COPS Bag Theft

Download PDF here: COPS Guide

The Problem-Specific Guides summarize knowledge about how police can reduce the harm caused by specific crime and disorder problems. They are guides to prevention and to improving the overall response to incidents, not to investigating offenses or handling specific incidents. Neither do they cover all of the technical details about how to implement specific responses. The guides are written for police—of whatever rank or assignment— who must address the specific problem the guides cover. The guides will be most useful to officers who:

• Understand basic Problem-Oriented Policing principles and methods. The guides are not primers in Problem-Oriented Policing. They deal only briefly with the initial decision to focus on a particular problem, methods to analyze the problem, and means to assess the results of a Problem-Oriented Policing project. They are designed to help police decide how best to analyze and address a problem they have already identified. (A companion series of Problem-Solving Tools guides has been produced to aid in various aspects of problem analysis and assessment.)

• Can look at a problem in depth. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you should be prepared to spend perhaps weeks, or even months, analyzing and responding to it. Carefully studying a problem before responding helps you design the right strategy, one that is most likely to work in your community. You should not blindly adopt the responses others have used; you must decide whether they are appropriate to your local situation. What is true in one place may not be true elsewhere; what works in one place may not work everywhere.