LP Magazine

MAR-APR 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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40 MARCH–APRIL 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM by Read Hayes, PhD, CPP Dr. Hayes is director of the Loss Prevention Research Council and coordinator of the Loss Prevention Research Team at the University of Florida. He can be reached at 321-303-6193 or via email at rhayes@lpresearch.org. © 2019 Loss Prevention Research Council Crime-Place Networks C rime doesn't just happen; it happens at a place. And as we've discussed, that place, and surrounding places, help explain why the crime occurred. Criminologists have long demonstrated the incredible link between place and crime. David Weisburd, PhD, and others even refer to the "law of crime concentration" since address clusters or crime hot spots can stably account for a large percentage of crime and disorder problems in a given city. Our job is not only to identify these hot places but also to understand what is going on there, and close by there, that explains persistent problems. These dynamics are creating and facilitating more problem people and activities at this place than most others. And these identified dynamics should be addressed. Further, crime and place dynamics can enable better public-private enforcement and prevention partnerships since they provide definable locations and root causes for protective action. Many law enforcement agencies use crime mapping to locate calls for service clusters. Crime analysis maps display specific crime event addresses, but Tamara Herold, PhD, and John Eck, PhD, describe the reality of crime-place networks. Crime places aren't usually just one spot. They're connected places that facilitate criminal activity. These interrelated places include critical criminal infrastructure that needs to be discovered and linked via further investigation. And this framework should help organized retail crime investigators and local and store-level LP investigators better define and address problems. Crime-place networks can include four types of places: 1. Crime sites—specific places where crime occurs (think theft, fraud, violence) 2. Convergent settings—public places where offenders routinely meet (house, bar, and so forth) 3. Comfort spaces—private meeting, staging, and supplying locations 4. Corrupting spots—places that encourage criminal activity in other locations (bar, drug spot) An example of a crime-place network might be a retail strip center that facilitates public gathering in a nearby bar and next to a large apartment complex. Each of these sites provides a higher-risk area by providing desirable human and goods targets, meeting and storage spots, as well as a corrupting influence like the tavern that helped criminals meet each other, get drunk, and help launder money. Risk-Terrain Modeling We know landscape features of a specific place and close-by places and spaces can influence and enable behavior. An example might be a store across from a dimly lighted convenience store, a check-cashing business, and a laundromat that all draw people and provide loitering spots. These environmental features can generate potential people and place-crime victims, draw predatory offenders, and provide them ways to congregate, blend in, and victimize place users and our store. Leslie Kennedy, Joel Caplan, Eric Piza, Grant Drawve, and others from the Rutgers Center on Public Security (RCPS) have developed a risk-terrain modeling (RTM) framework and even special mapping software to study and affect crime-generating places. This process helps identify the matrix of risky places for situational understanding. EVIDENCE-BASED LP Organization of Violent Place Networks Crime Places (Madenson & Eck, 2013) Proximal Places (places that influence each other through close spatial proximity) Proprietary Places (single address) Proprietary—micro-places where crime occurs Convergent Settings—routine public meeting places (Felson 2003) Comfort Spaces—offender created private staging and lounging locations (Hammer 2011) Meeting Supplying Staging Corrupting Spaces — crime places that create crime at other places (Madenson & Eck, 2013) Pooled Places (large aggregate areas, e.g., neighborhoods)

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