Archive for the ‘World Policing’ Category

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.”

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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.

Terrorism at lowest level since 2002

February 28, 2019

Global terrorism has been decreasing steadily since 2002. The number of terror attacks decreased 19.8% in 2017, following drops of 9.2% and 11.5% in the preceding two years, according to this article. Terrorism-related deaths declined 24.2% in 2017 following drops of 10.% and 12.7% in preceding years. In 2017, two of the safest regions were Western Europe and the U.S., accounting for 2.7% and about 1% of global attacks, respectively. India, the Philippines, and Nepal are countries that did see an increase in attacks in 2017.

Combating Facebook hate

February 13, 2019

Facebook’s news feed is often used to disseminate rumors, hate, and fake news. Police in Germany have learned that “Facebook is not just like a pinboard where people hang things and others read them. Facebook, with its algorithm, influences people.” This article describes how one police unit chases down the sources of inflammatory rumors, online and in-person, and often gets them to retract or correct their posts. Their aim is to “eradicate the rumor online and off, taking it as seriously as a pandemic or a new street drug.”

U.S. 35th on global law & order index

January 24, 2019

Gallup’s latest law & order index, based on 148,000 surveys in 142 countries in 2017, is available here. The U.S. ranked 35th overall, well behind its neighbor Canada but far ahead of Mexico, which was 7th from the bottom. Compared to other regions, U.S./Canada scored highest for confidence in police (82%), almost double the level in Latin America and the Caribbean (42%). Only 72% of Americans felt safe walking alone in their area at night, compared to 80%+ in many Western European countries and 94% in Singapore.

Investigating homicides in the UK

January 23, 2019

This article chronicles a week in the life of a detective chief inspector in London who commands one of 18 major investigation teams in the Metropolitan Police. His team has 27 members and is currently responsible for 13 active cases. The team was on-call during the week beginning December 4 and caught one new case involving a victim who died during a burglary. The article focuses on the decisions required of the detective commander, and reveals a level of resourcing in death investigations that probably far exceeds that found in most U.S. agencies.

Authentic inclusion

January 4, 2019

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police sponsors an annual Global Studies course for selected mid-career staff. The 2018 cohort was assigned the topic “Equity, Inclusion and Fundamental Respect in the Diverse Policing Organization.” Class members discuss their initial trepidation and what they learned from tough conversations among themselves, in their home agencies, and from visits with police in 17 other countries in this article and this report. They concluded that diversity is largely a reality in Canadian policing but authentic inclusion is much more challenging and difficult to achieve.

Shifting face of international terrorism

January 2, 2019

Counter-terrorism efforts directed mainly at ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Middle East will need to shift attention to Russian-speaking individuals and networks in the coming years, according to this article. Terror groups that previously resisted oppressive governments in their own countries are now focused on perceived international enemies. Attacks in Turkey, Sweden, and the U.S. over the past several years were committed by Uzbeks, and fighters from several former Soviet countries who joined ISIS in Syria have since slipped back into Europe and Central Asia.