• Center for Problem oriented policing

POP Center Tools Identifying and Defining Policing Problems Appendix B

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Appendix B: Problems Commonly Addressed by Police, by Behavioral Type and Environment

An alternative classification scheme is the one below in Table B1 developed by Eck and Clarke (2003), with the minor modification of adding cyberspace as a twelfth environment (which Eck and Clarke would deem a “systems” environment). This classification scheme emphasizes two of the four major policing problem patterns—the type of behavior and the type of environment (or place) implicated in the problem. By filling in Eck and Clarke’s two-dimensional scheme with the listing of problems from Appendix A, it becomes easier to see how specific problems are distributed across these 84 behavior-environment clusters. Acknowledging that the list of specific problems is probably not complete and that classifying problems by behavior type entails some judgment, one can readily see that some behavior-environment clusters contain many specific problems, others few, and yet others none. Some specific problems fit well within multiple clusters because they occur in multiple environments and/or they occur as a result of multiple behavioral motivations. 


Table B1. Behaviors and environments





Predatory (A)

Consensual (B)

Interpersonal Conflict (C)

Incivilities (D)

Endangerment (E)

Protest and Political Action (F)

Misuse of

Police (G)

Residential (1)









Recreational (2)









Offices (3)









Retail (4)









Industrial (5)









Agricultural (6)









Educational (7)









Human Service (8)









Public Ways (9)









Transport (10)










Transitional (11)








Cyberspace (12)








Cell 1A (Residential Predatory) = Abandoned children; Auto theft from driveways and garages; Burglary of residences, sheds and garages; Domestic violence; Elder abuse in the home (physical, emotional, financial); Exploitation of trafficked people for sex; Extortion; Failure to pay for hotel services; Fraudulent schemes; Hate crimes; Kidnapping for ransom; Kidnapping for sex slavery; Kidnapping of children by parents in custody disputes; Kidnapping of infants; Murder (domestic); Murder of serial victims in the home; Robbery by home invasion; Robbery of fraudulently-induced victims; Robbery of prostitution clients in hotels/motels; Sexual abuse of children in the home; Sexual abuse of developmentally disabled people in the home; Sexual assault by acquaintances; Sexual assault by strangers in the home; Theft from autos in driveways; Theft from hotel/motel rooms; Theft from laundry/vending machines in multi-family dwellings; Theft from yards; Theft of mail; Theft of scrap metal from homes; Theft of utilities (water, gas, electricity, cable TV)

Cell 2A (Recreational Predatory) = Assaults in and around bars; Gambling in parks; Theft of art and artifacts from museums; Theft of metal urns from cemeteries; Vandalism in cemeteries; Vandalism in parks

Cell 3A (Offices Predatory) = Assaults in workplaces; Burglary of offices; Currency counterfeiting; Embezzlement; Extortion; Forgery; Fraudulent creation and use of documents; Fraudulent mortgages; Fraudulent receipt or use of government benefits; Hostage taking; Mass shootings; Prescription-drug fraud

Cell 4A (Retail Predatory) = Auto theft from car dealerships and rental agencies; Burglary of retail establishments; Embezzlement; Extortion; Forgery; Failure to pay for food; Fencing stolen property in pawn shops; Food and drug contamination (intentional); Fraudulent return of retail merchandise; Fraudulent use of checks and credit cards in retail establishments; Fraudulent use of government benefits (food stamps); Hostage taking during robberies; Issuance of worthless checks; Mass shootings; Passing counterfeit money; Robbery at automated teller machines; Robbery of banks; Robbery of convenience stores/service stations/fast-food restaurants; Robbery of pharmacies; Theft from retail establishments by customers (shoplifting); Theft from retail establishments by employees;
Theft from laundry/vending machines in retail establishments; Theft of customers’ personal property from cafés and bars; Theft of food grease for sale as biofuel; Theft of gasoline by drive-off; Theft/burglary of human hair (for wigs) from beauty parlors; Theft of purses and bags

Cell 5A (Industrial Predatory) = Auto theft for export through seaports; Burglary of warehouses, factories and storage facilities; Exploitation of trafficked people for labor; Mass shootings; Theft of scrap metal from industrial businesses

