members were left to run
the club. The club used to have a good junior following but
junior membership has also declined.
• Because of the drop in membership, income was lost and
maintenance tasks around the ground were ignored as there
was no one to carry them out.
• In the last five years the club’s fortunes have started to improve.
Membership has increased and there is much more active
participation in the club. New members have joined and junior
membership has increased.

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• The club has also managed to secure some lottery funding. This
has been used to build an extension to the brick pavilion
that was built in the early 1970s.
• The club has concentrated on building up its playing facilities
so hasn’t looked at security. This is increasingly becoming
a problem.
• Although 1 or 2 players live near the ground, many live 3 or
more miles away. This means that apart from practice sessions
and match days the ground is unoccupied and unused.

Here are some general views around the cricket club.

The entrance to the club -

notice there is no gate across
the road and access to the field
is very open. This entrance is
also used by gardeners who
rent the allotments from the

View of the field from the

new pavilion. The aspect is
very open.

Views of the new and old

pavilions. The new pavilion
has been recently extended
and contains a bar.

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The pavilion in these pictures has been on the site since around
1900. It has been used for storing equipment since the new pavilion
was built. This pavilion is in a bad state of repair. There are
several weak places in the walls where the planking has
been patched up and the shutters and doors are easy to
open. Most recently there has been an arson attempt when
someone crawled under
the pavilion and lit a
fire. There has also
been some damage to
the planking.

The new pavilion contains the club's

changing rooms, kitchen, bar and social
club. The original building dates from the
1970s, but the right hand section has been
built in the last two years.

Security is generally
poor, especially the locks on
the shutters and doors.
There have been several
attempted break-ins and
one successful one. Beer,
spirits and cigarettes were

The break-in was through the small back window to the

left of the photograph. The window was broken with a beer

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There have been several incidents of
damage to the cricket pitch in recent
weeks. Two of these involved the roller
which was pulled on to the pitch by
youths riding on it.

There is a persistent problem

with dog fouling, caused by people
using the ground as a short cut and
as a place to walk their dogs. There
is also a litter problem, including
beer cans and broken bottles.

The steel container in the

picture contains a ride-on mower
and all the club's tools. Recently
there was an unsuccessful break-
in attempt when someone tried
to force open the doors with a
crowbar or something similar.

These photographs are of the deserted garages that you can see
on the left hand edge of the map of the club. They are owned by the
club, but have been left unused for the last 7 or 8 years. All the
garages show signs of damage and there is also damage to the
boundary fence of the cricket club.

Youths have been using the garages to gather and the amount
of damage has increased in the past few weeks. The cricket
club have complained to the police. Evidence of recent use,
such as beer cans and cigarette ends, has been found in the

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Potential Offenders
There are three groups of potential offenders.
1 There are large numbers of young people living in the estates in
the area. A large group of them used to gather round a
shopping precinct about half a mile away. This group was
believed to be responsible for a number of offences, including
shoplifting and criminal damage. They also caused considerable
nuisance in the area. Following increased patrols by the police
the youths have dispersed from around the shopping precinct.
There are few facilities in the area so, in the past couple of
months, they have started to gather in the area of the
cricket club.
2 There have been a number of burglaries from sheds in the area
in recent months. The targets have been high value tools and
equipment, such as power tools and ride-on lawn mowers.
The police think that these offences are being committed by a
gang from outside the district who are very organised in their
approach to stealing and disposing of equipment.
3 Access to the cricket ground is very open. This has led to it
Now you should being used by local residents as a shortcut to the local estates
have enough and as a place to walk dogs.
information to
move on to the
next stage -

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This part of the case study is your chance to identify some of the
crime problems on the site. There are 2 stages to this exercise:
- list the crime problems
- carry out a PAT Analysis.

Use the background information (pages 50 to 54)

to identify the problems on the site and any
additional ones you can think of.
Write your answers in the box below and compare them to ours on
the next page.

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Here are some suggestions. You may have thought of

things we haven’t but don’t worry as long as you
have identified some crime problems and potential crime problems.

The deserted garages are a site for criminal damage and for
disorder problems such as underage drinking.
The old pavilion is run-down and is a target for arson and
criminal damage.
The new pavilion contains cigarettes and drinks, which
makes it a potential target for burglary and
attempted burglary.
The steel container is a potential target for burglaries as it
contains high value items like the ride-on mower.
The pitch is liable to damage, particularly from the roller.
There is a large potential for trespass, dog fouling
and other minor damage.

Now, using our list of crime problems and potential

crime problems, you should use the problem
analysis triangle to identify the;
features of the location
what you know about the victim
features of the offender.

