Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Murder rates: There will be less blood | The Economist

Murder rates: There will be less blood | The Economist

Innovative police efforts, like CompStat, a crime-mapping system, and the “broken-windows” strategy, which focuses on restoring order to communities, were implemented in New York in the early 1990s, and crime rates began to fall.

Communities can be prone to chaotic collapse, R and B people are more timid and when they see signs of broken windows, vandalism, etc they might flee the area. it can then become more taken over by criminals without much opposition. Other areas might have a strong Ro community acting like Neighborhood Watch that resists this crime, backstopping the O police to clean up even small amount sof this chaos. The Broken Window policy then could work not as a policy but because it came along with widespread Ro community anger.

More recently department officials have been trying Operation Impact, a programme which floods troubled areas with police, mostly new recruits. Crime in these “hotspots” tends to drop at twice the citywide rate. The controversial stop-and-frisk policy, under which people suspected of criminal activity are stopped and checked for weapons, is also considered helpful. Ray Kelly, the police commissioner, claims that such proactive policing saved over 5,600 lives between 2002 and 2011.

This is like treating crime as Oy-R contagion, before it grows too much exponentially a surge in police causes it to hit a ceiling and collapse. It can be like controlling an R contagion such as rats or cockroaches by faster fumigating problem areas before they spread. A hot spot is high energy Oy-R.
Some of the tactics used in New York have made their way to the District, where Cathy Lanier, the police chief, credits her department’s crackdown on guns and gangs for the recent decline in violence. As with Mr Kelly, there has been some controversy along the way, for instance when she set up checkpoints around an especially gang-plagued neighbourhood, or proposed that police should go door-to-door in search of guns.

Gangs are usually Y or Ro based rather than being a plague of Oy or R loners. Often Ro gangs evolve as self policing of a neighborhood because of O police mistrust.

Some see her efforts as more public-relations than policing, but it is hard to argue with the results.

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