Cell 6A (Agricultural Predatory) = Theft of livestock; Theft of chemicals (for use in clandestine drug labs); Theft of rare/valuable plants (e.g., ginseng)

Cell 7A (Educational Predatory) = Assaults in schools; Bullying in schools; Burglary of schools; Mass shootings; Robbery of schoolchildren; Theft of computers from libraries; Theft of library books; Vandalism of schools

Cell 8A (Human Service Predatory) = Abuse and neglect of group home residents; Assaults of staff in group homes; Child neglect and abuse in childcare facilities; Elder abuse (physical, emotional, financial) in care facilities; Juvenile runaways from group homes; Kidnapping of infants from hospitals, daycare facilities; Sexual abuse of children in care facilities; Sexual abuse of developmentally disabled people in care facilities

Cell 9A (Public Ways Predatory) = Assaults in and around bars; Assaults of strangers (flash mobs); Auto theft from parking facilities; Auto theft from streets; Auto theft for export across land borders; Carjacking; Drive-by shootings; Hate crimes; Hijacking delivery trucks; Impersonating police officers; Murder of public figures (assassination); Purse snatching; Robbery at automated teller machines; Robbery of prostitution clients on streets and in vehicles; Robbery of delivery people; Robbery of drug dealers/buyers; Robbery of taxicab drivers; Robbery on streets (including of tourists); Sexual assault by illegal touching/groping; Sexual assault by strangers in public places; Terrorist attacks in
public places; Theft from autos on streets and in parking facilities; Theft from people (pickpocketing); Theft of auto parts; Theft of bicycles

Cell 10A (Transport Predatory) = Assault of transportation-system passengers and staff; Child abandonment in hot vehicles; Fare beating; Robbery of taxicab drivers; Theft from people (pickpocketing) on trains and buses; Theft of cargo from trains, trucks, ships, and shipping containers; Theft of metal from railroad lines; Vandalism of transportation vehicles, routes, and stations

Cell 11A (Open/Transitional Predatory) = Theft of livestock; Murder of serial victims in public places; Theft from construction sites; ; Victimization of transient people

Cell 12A (Cyberspace Predatory) = Child pornography on the Internet; Cyberstalking; Computer hacking; Credit card fraud on the Internet; Fraudulent schemes (telemarketing); Fraudulent use of another’s identity on the Internet; Fraudulent use of long distance calling cards/numbers; Trafficking in human body parts

Cell 1B (Residential Consensual) = Drug trafficking in private houses, multi-family dwellings, and hotels/motels; Fencing stolen property; Marijuana cultivation in residences; Prostitution in hotels/motels and private residences (escort services); Prostitution via organized child sex rings

Cell 2B (Recreational Consensual) = Sexual activity in public parks; Ticket scalping

Cell 3B (Offices Consensual) = Corruption of public officials; Insurance fraud

Cell 4B (Retail Consensual) = Fencing stolen property

Cell 5B (Industrial Consensual) = Prostitution in industrial areas

Cell 6B (Agricultural Consensual) = (None)

Cell 7B (Educational Consensual) = Drug trafficking in and around schools

Cell 8B (Human Service Consensual) = (None)

Cell 9B (Public Ways Consensual) = Drug trafficking via vehicles; Open-air drug trafficking; Prostitution on streets and in alleys; Illegal vehicle towing operations 

Cell 10B (Transport Consensual) = (None)

Cell 11B (Open/Transitional Consensual) = Drug trafficking across borders; Marijuana cultivation in open fields and forests; Sexual activity in public places

Cell 12B (Cyberspace Consensual) = Prostitution on the Internet; Drug trafficking via cell phones

Cell 1C (Residential Interpersonal Conflict) = Child custody disputes; Domestic disputes; Landlord-tenant disputes; Neighbor disputes; Unauthorized parking on private property 

Cell 2C (Recreational Interpersonal Conflict) = Crowd disorder at festivals or sporting events

Cell 3C (Offices Interpersonal Conflict) = Labor-management disputes

Cell 4C (Retail Interpersonal Conflict) = (None)

Cell 5C (Industrial Interpersonal Conflict) = Labor-management disputes

Cell 6C (Agricultural Interpersonal Conflict) = (None)

Cell 7C (Educational Interpersonal Conflict) = Fighting in schools (mutual combat)