Write your PAT analysis in the space provided. If it helps you can
draw the PAT triangle and write down your points next to it.

Take about 30 minutes to complete this exercise, but don't worry

if you don't manage to complete a PAT analysis for each problem.
The purpose of the exercise is to help you get used to using the

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Use additional paper if you need to.

Passport to
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Case Study Here are our suggestions. They may be different
from yours but the important thing is to get used to
analysing and identifying the features of the
location, victim and offender(s).


Features of Location
The ground is quite open with no housing on three sides,
so it is vulnerable.
The housing is screened from the field by trees.
There is insufficient fencing round the site, which
increases access.
The old pavilion is in a general state of disrepair and it is
easy to break into.
The condition of locks and screens on the doors of the
new pavilion make it vulnerable.
Rubble and beer barrels left around the site can be used to
break into buildings.
The ground is used as a public space, which causes
further problems.
The ground is an open and quiet space, which makes it
attractive to people who want to gather there.
The garages are attractive because they are unused and easy
to get into.

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Features of Victim
The victims are the owners of the cricket ground and the
club members.
They are largely absent from the site when offences
are committed.
The general historical problems with getting people to
take responsibility for the club's upkeep has led to neglect
of the potential problems.
The new club committee has yet to take ownership of all
the crime and disorder problems as they have been more
concerned with building up the club's resources
and facilities.

Features of Offender
There appear to be three main groups of offender.
The youths that meet in the deserted garages have nowhere
else to go and find the area a useful place to meet.
- They have a desire for drinks and cigarettes and have
found a ready supply in the pavilion and the means of
getting them.
The offenders that attempted to break into the steel
container are probably from a different group.
- They were after high value equipment and were more
organised and systematic in the way they tried to enter
the container.
A third group are the potential offenders who may be
amongst people who use the ground to walk their dogs
and as a short cut.
- Such use is likely to add to the general feel of the Now you have
ground as a public, rather than a private, space. identified the
crime problem
and analysed it
you can find an
response to
reduce it.

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Re s p o n s e
This part of the case study is your chance to practice using Routine
Activity Theory (RAT).

If you remember, on page 56 we identified 6 main problems at the

The deserted garages are a site for criminal damage and for
disorder problems such as underage drinking.
The old pavilion is run-down and is a target for arson and
criminal damage.
The new pavilion contains cigarettes and drinks, which
makes it a potential target for burglary and
attempted burglary.
The steel container is a potential target for burglaries as it
contains high value items like the ride-on mower.
The pitch is liable to damage, particularly from the roller.
There is a large potential for trespass, dog fouling
and other minor damage.

Using Routine Activity Theor y (RAT)

In this exercise look at the 6 main problem areas and
use RAT to:
identify the target and say why it is suitable
identify which capable guardian is absent
identify the offenders and their possible motivations
decide which of these 3 you are going to modify
(your response) to reduce the chance of a crime
taking place.

Use the space provided for your RAT analysis. If it helps you can
draw the RAT triangle and write down your points next to it.

Take about 30 minutes to complete this exercise, but don't worry if

you don't manage to complete a RAT analysis for each problem you
find. The purpose of the exercise is to help you get used to using
the technique.

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Use additional paper if you need to.

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Here are our suggestions. Don’t worry if your

answers are different from ours. There are no right
and wrong responses as long as the risk of a crime happening has
been reduced.

D e s e rted Ga ra g e s
Target The garages are the suitable target because:
- their value is that they provide shelter for the
youths who use them and are a good place to gather
- they have poor visibility from anyone who might
stop the youths from getting into them
- their poor physical condition makes it easy to gain
access to the shelter they provide.
Guardian There is a complete lack of capable guardians
present, either human or otherwise. The site is
secluded and is not overlooked by anyone. There are
no physical barriers, lighting or alarms to make the
target less attractive. The generally dilapidated
appearance of the garages also makes them more
vulnerable - if they looked used that would act as a
form of guardian.
Offenders The offenders are the youths who use the garages.
Their motivation is the need for shelter in an
environment that does not provide them with any
alternative places to go.
Modify The easiest feature to modify is the target. By
removing the garages or renovating them they would
be less attractive. Giving the youths an alternative
place to go would also work. There is little point in
modifying the absence of a capable guardian because
of the isolated position and value of the target.

The Old Pa v i l i o n
Target The old pavilion is a suitable target because:
- its value is based around its vulnerability and the
pleasure that the offenders get from setting fire to it.
- inertia is a factor because it cannot be removed
- the target is highly visible
- there is easy access to it.
Guardian As with the garages, the site is secluded and not
overlooked. There is no alarm on the building and the
incomplete boundary fence is another absent guardian.

