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The information provided above is only a generalized description of the problem of crimes against tourists. You must combine the basic facts with a more specific understanding of your local problem. Analyzing the local problem will help you design a more effective response strategy.
Your agency's capacity to identify tourist-related incidents in its records management system is a major factor in being able to ask the right questions and develop proper responses. It would be helpful if a standard, international definition specified who a tourist is, what constitutes a crime against a tourist, and how tourist crime records should be kept.16 Then police departments in tourist areas could record and analyze tourist crimes separately, and thus better understand victimization patterns.17 You should review your agency's records management system to ensure there are uniform methods for reporting and classifying tourist crimes.18
Many tourist areas closely guard tourist crime data.19 To get an accurate picture of the problem, you may need to (1) thoroughly review offense reports to identify tourist-related crimes (computer-aided dispatching systems may be coded to tabulate such crimes); (2) conduct tourist surveys (e.g., through the local police, Chamber of Commerce, or hotels/motels) to determine the actual number of offenses; or (3) encourage businesses—including hotels and motels—to report crimes or other problems concerning tourists to the police.†
† See Disorder at Budget Motels in this series, for a discussion regarding motel reporting practices. [Full text]The following are some critical questions you should ask in analyzing your particular tourist crime problem, even if the answers are not always readily available. Your answers to these and other questions will help you choose the most appropriate set of responses later on.
Measurement allows you to determine to what degree your efforts have succeeded, and suggests how you might modify your responses if they are not producing the intended results. You should take measures of your problem before you implement responses, to determine how serious the problem is, and after you implement them, to determine whether they have been effective. Measurement will likely involve both quantitative (statistical) and qualitative (anecdotal) information. (For more detailed guidance on measuring effectiveness, see the companion guide to this series, Assessing Responses to Problems.)The following are potentially useful measures of the effectiveness of responses to tourist crimes:
You should be alert to the possibility that your responses to tourist crime might displace it, either geographically, to other types of crime, or to non-tourist victims. You should also be aware that your responses to tourist crime might reduce non-tourist-related crime, as well.
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