Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Summary of Responses

The table below summarizes the responses to crimes against tourists, the mechanism by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they ought to work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

General Considerations for an Effective Strategy
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If...Considerations
1Working with the tourism industry to identify and address crime-related concerns Increases the likelihood of tourist crime prevention by combining police and industry efforts…the police know and can inform others about good safety practices used locally and elsewhereShould promote good practice by police, tourism officials, and private business owners who cater to tourists; should not be limited to directing extra police patrols
2Training police and private security staff to recognize and address tourist-related safety concerns Enhances the ability of, and the confidence in, personnel to address the problemhigh-quality training programs are used, based on established, successful curriculaCosts to police agencies or local governments to develop/administer training
Specific Responses to Reduce Crimes Against Tourists
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If...Considerations
3Facilitating tourist victims' testimony in criminal cases Increases the likelihood of convicting offenders, and thus may deter potential offenderslegislation provides funding for victims' travel expenses, or for equipment for them to testify via teleconferencingIncreases costs to the local jurisdiction; may or may not result in conviction
4Imposing additional taxes in tourist areas to support special security measures Provides funding for enhanced security measures in tourist areaslocal government leaders and business owners are willing to pay the cost to improve the area and reduce tourist risksTaxpayers may be reluctant to pay extra taxes if they believe police should assume the sole responsibility for safeguarding tourists
5Encouraging hotels and motels to adopt practices that will reduce guest victimization Reduces opportunities for tourists to be victimized in the first instancehotels/motels have a strong motivation to prevent crimes, and use knowledgeable personnel to determine needs and to install equipmentImplementation costs can be high; hotel/motel managers may be reluctant to raise concerns among guests about the potential for crime victimization
6Offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who commit serious crimes against tourists Increases the likelihood of convicting offenders, and thus may deter potential offendersoffers of reward money are well publicized and sufficiently high to encourage those with information to come forwardCosts to fund the program (reward money, administrative costs, etc.)
7Educating tourists to reduce their risk of victimization Promotes safe practices among touriststourist information is available in different languagesCosts of producing and disseminating the information
8Increasing uniform patrols in tourist areas Potentially deters offenders, and increases the likelihood that tourist crimes will be interruptedofficers patrol high-risk locationsRequires a substantial commitment of personnel and other justice system resources
9Deploying citizen patrols to supplement police patrols Potentially deters offenders, and increases the likelihood that tourist crimes will be interruptedvolunteers are properly trained, have instant communication access to police, and are conspicuously dressedCosts of employing, training, and equipping citizen patrols
10Conducting surveillance at high-risk locations Enhances the ability of police to identify offenders, and potentially deters offenderscameras and/or officers surveil high-risk areasLabor-intensive and costly to conduct; electronic surveillance equipment must be vigilantly monitored
11Changing the physical environment to reduce opportunities for tourist crimes Increases the difficulty of committing offensesthe changes are tailored to the immediate environment's particular risksRequires a sophisticated understanding of the principles and methods of crime prevention through environmental design