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Offenders The offenders are unknown but could be the youths
who use the garages. Their motivation is possibly the
need to cause damage to the garages, plus a belief that
causing the damage is not wrong. There may also be
peer pressure to cause the damage.
Modify It may be possible to improve security around the
target or work with potential offenders.

The New Pa v i l i o n
Target The target in this scenario was not really the pavilion,
but the drinks and cigarettes inside it. They were
suitable because:
- the drink and cigarettes provided items of value to a
potential offender
- the target items were small and portable, so there
was no problem of inertia
- although the beer and cigarettes were not visible
from the outside of the building when the break-ins
happened, the barrels outside are a good indication
of what is inside
- access to the target is no problem, the security is
fairly primitive and because of the seclusion of the
spot it would be fairly easy to get inside without
being disturbed.
Guardian There is a complete lack of capable guardians present,
either human or otherwise. The site is secluded and is
not overlooked by anyone. The only people near the
site when it is not in use are the residents, and the trees
screen their view. A complete boundary fence, gate,
lighting and alarms are all absent.
Offenders The most likely offenders seem to be the youths who
use the deserted garages. The motivation is the beer
and cigarettes.
Modify The easiest feature to modify is the target, although a
guardian such as a burglar alarm would also be useful.

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The Steel Container

Target The target is the tools inside the container rather than
the container itself. This is the least suitable target on
the field. Although the equipment is of high value, it
isn't visible inside the container and access is extremely
Guardian Although the equipment is physically isolated, the
container is a good guardian, and fencing round it
would help.
Offenders The offender in this case is almost certainly motivated
by gain because of the value of the equipment.
Modify Apart from making access to the container more
difficult, there is not a lot that can be done to make it
more secure.

The Pitch and Roller

Target There are two targets here, the pitch and the roller. The
value once again would appear to be damage to the
property of the club. The roller is visible and access to
it is easy.
Guardian Although the pitch and roller are near the houses,
there are no capable guardians nearby.
Offenders The offenders seem to be motivated by the desire to
cause damage and the belief that it is not wrong
to do so.
Modify The best approach would be to modify the target and
remove the roller to a more secure place.

Trespass and Dog Fo u l i n g

Target The target is the ground itself. There is value in being
able to use it as a recreational area, it is visible and can't
be moved, and there is good access to it.
Guardian There is no capable guardian and the lack of a complete
boundary fence also makes the problem worse.
Now we’ve looked Offenders Offenders are the people who regularly use the
at Routine Activity ground. The motivation is the gain of a place to walk
Theory, we’ll use dogs, the local habit of using the ground for this
the next section purpose and the belief that it probably isn't a crime.
of the case study Modify The easiest thing to modify is the target by restricting
to practice using access, but signs saying it is private land would
the Ten Principles also help.
of Crime

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For the next exercise we have picked these two main problems: Case Study

The new pavilion contains cigarettes and drinks, which

makes it a potential target for burglary and
attempted burglary.
There is a large potential for trespass, dog fouling
and other minor damage.

Look at these problem areas and use the Ten

Principles (starting on page 40) to:
identify which principles apply to
the problem
suggest some specific methods to use.

In the previous exercise you used the RAT analysis to identify

whether you would modify the target, absence of a capable
guardian or offender for each problem. Use those results to help
you decide where to apply the Ten Principles.

Take about 30 minutes to complete this exercise.

Use additional paper if you need to.

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Here’s one way to apply the Ten Principles to the

two problems. It doesn’t matter if you have chosen
whatever your
a different method to apply the Ten Principles as
response it must
long as the method you used is Appropriate, Realistic and Cost
be Appropriate,
Realistic and
Cost effective
The New Pa v i l i o n
Target Hardening. There’s plenty of scope here for target
hardening, including:
- completing the perimeter fence around the cricket ground
- improving the doors and window shutters
- fitting better locks to the doors
- fitting a burglar alarm system.
Target Removal. The cigarettes and drinks could be stored away
from the pavilion if appropriate.
Remove The Means To Commit Crime. The beer bar rels are a
potential tool for breaking doors and windows and should
be removed.
Reduce the Payoff. This could be achieved by removing the stock
of bottled beers and cigarettes from the pavilion when it is
closed and putting notices up to advertise this.
Access Control. This could apply to the gate to the ground. Proper
target hardening to the ground would include some form of
access control at the gate.
Surveillance. There’s only limited scope for increasing surveillance
because the pavilion is in a secluded spot. However, there are
some things that could be done, including:
- reducing the height of the trees to make the pavilion visible
to the people living in the terraced housing
- installing lighting to make the pavilion more visible
- installing a CCTV system
- it’s probably not cost effective to employ security patrols, but
an increase in police patrols around the ground and at the
garages might be a deterrent.
Environmental Design. It is possible to redesign the ground,
mainly by cutting down the trees and improving visibility. The
area round the deserted garages could also be redesigned.
Demolishing the garages and landscaping the area would
deprive possible offenders of a place to congregate, plan
offences and consume the proceeds.

