Community Safety Hydra assessment Introduction On the 23rd of November 2017 me and my group weretasked with undertaking the HYDRA exercise as part of our Community Safetymodule.
The Hydra exercise consisted of a number scenarios within a localcollege that had to be dealt with by me and the members of my group, wediscussed as a group the approaches we should take based on the informationprovided by the college. This report will be a follow up where I can reflect onwhat worked well for me in the exercise and what I can improve on if needed andexplain how Problem Oriented Policing(POP) can be beneficial with tacklingthese issues.The problem-solving approach and SARADuring the hydra exercise we were faced with many scenarioswhich required a constructive and effective problem-solving approach to developa strategy that will resolve the issue we were facing. Historically the police havefocused merely on the structure of the force and reactive policing, whereas itis now transitioning into tackling the issues head on before these incidentsappear. The purpose of implementing a problem-solving approach to an issue isso that as police officers every action that we carry out will be beneficialtowards solving the problem at hand. Problem solving policing will be carriedout with the assistance of supporting agencies that will have the role ofidentifying and analyzing crime statistics and patterns which will besubsequently assessed so that an appropriate response can be met. POP accordingto the official college of policing website (2017, Online) states that “HermanGoldstein developed POP as a critique of contemporary styles of policing.
Goldstein argued traditional policing was to focus on process rather thanoutcome; that evidence showed routine patrols had little impact on crime anddisorder and failed to produce satisfaction amongst the public”. It’s becauseof reactions from the public and experts like this that a new approach is nowbeing implemented which consists of several key elements that popcenter.org (2017,Online)such as “The police must pro-actively try to solve problems rather than justreact to the harmful consequences of problems” Key elements of the process suchas this will be beneficial to future crime prevention techniques and an overalldecrease in crime if done correctly.For the POP process to be carried out efficiently severalother methods have been implemented, one of these methods is the SARA model (Eckand Spelman,1987) which was developed to break down the issues faced during theproblem-solving approach. The purpose and goal of the SARA model is brieflydescribed by rockridgencpc.com as being “To stimulate thinking aboutcreative problem-solving, not to limit you to a standardized process that isappropriate for every problem”.
SARA is broken down into four stages, Scanning,Analysis, Response and Assessment (http://www.popcenter.org/about/?p=sara,no date) Scanning involves the early review of patterns in recurring crimes,certain crimes will then be prioritized such as community safety issues thatwill then be selected for the next step of Analysis. Analysis involvesidentifying the underlying causes behind these patterns such as the data that’srelated to the crimes. One of the methods that can be utilized is the ProblemAnalysis Triangle(PAT) which is useful as it can help us identify the differentpartners within a crime and then help resolve the issue through co-operationsuch as identifying how offenders and their victims come together in places.PAT must be utilized efficiently as it will help us complete significant stagesof SARA such as the scanning and analysis stage of SARA. The Response stagewithin the SARA model is the most crucial as we can then address the causes ofthe problem that have been mentioned within the Analysis stage, this stage mayinvolve creating an adequate response plan to tackle the patterns identified.
Thiswould then be followed by the assessment that will determine whether the planwas implemented successfully and if there are any strategies that could beimplemented thereafter to ensure POP will be carried out effectively in othersituations. Demonstration of how problem solving can be used to identify, prioritizeand address community issues.Me and 4 others took part in a task within the Hydrasimulation where we had the opportunity to apply our understanding of POP/SARAin real life situations. We became a team of Police Community Support Officersthat were faced with several scenarios to see how we dealt with them. Before wedecided to confront the issues and rationalize decisions we implemented CHEERS,this analysis of the issue includes whether the problem is a real issue thatneeds to be tackled(http://www.popcenter.
org/learning/60steps/index.cfm?stepNum=14,2018):· Community-Membersof the public must experience harmful events· Harmful-Harm must be inflicted such as loss of property, injury or death· Expectation-Members of the public expect the police to address the causes· Events-Describe the event that makes up the problem· Recurring-The events must recur· Similarity-Recurring events must have something in common. The first task that we encountered was the problem itselfwhich was missing IT equipment from the college. The first stage ourproblem-solving approach utilizes the Scanning stage of SARA as we had to delveinto the details of the alleged crime and ask crucial questions that wouldallow us to comprehend the issue and if any patterns can be noticed in thecollege. The key questions that we put forward included whether the head of thecollege recognized any of the youths that attend the college as theperpetrators and what steps had already been taken concerning the issue.
Thesequestions were asked to get a broad idea of what the current situation is andto see whether the college was already using problem-solving techniques such asPCSO’s patrolling the college during the time frame the incidents areoccurring. The scanning process was crucial within this first task because itallowed me and my team to gather the necessary information to allow us tounderstand whether the incidents are similar in nature such as the suspects,location of incident, behavior of the suspects and the timeframe the incidentssupposedly took place. We identified that most of the IT equipment was goingmissing during after college hours, mainly during the night time, we concludedthat this was probably happening as a result of staff not being present and alack of security within the premises.
