SARA & POP
The author of this report has been asked to assess a scenario that is pretty dire. Indeed, there is a low-income housing development that itself has become an attractor of crime and much the same thing has happened for the surrounding stores and so forth. One example of the collateral damage is the area in and around a convenience store that is nearby. The author of this report has been asked to create a response that is both POP- and SARA-oriented as a means to reduce or eliminate crime in the area. While calming the crime in this area will not be the easiest thing to do, there is most certainly a way to take a huge chunk of the crime out of the area through more visible policing, some better security measures and security sweeps.
As far as what information could and should be collected from the criminals in the area, this would depend on the infraction. As far as graffiti goes, a lot of that is probably gang-related. As such, it would be wise to nail down the different gangs that are involved and this could be a starting point to know on who to crack down on to reduce or eliminate the activity. As far as prostitutes go, there is not much that can be done to get rid of them entirely due to the rather low penalties that typically exist for the practice. However, the prostitution in the area in question can be reduced a lot by doing undercover stings and making sure that vice cops are highly visible in the area. As for drugs, this probably intersects strongly with the gangs as they are almost always the source of drugs in the area, at least in terms of dealing. There would need to be heavy interrogation about who is leading the drug dealing operation and where the drugs are coming form. The more that is known about the drug dealing network and the higher-level the known players are, the more that can be done to destroy the drug-dealing network when busts are made. Just busting low-level dealers is not a plan because there will be more where they came from. If the trafficking and supply side of things and/or the higher management in general can be brought under control, that will have a much better effect. This is not to say that the low-level dealers should be ignored. There can and should be a presence that weeds out those people. However, it should not be the primary focus (NCJRS, 2016).
As for responses, the author of this response has a few that are a must. First, there must be a constant and highly visible police presence in the area at all times of the day, especially at night. The police should not be nasty or aggressive with the regular folk. However, it should be obvious that they are present as this increased visibility will reduce crime in the area by itself. The terrain around the housing complex needs to be dealt with. The T-shaped alley needs to become lit and stay lit, by any means necessary. There are ways to get lights installed where they cannot easily be shot out or otherwise taken out. Also, a fence or barrier of some sort needs to be placed by the open field. There should be daily (at least) security sweeps of the stash areas for guns. Those guns should be inventoried and the owners/buyers of the buns should be tracked down if a serial number is still intact. The sources of the guns, as much as they can be known, can be used to figure out what can be done to slow the flow of guns (ATF, 2016).
People that are sleeping, defecating and urinating on the streets should be shuttled to shelters so that they can use proper facilities and get assistance. Those that will not stay on the shelters and just return to the streets should be jailed. They should get the housing, rehab and mental help they need. However, if they refuse to get that help and they are lucid, they should be jailed. If they are not lucid, they should be placed in psychiatric care. The drug house in the area should be raided and shut down. A very close eye should be placed on whomever else is in the area or whomever takes over the drug house when it gets new tenants. If there is even a sniff if new drug dealers in that house, it should be raided again. People that buy drugs in the area should be slapped with very heavy fines. Unless they’re hurting someone, jail is not worth the trouble and just fills up the prisons. However, heavy fines, forced forfeiture of cars brought to buy drugs and so forth is all on the table. Lastly, there should be a focus on having habitual offender laws in place so that repeat offenders for anything that endangers the public (e.g. robbery, DUI, etc.) is subject to enhanced sentencing (LaMance, 2016).
As far as assessments go, it will not be hard to figure out whether the actions and plans mentioned above are working. Arrests should go down, calls to 911 should go down, the streets should be cleaner, the walls should bear less graffiti and so on. With all of the measures, a combination of high-visibility and covert policing should be done to deter both the crime creators themselves as well as the “customers” that come to the area for prostitutes or drugs. Losing a car to seizure or having it publicly known that one is dabbling in street hookers is easily one way to get the attention of someone. For those that would complain that this is too punitive and that these crimes are victimless, the author of this report will simply say that they are wrong and they would know that if they had an active brain stem … of if they were a cop in any high-crime area (Martin, 2015).
ATF. (2016). Fact Sheet – National Tracing Center — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF.gov. Retrieved 1 May 2016, from https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/fact-sheet/fact-sheet-national-tracing-center
LaMance, K. (2016). What Is a Habitual Offender? — LegalMatch Law Library. Legalmatch.com.
Retrieved 1 May 2016, from http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/what-is-a-habitual-offender.html
Martin, K. (2015). Drug abuse is not a victimless crime — NewBostonPost. NewBostonPost.
Retrieved 1 May 2016, from http://newbostonpost.com/2015/11/03/drug-abuse-is-not-a-victimless-crime/
NCJRS. (2016). 7. Reducing the Supply of Illegal Drugs. Ncjrs.gov. Retrieved 1 May 2016, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/policy/99ndcs/iv-g.html
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