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Rule Setting. Signs could be used around the ground and on the Case Study

pavilion explaining:
- when and by whom the ground can be used
- what security measures are in place
- the consequences of not abiding by the rules.
Increase The Chance Of Being Caught. A combination of all the
measures mentioned here would make the ground more secure,
slow down the burglars and increase their chances of being
Deflecting Offenders. The cricket club and ground have good
facilities, but they are underused. There is considerable scope to
increase use of the pavilion and the club generally by:
- increasing young people's involvement in the club
- using the pavilions for other groups during the week
- working with the community to identify how the area could
be used.
This would increase ownership of the area. If potential
offenders were encouraged to become involved it would reduce
the chance of them offending.

Trespass and Dog Fo u l i n g

Target Hardening. The target is the ground, so a perimeter fence
with effective gates would harden the target.
Target Removal. This is not feasible as the ground can't be moved,
Obviously you
but a perimeter fence would help to a certain extent.
can apply the
Remove the Means to Commit Crime. This principle doesn't apply
same process to
in this case.
the other four
Reduce the Payoff. The payoff is being able to gain access to the
main problems.
ground. Making access more difficult reduces the payoff.
You may like to
Access Control. The fencing will provide access control.
try this to get
Surveillance. Cutting down the trees behind the new pavilion to
even more
increase visibility from the houses would help, as would
practice applying
increased police patrols.
the Ten Principles.
Environmental Design. There is some scope for landscaping
the perimeter to encourage people to walk around fences rather
Now we’ve
than trying to climb over them.
scanned for
Rule Setting. Signs at the perimeter would be a good form of
rule setting. Another option would be to investigate local
analysed the
by-laws about dog fouling and trespass and advertise
problems and
the consequences.
made a response
Increase the Chance of Being Caught. Fencing will increase
we can move onto
the chance of being caught.
the next section
Deflecting Offenders. Giving some access via community
of the case study
activities might deflect people from using the ground for
- assessment.
other reasons.
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This stage of the problem solving process is essential. Evaluation is
vital for learning lessons, finding out what worked and what didn’t,
and discovering if the project has been successful in achieving what
it set out to do. It is important to remember that:
“Assessment is not an evaluation of the performance of those
involved but what happened when the problem was tackled.”

Every time you use the problem solving process and each time you
use any of the crime reduction tools you should think of it as part
of a learning process. Evaluation will provide a valuable source of
information that you can build on. It will help to give you more
knowledge of the best ways to implement the process and the tools
you can use.

We have now For more information on assessment go to the next part which
completed Part begins on page 71.
Two of this
passport. In the
next part we will
look at

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S u m m a ry - Pa rt Tw o
In this part we looked at the four stages of the problem solving
Scanning - identifying the problem
Analysis - the details of the problem
Response - taking appropriate action
Assessment - evaluating the response.

We also studied the crime reduction tools:

The Problem Analysis Triangle - particularly useful in
the Analysis stage of the process.
SMART objectives - this and the next 2 tools are
invaluable during the Response stage of the process.
Routine Activity Theory
The Ten Principles of crime prevention

We looked at the Problem Analysis Triangle and the features of the

location, the victim and the offender which helped to decide on the
objectives for the project.

The Routine Activity Theory states that for a crime to take place 3
things happen at the same time in the same place - a suitable target,
an offender and the lack of a capable guardian. We looked at what
makes a target suitable and what is a capable guardian.

We also gave you the definitions and explanations of each of the Ten
Principles of crime prevention
Target Hardening
Target Removal
Remove the Means to Commit Crime
Reduce the Payoff
Access Control
Environmental Design
Rule Setting
Increase the Chance of Being Caught
Deflecting Offenders

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The Case Study gave you an opportunity to practice using the

problem solving process and to apply each of the crime reduction
tools. It contained practical exercises about using the Problem
Analysis Triangle, Routine Activity Theory and the Ten Principles of
Crime Prevention.