The systems approach to crime

The systems approach to crime involves a concerted effort or teamwork that is aimed towards achieving a unified goal of preventing crime in a particular community or area (Campbell et al., 2007).  The systems approach involves three levels that have to be performed in order to result in holistic response in crime prevention and control.  The first level of systems approach involves demonstration of the integration of activities that are related to crime and drug prevention into the operations of law enforcement.  This pertains to emphasizing the idea that a proactive stance should be inculcated in the members of a community towards crime and aggression.  In addition, law enforcement will also involve the enrichment of police officers towards interaction with the rest of the community for better visibility.  This level of systems approach will also uplift the perception of law enforcement agents as member of the human services network, instead of the simple notion that law enforcement agents will only arrive once a crime has occurred.  The sharing of problems with regards to safety and crime in the community will also be helpful in establishing a systems approach to crime.  Citizens and police officers are also encouraged to interact with each other on a regular basis, not only when a crime has been committed but also during normal uneventful days.

The second level of the systems approach to crime involves the development of partnerships between government agencies, police department, community groups, hospitals, religious organizations and schools (Devaney, 2006).  The communities are educated on the techniques that they may employ and develop further during crime events in the neighborhood.  It is actually beneficial to the entire community if every project were described and accepted as the community’s project and not the mayor’s project or the mayor’s dream.  All aspects of the community are involved in the second level of the systems approach and it is important to identify which groups are left out or is not actively participating in the systems approach.  Using this approach, each member of the community will feel that crime and drug prevention is everybody’s concern and not just a particular individual’s problem or obstacle.  This teamwork will actually result in a stronger action against crime in a community.

The third level of the systems approach to crime involves the acceleration of activities in the communities and its introduction of the approach to new communities.  Volunteers may create and manage drug demand and reduction programs within their respective communities.  Other professionals such as architects may create programs that indirectly influence crime and drug activities, through the construction of environmental design programs (Williams, 2006).  This may involve redesigning public and recreational sites by employing barriers that will decrease opportunities for criminals to operate within the community.  Engineers may redesign streets such as introducing cul-de-sacs and bumps, turns to control speeding criminals around the community.  Street lamps may also be installed to better illuminate dark sections of the streets.  Protective fencing may also be put up to define boundaries of each establishment or community.  Law enforcement officers may also extend their activities and crime analyses to facilitate solving of crime-related activities.

The concerted effort of multiple groups in a community is the essential factor that makes the systems approach to crime successful.  Each community should be aware that such effort will significantly control the crime rate in a particular area, locale or community.