Cell 8C (Human Service Interpersonal Conflict) = Child custody disputes in social service offices; Fighting in hospital waiting rooms (mutual combat) 

Cell 9C (Public Ways Interpersonal Conflict) = Aggressive driving; Illegal parking in handicapped spaces; Traffic congestion around schools; Traffic congestion at emergency rescue sites; Traffic congestion on roads at rush hour; Unauthorized parking on private property 

Cell 10C (Transport Interpersonal Conflict) = (None)

Cell 11C (Open/Transitional Interpersonal Conflict) = (None)

Cell 12C (Cyberspace Interpersonal Conflict) = Bullying on the Internet

Cell 1D (Residential Incivilities) = House parties; Drug houses/shooting galleries; Noise from animals (e.g., barking dogs); Obscene phone calls; Window peeping

Cell 2D (Recreational Incivilities) = Disorderly youth in parks; Drunken and disorderly conduct around bars; Noise from nightclubs; Sex with corpses in cemeteries

Cell 3D (Offices Incivilities) = (None)

Cell 4D (Retail Incivilities) = Disorderly youth in shopping malls

Cell 5D (Industrial Incivilities) = Noise from industrial activity; Offensive odors

Cell 6D (Agricultural Incivilities) = Offensive odors

Cell 7D (Educational Incivilities) = Disorderly conduct in public libraries; Indecent exposure by males in public libraries 

Cell 8D (Human Service Incivilities) = (None)

Cell 9D (Public Ways Incivilities) = Chronic public inebriation; Cruising; Disorder at day laborer sites; Disorderly youth in public places; Graffiti; Illegal street vending; Indecent exposure by males and females; Loitering in public places; Noise from car stereos; Noise from vehicle alarms; Noise from motor vehicles; Noise from people in entertainment districts; Panhandling; Public bathing, urinating, and defecating

Cell 10D (Transport Incivilities) = Disorderly conduct on transportation vehicles and stations; Graffiti on transportation vehicles (buses, trains); Panhandling in and around transport stations

Cell 11D (Open/Transitional Incivilities) = Animal waste; Chronic public inebriation; Trash scavenging

Cell 12D (Cyberspace Incivilities) = (None)

Cell 1E (Residential Endangerment) = Accidental shootings in the home; Animal bites in the home; Animal cruelty; Arson to conceal evidence of murder in homes; Child fatalities: shaken baby deaths, Munchhausen by proxy syndrome, and sleeping rollover deaths; Child neglect and abuse in the home; Clandestine drug labs; Endangerment by alcohol/drug intoxication in private residences; Endangerment by medical condition; Exposure of children to hazardous materials; Juvenile runaways; Missing people; Prescription-drug abuse; Sexual relations by an adult with a minor in the home or a hotel/motel; Stalking people at their home; Suicide attempts in residences; Underage drinking;
Witness intimidation

Cell 2E (Recreational Endangerment) = Animal bites at parks; Animals endangering humans at zoos; Crowd disorder at sporting and entertainment events; Endangerment by alcohol/drug intoxication in bars; Mass evacuation of civilians from stadiums during emergencies; Underage drinking in bars; Underage drinking in parks

Cell 3E (Offices Endangerment) = Arson for profit; Bombs and bomb threats; Hazardous materials scares (e.g., Anthrax)

Cell 4E (Retail Endangerment) = Arson for profit; Weapons trafficking (illegal)

Cell 5E (Industrial Endangerment) = Abandoned/derelict/unsafe buildings; Arson for profit

Cell 6E (Agricultural Endangerment) = Animals endangering humans on farms; Animal cruelty; Animal endangerment; Sex with animals

Cell 7E (Educational Endangerment) = Arson by juveniles for thrills (juvenile fire-setting); Bombs and bomb threats; Endangerment by alcohol/drug intoxication on college campuses; Hazardous materials scares in schools (e.g., Anthrax); Weapons in schools

Cell 8E (Human Service Endangerment) = Assaults on staff in probation offices; Child neglect and abuse in correctional facilities, churches, youth organizations, and group homes; Juvenile runaways; Missing people: Walkaways from healthcare and assisted living facilities

