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Some Place Problems are Just Freaking Obvious: A Problem-solving Approach to Controlling Crime at Walmart

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Abstract:

Considerable research, going back decades, has shown that the bulk of police work is handling minor crimes and disorder events. The application of crime analysis to improving the efficiency of policing these calls for service has been largely eclipsed by studies examining the handling of the fewer but more serious crimes. This has limited the utility of research findings to larger cities where part I crimes are of sufficient quantity to allow systematic enquiry. In this paper, we look at the efforts by a medium size police department, in Paducah Kentucky, to address larceny-theft from Walmart. We detail the work of the Paducah Police Department’s crime analyst applying the SARA process to take on shoplifting at two Walmart locations within the city. The PPD found that the policies of Walmart to handle shoplifting, like many retail stores, encourage reporting practices that reward loss prevention quotas, but waste public police resources. Using the crime analyst’s findings, the PPD worked with Walmart to alter reporting policies and procedures for theft under 500 dollars. This reduced larceny-theft reports and the City’s total crime counts in the concurrent year. We end with a discussion of the unique challenges and opportunities of analysts in small and mid-sized cities.
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Association:
Name: American Society of Criminology
URL:
http://www.asc41.com


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1278658_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Shafer, Jillian., Zidar, Michael. and Eck, John. "Some Place Problems are Just Freaking Obvious: A Problem-solving Approach to Controlling Crime at Walmart" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, <Not Available>. 2018-06-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1278658_index.html>

APA Citation:

Shafer, J. , Zidar, M. and Eck, J. "Some Place Problems are Just Freaking Obvious: A Problem-solving Approach to Controlling Crime at Walmart" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2018-06-20 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1278658_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Abstract: Considerable research, going back decades, has shown that the bulk of police work is handling minor crimes and disorder events. The application of crime analysis to improving the efficiency of policing these calls for service has been largely eclipsed by studies examining the handling of the fewer but more serious crimes. This has limited the utility of research findings to larger cities where part I crimes are of sufficient quantity to allow systematic enquiry. In this paper, we look at the efforts by a medium size police department, in Paducah Kentucky, to address larceny-theft from Walmart. We detail the work of the Paducah Police Department’s crime analyst applying the SARA process to take on shoplifting at two Walmart locations within the city. The PPD found that the policies of Walmart to handle shoplifting, like many retail stores, encourage reporting practices that reward loss prevention quotas, but waste public police resources. Using the crime analyst’s findings, the PPD worked with Walmart to alter reporting policies and procedures for theft under 500 dollars. This reduced larceny-theft reports and the City’s total crime counts in the concurrent year. We end with a discussion of the unique challenges and opportunities of analysts in small and mid-sized cities.


 
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