To identify the location of criminalactivity we were given CCTV footage of the alleged perpetrators committingother criminal activities such as Criminal Damage of college property. Thisfootage gave us an insight into the behavior of the suspects and allowed us tocreate a geographical map of where the crimes where being committed, analysissuch as this aids us as PCSO’s because we can see if there is something inthose specific areas that make it vulnerable to crime and also highlights any geographicalpatters so that target hardening can occur in these locations.Once the analysis stage has been completed and we have agrasp on the situation it was time to move on to the prioritization of theissues and how we had to plan on resolving them. This is where the Responsestage of the SARA model is utilized, here the objective is to either totallyeliminate the problem, substantially reduce the problem or remove the problemfrom police consideration(http://www.popcenter.org/library/reading/pdfs/reflectionsfull.
pdf,2017).The first response we had was to increase the security measures within thecollege by introducing new CCTV cameras in locations that the youthscongregate, this method of target hardening is known as a situational responsethat will be utilized with the assistance of the Problem Analysis Triangle asthe college will be working in partnership with the Police regarding the anti-socialbehavior. PAT will also be utilized when the college begins to liaise withSecure by Design which will increase security and deter the youth from Anti-SocialBehavior through environmental design changes such as adding speedbumps on the”skateboarding ramp”.
Whilst aggressive tactics such as environmental designand target hardening can help us tackle the issues we face it is also crucialthat we look at more cost-effective strategies such as the coordination of aneighborhood watch with Neville Johnson in the local area to reassure the localcommunity, it is crucial that the public is informed about police interventionsto be pro-active when raising public awareness. One of the many aspects thatmust be considered within the POP approach is using inter-agency programs/multi-agency programs that will increase the chances of a positive result. Goldstein(2001) states that POP should place a priority on “new responses that are preventativein nature, that are not dependent on the use of the criminal justice system andthat engage in other public agencies”.
Because of this insight by Goldstein weplaced a high priority on working with all the agencies available in the localarea such as the youth club, community safety officer, local councilors and theNeighborhood watch. Having these organizations at our disposal will not onlytake some responsibility of the police which is crucial as they are notequipped to deal with every problem, but it also means that we can reach out toa large amount of people regarding the issues which in the long run willprevent further harm which is why POP is there in the first place.The final stage of SARA was to carry out an assessment ofour responses and to see whether they were effective and if not, why.
Firstly,we suggested that we ask the public and staff what they thought of the changesthat we made and if there have been any noticeable changes. To gain access tosuch information we suggested that anonymous questionnaires could bedistributed to the public to gain honest and non-biased answers. Thisinformation will then let us know if our responses were adequate for theproblems that we faced, we will also approach all the different leaders of thecommunity such as Williams Smart, Julia Evans and Jill Valentine to assesswhether they have played an effective role within the process. We decided thatit would be beneficial to us if the local agencies could provide us with thenecessary data such as attendance figures within the youth clubs and if therenewed community participation was having a positive effect on anti-socialbehavior in the area. Regarding the target hardening such as extra CCTV andenvironmental design changes we decided that it would be beneficial to analyzethe colleges security logs to see if there has been a decrease/increase inreported crimes within the college. Effective analysis and intelligencegathering after the problem solving has been implemented is necessary, theCollege of Policing: When does problem solving work best? States “If you don’tassess properly, the chances are that you will not be operating problem solvingas effectively as you should be”. Looking back at the hydra exerciseLooking back on the Hydra exercise there are several stepsthat could have been taken to make the process a lot smoother and effective.
One of these is the lack of consideration for budget limitations when it cameto the recommendation of an increase in CCTV cameras and “speed bumps” withinthe college, these improvements compared to the community co-operation optionswere necessary but next time it would be beneficial to consider what the costmay be for the college. Another example of where improvement could be made isduring the utilization of SARA we identified other problems other than the theftof computers that should have been prioritized more during the resolving stage,one of these that could have been tackled was the graffiti on school property.If this low priority issue had maybe been prioritized as high as the others wemight have had an improved outcome, tackling the smaller issues can lead to adecrease in recurring serious incidents such as theft. I would also recommendthat next time we focused more on the analysis stage of the process as that isin my opinion the most crucial part, without a proper and thorough analysis ofthe situation then all the other stages are void. Because of this I wouldrecommend that we spend more time brainstorming what will be done to resolvethe situation at hand.
Despite the improvements that could have been made I dobelieve that we implemented the SARA model successfully and can now recognizethe role that problem oriented policing plays when tackling long term problemswithin a community. One of the most successful areas of our approach in my eyeswas the aggressive target hardening against the youths causing a disturbance byimplementing more CCTV cameras and changes to the environmental design, these changesin my opinion will result in the college having a large decrease of crime inthe college. References · College of Policing (Date of publicationunknown) The effects of problem-oriented policing on crime and disorder. tp://whatworks.college.police.uk/Research/Briefings/Documents/CoP(What%20works(online_land_POPV3).pdfLast accessed 15/01/2018· Rockridge NCPC (Date of publicationunknown) Problem Solving Partnerships using the SARA model http://www.rockridgencpc.com/documents/fliers/POPandSARA.pdfLast accessed 15/01/2018· Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (Date ofpublication unknown) The SARA model http://www.popcenter.org/about/?p=saraLast Accessed 15/01/2018· Center for Problem-OrientedPolicing(October,2000) Problem-Oriented Policing: Reflections on the First 20Years http://www.popcenter.org/library/reading/pdfs/reflectionsfull.pdfLast Accessed 15/01/2018· Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (Date ofpublication unknown) Use CHEERS test when defining problems http://www.popcenter.org/learning/60steps/index.cfm?stepNum=14Last Accessed 15/01/2018· PAT IMAGE: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PPrWwr5dC5M/SoWbNxKc6TI/AAAAAAAAANY/eAEaW1uAkpk/s320/step_8.gif