Crime often concentrates in very specific locations (i.e., addresses and blocks), and these concentrations are often stable over long periods of time. Officers can develop more effective responses to these chronic problem places by creating a “case” on a place (just as a detective might open a case file investigating a crime), by collecting “evidence” through the identification of crime trends and problems, actors, social and physical features, and other aspects of places which facilitate the persistent crime problems.
The “case of place” template is a freely available case folder template to create an investigative case file on a place. This tool provides guidance on collecting and using police data, observations, and other community information to analyze crime problems at hot spots to develop responses. This involves analyses of:
- A location’s crime patterns and trends;
- Specific persons or groups who are linked to crime problems at the location, particularly as repeat offenders or victims;
- Specific problem addresses that are the subject of repeat calls for service;
- Businesses (such as convenience stores and bars) and environmental conditions (such as poorly lit areas and abandoned buildings or vehicles) that may cause, facilitate, or attract crime;
- The presence of guardians (examples are provided in “Partnerships for Prevention” – see Organizational Strategies within the App) that might assist law enforcement in their efforts to deter offending and address problems.