2012 Goldstein Awards Winner & Finalists

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Winner! Strike Force Piccadilly - Police Initiatives to Investigate and Prevent ATM Physical Attacks

New South Wales Police Force (Australia)

Strike Force Piccadilly, a New South Wales Police initiative to address an upsurge in ram raids targeting automatic teller machines (ATMs) halfted a rise in ATM ram raids, reducing the number from 69 in the 12 months before the intervention to 19 in the final 12 months of the post-intervention period – a 72% reduction. For the same periods, successful raids were reduced from 30 down to two – a 93% reduction. The research indicated that the main influences on the decrease were (1) the creation of a police priority alarm response system, and (2) the installation of situational prevention measures, including special bollards. Success of the project is credited largely to a public-private partnership, involving primarily police and the retail and banking sectors.

Safe Street Teams Problem-Oriented Policing Initiative

Boston Police Department (Massachusetts, USA)

The Safe Street Teams (SSTs) problem-oriented policing initiative used crime mapping and spatial analysis to identify several persistent, small, geographic hot spots experiencing high levels of violence and public disorder, in many cases gang-related. The SSTs covered 13 distinct hot spots in 7 of the BPD’s 11 districts. SST officers interact with community members, respond to community concerns, and are highly visible in targeted violent crime hot spot locations, using alternative approaches to address crime problems. They develop partnerships with local businesses and community organizations, conduct outreach with high-risk youth, and provide referrals to services. The SST program generated a 17% reduction in violent crime in the treated hot spot areas relative to comparison hot spot areas, with no evidence of geographic displacement. 

Beach Boulevard Prostitution: Addressing Human Trafficking in Anaheim

Anaheim Police Department (California, USA)

Anaheim police began receiving increased complaints of prostitution on Beach Blvd. High traffic volume, cheap motels, off-street parking lots, and carports invited prostitution. Prostitutes occupied cheap rooms and there are numerous locations to discreetly meet customers. Analysis of prostitute interviews revealed many were victims of human trafficking. Police made a dramatic change of tactics, with a new goal to rescue and assist human trafficking victims and to make Beach Blvd. unwelcome for prostitution activity. Tactics included: uniformed officer deployment, Neighborhood Watch, motel manager education, undercover operations, community “Flashlight Walks,” arrests of pimps, victim advocacy and support for the prostitutes.Of the 29 human trafficking victims rescued by the Anaheim Vice Detail, 74% have remained free from subsequent arrest and only three are known to have returned to prostitution.

Accountability, Mentoring and Enforcement: Problem Solving in Public Housing

Providence Police Department (Rhode Island, USA)

The Providence Police Department (PPD), the Providence Housing Authority (PHA) and other partners addressed violent crime and gang activity in two public housing developments—Manton Heights and Hartford Park. Residents expressed concern that young people were aggressively recruited into gangs and pressured to engage in criminal activity. Traditional enforcement responses had proven ineffective in sustainably resolving the problems. The new response strategy encompassed enforcement, intervention and prevention. Enforcement strategies emphasized trespassing infractions to keep known gang members out of the properties, and to inform prosecutors and judges of the more serious context of misdemeanor charges against violators. Intervention and prevention strategies involved a host of programs for youth and parents, including many that afforded Manton and Hartford residents opportunities to get to know each other and PPD officers in safe and non-territorial settings. Analysis of crime data and PHA eviction data, along with ongoing interviews with residents, show that Manton and Hartford are now remarkably safer. Juvenile arrests for the post intervention period 2006-2001 dropped by 52% in Hartford Park and 81% in Manton Heights. signals of greater collective efficacy abound; and new cross-agency partnerships have withstood tests of time and resource constraints.

Repeat Victimisation - Road to Reduction, Disrupting the Optimal Forager: Predictive Mapping and Super Cocooning in Trafford

Greater Manchester Police (United Kingdom)

Trafford Basic Command Unit sought to address the problem of burglary to dwellings by tackling repeat victimisation. Initial scanning showed 61% of burglaries in the 12 months prior to implementation would have been within a predicted area. A response was developed which involved examining the propensity of offenders to return to a familiar area and the placement of a capable guardian in these areas at the right time in an attempt to disrupt the offending pattern of the ‘optimal forager’. During the first 12 months, there was a 26.6% reduction in dwelling burglaries compared to the 12 months prior to implementation. This was further enhanced by an effective systematic programme of cocooning and target hardening based burglary risk. Over two years, this intervention has assisted in the 38.2% reduction in dwelling burglaries. 

School Violence Initiative

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Nevada, USA)

A drive-by shooting of a high school freshman in February 2008 sparked community outrage and calls for action address shootings in and around schools. An evaluation of existing police tactics found that critical information was being mismanaged in three significant areas: misplaced resources (school shootings were not strictly a gang issue); information silos (sharing information was not standard practice); and lack of coordination and accountability (primarily among four police agencies). After improving these major weaknesses by March 2008, no school shootings occurred despite school enrollment increases. There was no evidence of spatial displacement and some evidence of a diffusion of benefits.