When a police department has a neighbourhood that is faced with a rash of break-ins, robberies and burglaries, it frequently needs to put together an action approach to deal with the problem and snuff it out. Standard models exist that are used internationally, since the methodologies are often the same among law enforcement agencies.
Nothing effects a change in a community more than having an action plan that includes officers on the street and visibly being seen. Presence has an enormous positive effect for the success of an action plan as criminals tend to avoid patrolled areas, citizens come out of the woodwork and offer information, and police officers get a better understanding of the neighbourhoods they protect.
Crimes are solved and deterred with information. Many burglars follow patterns that are given away by information that can be collected and analysed. Law enforcement agencies that are extremely effective have mastered a fully coordinated system of data gathering and collection. Whether it's through observation, interrogations, advice, tips or research, police departments that fully utilise information management systems do so by looking for patterns and groupings of data to catch criminals, particularly burglars. Technology can speed up this process when the information management architecture (record-keeping) is designed and maintained correctly.
Law enforcement agencies that want to maintain the viability of their information systems to stop burglaries make sure that internal policies reinforce use of the agency's systems and protocols. This ensures that the information recorded is updated regularly, not compromised and remains useful.
As an external approach within the community, police action plans frequently include proactive training of citizens. Many times, plans will have a public information officer go out to community meetings and update citizens on characters of interest, patterns, what to look for, how to prevent being a burglary victim, and how to report suspicious behaviour quickly.
Law enforcement agencies also benefit in their plan by having some kind of feedback and performance evaluation. Agency management should combine feedback from the community and officer evaluations to determine if the current action plan is working or needs changes or improvements. No plan is so perfect that it can't change with the times. Burglars are constantly looking for new ways to achieve their criminal ends, so police action plans need to keep up to remain effective.
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