Crime Prevention Works When There is a Security Plan.
“If we can get people to make that commitment, to prevent crime, we can give them the tools they need to do it. Ideally, we should all be working together in partnership with that same goal.”
- Our guest, internationally known crime prevention expert Tim Zehring knows that crime prevention works best with a plan.
- If you’re interested in the field of crime prevention you simply must listen to this episode.
Crime Prevention Works
- Crime prevention is similar to fire science
- Elements necessary to commit a crime
- Bad Seed Theory
- Motivation versus consequences
- It’s everyone’s job to prevent crime
- Business crime prevention
- Criminal deterrence
- Why criminals are like big heavy rocks and some are like weeds
- Proactive versus reactive law enforcement
- Why property owners have more power than the police
- Why a public-private partnership works best
- Misconceptions about the job of law enforcement
- Crime prevention works
- Crime Free programs
People feel that that the government should be responsible for our crime problems…but “we are the government, we are the people…the police are the public and the public are the police. The police are only members of the public that are paid to give full-time attention to duties that are incumbent on every citizen in the interest of community welfare and existence” – Sir Robert Peel — 1829
Crime is Frustrating
- Crime victims are often frustrated because they believe that as taxpayers the laws of society, the police, or property managers should protect them from criminal acts of others.
- The police are frustrated because after they arrest the perpetrators, witnesses won’t always testify; the courts won’t always prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law, or convicted felons are released early from incarceration.
- The courts and prosecutors are frustrated when the law favors the rights of criminals over victims; the police don’t provide the proper evidence necessary for conviction; witnesses become uncooperative and unwilling to testify.
- Property owners and business operators are frustrated because they believe individuals don’t do enough to protect themselves from harmful situations; some victims fail to control their risky behavior while using their property and then decide to sue when injured.
Clearly, every person and every relevant public agency has a role to play. Crime prevention works. Ideally, we should be working together in partnership with the same goal.
From all perspectives, there is a need for consistent information exchange to improve understanding of this public and private partnership. It this way we can improve and promote the shared responsibility for a unified crime prevention effort.
Crime Prevention Defined
Most criminologists generally define crime prevention as the anticipation, recognition, and assessment of crime risk, and the development of a plan to reduce or eliminate those risks.
This axiom is well-known to crime prevention professionals but is easier to say than it is to accomplish if working without a well-articulated and defined plan. Crime prevention is only a well-intended theory until an assessment is made and the security plan of action is implemented.
Arrest & Incarceration Model
The arrest and incarceration model of crime prevention will temporarily prevent crime by separating perpetrators from society. The crime rate just transfers to our jails and prisons where many will refine their methods of operation.
Ask any professional crime analyst…how is arresting and incarcerating criminals working for us as a national crime prevention strategy?
There needs to be a better relationship and understanding between the duties and responsibilities of the public law enforcement agency and the private property owner and manager when forming a partnership to prevent crime.
Each entity has its strengths that can be applied to the task of making places safe.
Crime Free Programs
Tim Zehring has agreed to return to discuss the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program in detail and describe the success enjoyed by those implemented that program.
About our Guest Tim Zehring
Tim Zehring retired from Mesa, Arizona Police Department after 22 years of service working in many aspects of the police department, but mainly in crime prevention. He ran the Crime Prevention Unit from 1986-1996. Then he became supervisor of the unit and the detectives from 1996-2008 when he finally retired.
Tim Zehring created the Crime Free Multi-housing Program in 1992. This ground-breaking program was the foundation of the Crime Free Association that Tim organized in 1996. It was later named the International Crime Free Association. He was the original executive director of this association until 2009.
Tim also developed other Crime Free programs designed to address the specific crime problems at condominiums, hotels, mini-storage, mobile-housing, RV parks, and retail business.
After 29 years of working in crime prevention, Tim continues to be generous with his time teaching the Crime Free programs to law enforcement agencies around North America. He also works as a crime prevention expert witness in litigation cases.
Resource Links Mentioned During this Episode:
- International Crime Free Association
- Sir Robert Peel’s quote
- Code of Hammurabi
- Crime-Expert.com – Tim Zehring Website
Learn More about Premises Liability Litigation
Download the book written by Crime School host Chris McGoey.
- Security Expert’s Guide to Premises Liability Litigation.
- Evaluating Crime Foreseeability and Inadequate Security Cases.