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May 13th - Lecture #3.doc

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Nicole Myers

May 13 th SOC219 Lecture #3 Policing Defining the Police and Policing - organization or function o police – organization, policing – function – other actors aside from actual police officers that conduct police like activity - function - legislation o rules officers are to comply with o enforcing levels of the criminal code o police services act – one can be in trouble without doing anything? o highway traffic act o control drugs and substances act - narcotics - organizations – police? o municipal/regional police o different levels of jurisdiction  ex. OPP – only has jurisdictions on the highway o hybrid type policing model  ex. UTM campus police – not attached to the municipality • restrictions on what they are able to do o centralized police – ex. central intelligence  policing on a national level o military police  if you are in the military, they have their own police force • ex. confined to their base o civil servants – expanding the definition of what is policing  ex. tax officials – level of policing o external police – no jurisdiction in Canada  ex. CIA Private Policing - bigger than public policing - hired by private organization - non-state police (private security) o different role  ex. private security post 9/11 – people at malls, gated communities, etc. o different concerns  protection of private property  may end up confronting or arresting citizens  more limited uses of force – no gun  would you regard the mall security officer the same way as a police officer?  how about how they are paid – not the same as public police  huge differential in terms of compensation • what does that mean in terms of execution of their duties • are they willing to do what they are told to (for their wage) • do they have any training o focus on prevention o different issues o hybrid examples: UTM police - not simply people identified as private security o may be integrated into institution o other functions - function of policing – can be accomplished in various ways - cost of policing is going up o if we are paying more, are we getting more than we used to get o where is the money going? - police strength (per 100k residents) o not about adding more officers because there are more people o more police officers per person in population – even though crime is going down Role of Ordinary Police - apprehending o find the person who committed the crime - information gatherers and providers o mediate disputes o connect people with resources - general deterrence function o having a police service in general (not physical entity in a situation) - law enforcement vs. order maintenance o enforcement being an ‘after the fact’ o order maintenance – preventative measure  ex. police at a concert - restoring order (outside of criminal law) o once things have gotten out of hand – re-establishing the peace Police and Crime, Ontario (2009) - crimes reported and number of persons charged has a huge variation – funnel - is the reported crime not serious enough to send through the system? Policing Function, Budgets - see Toronto Star – Toronto police budgets - 2013 budget – $927.8 million o in the context of safety, how do we say what to cut back - are the right questions being asked - what are the choices - how do we evaluate the police/need for police Would Increasing Police Budgets Reduce Crime? - U.S federal special funding of municipal police forces - goal of government: hire 100,000 more police officers - challenge to identify possible effects: control for other factors - funding varied across locations - no consistent effects – equally likely more/less crime – after controlling for annual fiscal expenditures and other factors o just because there are more officers doesn’t mean they are being used effectively o what if they are hired to do other things o in our evaluation of police generally, is crime reduction an appropriate measure for their effectiveness o foolish to believe we will see a reduction in crime - why would you expect a few additional police to make a difference? What Question Does a Study Like This Answer? - additional police officers does not make safer? - how were they deployed? - would you expect ‘overall’ effect of police strength? - note the problem of earlier trend data o increase in police officers since 1998 o decrease in crime since 1998 – but decrease started in 1991 o but – decrease in police officers (1991-91) and decrease in crime What about effects of police deployment on more ‘ordinary’ crime? - hot spots o in crime prone areas – bring in more police officers - seems to be an impact of the police as long they are physically or perceived to be there - issue of displacement – doesn’t displace in simple geographic way – ex. to neighbouring locations o when police arrive in hot spots – offenders move to other areas to avoid being caught - any deterrent effect – as a result of increase in perceived likelihood of apprehension – may last longer than the increased policing Presence (or presumed presence) of Police and Gun Violence - dealing with gun violence by general deterrence o work on certainty rather than severity  if you commit a crime, you will get caught o deter high risk people from carrying guns - Pittsburgh – increased police presence 20-50% in high risk areas during high crime periods (certain times/days) o traffic stops – stopped pedestrians who appeared to be of higher risks o number of comparisons – before the hot spot intervention and after – also between times of the day between high times of crime and low times of crime – and o measured assault related gun shot events - larger decreases in the densely-patrolled areas during times of high police concentration o worked during the time and in the places that the police were present Related Approaches – Use of Police Presence in High Crime Areas - typically, crackdowns happen in cities/locations with a spike in crime - ex. Kansas City, early 1990s o extra stops (cars and pedestrians) o publicity about crackdowns in the neighbourhood, hotlines o some possibility of limited effect – but may have been artefact o may have slight changes in crime rate – but so small that it could be a statistical anomaly - ex. Indianapolis o directed patrols in high crime areas o compared to controlled area – that was not as high o traffic and pedestrian stops of ‘suspicious’ people may have been effective o general increase in concentration of police did nothing - what we have to be concerned about is the statistical term called regression to the mean o things over time tend to average out o when you intervene in areas with high crime – possible that in the absence of an intervention, crime rate would have come down on its own o but we tend to intervene when crime rates are high – so is it our intervention that brought it down? o effect likely disappears when the crackdown is over  logical time to intervene – but problems arise when we don’t have an appropriate measure of comparison - conclusion: may get effects while program is in place, but note problem of evaluation – community with highest ‘spike’ in crime gets the program o certainly not large effects Highly Publicized (and Questionable Success) in Dealing with Gun Crime - problem of comparison groups - all happening during decline - Boston – Operation Ceasefire o telling youth firearm possession not tolerated o ‘questioning’, searching of youths o no impact compared to average of 95 other large cities - Richmond, Virginia – Project Exile o sits out as a city that has 7 times the gun rates than the cities that it is being compared to  would think it will fall more because it was higher up? o do they serve as an appropriate control Creating Order: The Search for the Silver Bullet: Broken Windows Policing and New York - theory: go after small things o ex. homelessness, prostitution, smoking marijuana, etc. o belief that if you clean this stuff up, the bigger crime will go away o presumption: if we increase social control and heighten the presence of good citizens on the street - employed in NYC – newspaper comes out saying “Crime is down in NYC: Blame the Police” – did various things simultaneously o said the murder rate decreased by 50% o but crime rate fell in the same manner everywhere else in the States – but NYC was the only place that employed the broken windows techniques o there was also a 60% increase in complaints about the police after broken windows Order Maintenance Policing, NYC - arrests for vagrancy, loitering, prostitution, littering, and other minor offences - look at concentration, in the city, of various kinds of enforcement – clean up – city ordinances and misdemeanours - then they look at the murder and robbery rates - during this time, order maintenance policing increased o areas with the most charges from areas with highest levels of disorder - estimate that OMP may have been responsible or about 4% of the decline in robbery rates and 10% in homicide rates Specific Example: Impact of “Smoking Marijuana in Public View” (MPV) Arrests on Violent Crime (NYC) - trying to see the relationship between arresting people from smoking weed and the violent crime rate - 1994-2000: increased MPV arrests from >2000 per year to >50,000 per year o in 2000, MPV = 15% of all arrests  the blunt end of these arrests felt by Black and Hispanics - looked at it precinct by precinct - simple analysis: appeared that the drop in violent crime rate was greater in areas in which MPV arrest was highest - problem: o locations that show the biggest drop in crime were those that showed the greatest increases in earlier years o those with the highest increase in violent crime rates in 1984-89 showed biggest decline thereafter o once again, reference to the regression of the mean - take into account violent crime rate - 50,000 arrests of MPV – is that the crime we care about? o is that an effective use of our policing resources? These “Successes”
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