Archive for the ‘World Policing’ Category

Familial & moderate stringency DNA

August 13, 2019

This RAND report explains the increasing use of familial DNA in cases that lack an exact DNA match, as well as “moderate stringency” DNA searches designed to yield investigative leads. The report discusses legal, ethical, and practical issues and describes different approaches taken in California, Texas, and in the UK.


2019 POP Conference agenda

July 25, 2019

The 2019 POP Conference will be held November 11-13 in Santa Cruz, California. The preliminary agenda and registration information are here. The 5 finalist agencies for the Herman Goldstein award will present their problem-oriented policing initiatives and there will be 18 other sessions, some repeated twice. The range of topics includes domestic violence, opioids, chronic nuisances, auto burglaries, reducing alcohol-related harm, and much more, including introductions to POP, problem analysis, and situational crime prevention.

Plight of Turkish National Police who studied in U.S.

July 23, 2019

This open letter from 50 university professors, published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, laments the plight of over 400 Turkish National Police leaders who pursued graduate studies in the U.S. between 1999 and 2014. They have since been fired and many have been prosecuted and imprisoned. Turkey’s president claims they were allied with the alleged 2016 coup attempt, but they say they have been punished because high-level corruption investigations reached into the president’s administration, and for having studied in the U.S.

Yes ma’am

June 17, 2019

Hong Kong experienced mass protests last week, resulting in riot police deployment and extensive use of tear gas. When an estimated 2 million people returned to the streets on Sunday, however, they were met by “lightly-armed officers, many of them in baseball caps or in plain clothes” including “a marked increase in the presence of female cops,” as reported here. The switch in tactics seemed to be “an acknowledgement from the police that they had been overly aggressive and sparked public fury over what was deemed a heavy-handed and an excessive use of force.”

Peer effects

June 4, 2019

Reassigning officers due to misconduct tends to have a detrimental effect on co-workers in the new unit, according to a UK study summarized here. The researchers calculated that “For every 10 percent increase in the proportion of a police officer’s peers with a history of misconduct (for instance, adding one allegedly misbehaving member to a group of 10), that officer’s chances of engaging in misdeeds in the next three months rose by nearly 8 percent.” Effects go both ways, though — “when the number of deviant officers in a cohort went down, so did the chances of its remaining members engaging in misconduct.”

EBP in New Zealand

April 29, 2019

This article profiles the work of the Evidence-Based Policing team in the New Zealand Police. The unit is staffed with researchers, data scientists, and design experts and has university and private sector partners. The plan is to conduct short- and long-term field experiments in order to develop key information related to police effectiveness, since “We are sending people out into our communities every day. We need confidence the work they are doing actually works.”

Growing threat of right-wing extremist violence

March 20, 2019

The mosque massacre in New Zealand has focused attention on right-wing and white-nationalist violence, as reported here. Last year in the U.S., 49 of 50 extremist-related killings were tied to far-right perpetrators, and the EU saw a doubling in 2017 of arrests for right-wing extremist offenses. Hate crimes in U.S. cities have increased in each of the last 5 years. One expert observes “white nationalism has emerged into a coalesced and growing socio-political force, with tentacles that extend into the mainstream. That’s something many other extremist movements do not have.”

Details on NZ apprehension

March 18, 2019

This article provides information on the apprehension of the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque attacker. Two officers from an outlying area, who happened to be in the city for a training session, went operational, spotted the fleeing vehicle, made the decision to ram it, and took the shooter into custody. The officers have not been identified by name, but have been praised by the police commissioner and others. Their sergeant commented, “I was surprised how calm and collected they were.”

Effectiveness of stop & frisk

March 14, 2019

Over-reliance on stop & frisk in some U.S. cities has been criticized in recent years, while “stop & search” is currently hotly debated in the U.K. as a response to increased violence, especially knife crime. This new paper summarizes existing evidence on whether these practices reduce crime and adds analysis of police and crime data from London. The evidence indicates a marginal effect when stop & search is applied in conjunction with targeted “hot spots” interventions, but little if any impact when it is implemented more widely. Also noted is huge variation in usage of the practice between otherwise comparable forces, suggesting that politics and police culture are driving strategy more than scientific evidence.

Elder fraud

March 8, 2019

U.S. authorities announced a year-long “largest-ever” elder fraud crackdown resulting in criminal and civil charges against 260 defendants for defrauding more than 2 million victims out of $750 million, as reported here. The total annual loss to elder Americans is estimated at $3 billion. The investigation was aided by Europol and police in several individual countries, with “alleged fraudsters charged criminally and extradited from Canada, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Poland.” An additional 600 U.S.-based “money mules” who helped transfer funds were identified, most receiving warning letters rather than charges because they didn’t realize they were facilitating scams.