Best Practice Policy - Refining preventative patrolling

Essay by simple22University, Bachelor'sC+, April 2005

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The police force constitutes a very influential and active part of the criminal justice system and altogether social cohesion. In any common law country, police stand as the most visible and critically viewed component of the criminal justice system. It is paramount that the Australian police force adopts and maintains police management policies, review them on an annual basis, and apply the correct modifications to ensure optimum productivity and efficiency.

Australia shows an outdated loyalty to traditional reactive police strategies. The "Rapid Response" strategy rests on the idea that the shorter the police travel time from dispatch to arrival, the less crime there will be. Rapid Response has become the backbone of Australia's policing policies, budgets and organisational structure for many years. This response policy justified the hiring of more police officers, the purchasing of more patrol cars and the upgrading of police technologies. However, research shows that reducing response times does not increase the probability of arrest and certainly does not reduce the crime problem itself.

Research in the United States has found that cutting police travel time from five minutes to two point five minutes would require a doubling of the police officers. Also, a reduction in response time would have almost no impact on the odds of making an arrest; because typically citizens fail to report crimes immediately. (Mazerolle & Roehl, 1998)

For the vast majority of calls it is irrelevant if the police respond within five minutes, twenty minutes or even an hour. What does matter is that the police reserve Rapid Response to those very few calls that really require an urgent response, and that call takers explain to citizens when they should expect the police to arrive. Another example of a traditional policing strategy that does not reduce crime is "Random Preventative Patrolling". Preventative...