Cell 9E (Public Ways Endangerment) = Abandoned/derelict vehicles; Aggressive/reckless bicycling/skateboarding; Animal bites on sidewalks; Arson to conceal evidence of murder in vehicles; Auto theft for thrills or temporary transportation (joyriding); Chronic public inebriation; Crowd disorder at political demonstrations; Crowd disorder at student parties; Dignitary and celebrity protection; Drive-by shootings; Drunken-, drug-, age-, and sleep-impaired driving; Endangerment by alcohol/drug intoxication; Endangerment by medical condition; Hazardous loads spilling on roadway; Hazardous materials (including broken glass, syringes); Hazardous parking; Inattentive driving; Juvenile runaways; Mass evacuation of citizens during emergencies; Pedestrian injuries/fatalities; Protection of
controversial speakers; Speeding in residential areas, school zones, and highways; Stalking people in public places; Street racing; Suicide by motor vehicle; Toy guns; Traffic crashes in which drivers flee the scene (hit-and-run crashes); Traffic crashes (with other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, fixed objects, or animals); Traffic signal violations (e.g., running red lights and stop signs)

Cell 10E (Transport Endangerment) = Bombs and bomb threats; Child fatalities: abandonment in hot vehicles; Hazardous materials scares (e.g., Anthrax); Pushing people into paths of trains; Traffic crashes with trains; Train derailments; Unlicensed driving; Vehicle lockouts

Cell 11E (Open/Transitional Endangerment) = Abandoned/derelict/unsafe buildings; Accidental injury of transient people; Accidental drowning; Accidental shootings while hunting; Aggressive/reckless boating; Animal cruelty; Animal bites; Animals endangering humans; Animal endangerment; Arson by juveniles for thrills (juvenile fire-setting); Clandestine drug labs; Juvenile runaways; Hazardous and illegal waste dumping; Shooting firearms in celebration; Target shooting near occupied dwellings; Transient encampments; Underage drinking

Cell 12E (Cyberspace Endangerment) = Child pornography; Sexual relations by an adult with a minor; Weapons trafficking (illegal); Witness intimidation on the Internet

Cell 1F (Residential Protest and Political Action) = (None)

Cell 2F (Recreational Protest and Political Action) = (None)

Cell 3F (Offices Protest and Political Action) = Crowd disorder during political demonstrations

Cell 4F (Retail Protest and Political Action) = Crowd disorder during labor-management conflicts/consumer boycotts

Cell 5F (Industrial Protest and Political Action) = Crowd disorder during labor-management conflicts 

Cell 6F (Agricultural Protest and Political Action) = (None)

Cell 7F (Educational Protest and Political Action) = Crowd disorder during political demonstrations on campuses

Cell 8F (Human Service Protest and Political Action) = Crowd disorder during political demonstrations at abortion clinics

Cell 9F (Public Ways Protest and Political Action) = Crowd disorder during political demonstrations on streets and sidewalks 

Cell 10F (Transport Protest and Political Action) = (None)

Cell 11F (Open/Transitional Protest and Political Action) = Crowd disorder during political demonstrations in forests and woodlands 

Cell 12F (Cyberspace Protest and Political Action) = (None)

Cell 1G (Residential Misuse of Police) = False intrusion alarms at houses; False reporting of crime; Misuse and abuse of 911 

Cell 2G (Recreational Misuse of Police) = (None)

Cell 3G (Offices Misuse of Police) = Bomb threats; False intrusion alarms at office buildings; Fraudulent insurance claims; Hazardous materials scares (e.g., Anthrax)

Cell 4G (Retail Misuse of Police) = False intrusion alarms at retail establishments

Cell 5G (Industrial Misuse of Police) = False intrusion alarms at factories and warehouses

Cell 6G (Agricultural Misuse of Police) = (None)

Cell 7G (Educational Misuse of Police) = Bomb threats; False intrusion alarms at schools; Hazardous materials scares (e.g., Anthrax) 

Cell 8G (Human Service Misuse of Police) = (None)

Cell 9G (Public Ways Misuse of Police) = False vehicle intrusion alarms

Cell 10G (Transport Misuse of Police) = (None)

Cell 11G (Open/Transitional Misuse of Police) = (None)

Cell 12G (Cyberspace Misuse of Police) = (None)

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