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Geographical Analysis: GMP Trafford Experiment

crime-map

The Trafford Experiment: working with GMP to predict and reduce crime

Dates: 10-18 January 2012

Staff: Spencer Chainey

Partners: Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Against Crime

Twitter: #UCL_GMP

On the back of several years of collaborative work between UCL and GMP, including recent involvement in identifying opportunities for reducing residential burglary in Trafford (see background for more details), Chief Supt Mark Roberts (Commander at Trafford) invited Spencer Chainey to spend a week with him and his officers to explore how predictive analysis on burglary could be built on and transferred to other crime problems.  This would involve Spencer working with GMP Trafford over a continual 8 day period (10-18 January 2012), drawing on intelligence and analysis to help direct police responses.  Uniquely, the 'experiment' provides the opportunity for a police force and university to intimately collaborate on day-to-day crime matters, drawing together academic expertise and the knowledge, experience and practical challenges of modern day policing.

The blog captures a summary of the activities between 10-18 January 2012.  You can also follow this project on Twitter @SpencerChainey

The Trafford Experiment: working with GMP to predict and reduce crime

UCL's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science has a long established working relationship with Greater Manchester Police: from helping to influence the establishment and developments of GMAC (Greater Manchester Against Crime), piloting the Vulnerable Localities Index, and introducing a hypothesis testing approach for the improvement of problem profiles.

In September 2011 JDI completed an evaluation of a burglary reduction initiative in Trafford.  This evaluation identified some good analytically-driven crime prevention work that GMP Trafford had introduced to reduce residential burglaries, but recommended several opportunities to help refine existing tactical processes.  In particular, the analysis in the evaluation identified the opportunity to further improve the prediction of burglaries and the targeting of crime prevention resources using a focus on reducing repeat victimisation (RV) and near repeat victimisation (NRV).

On October 1st 2011 a new operation was launched, following recommendations provided by Spencer Chainey, to ensure that homes identified as being at a heightened risk of burglary (within the next few days) were targeted with crime prevention - the key being to ensure that crime prevention advice appropriately resonated with residents and that they could carry out very practical crime prevention measures to reduce their risk of burglary.  Many projects exist up and down the country that aim to reduce RV and NRV but it was felt that these were often lacking in effective public engagement.  In many cases, residents within very close proximity of a burgled property were not told about the burglary and only received in the post a leaflet with some general crime prevention advice from their local police team.  We felt there was an opportunity to ensure that crime prevention messages more effectively resonated during the heightened period of crime risk immediately following a burglary, but in a manner that did not alarm or increase fear.

There were two main tactics:

  • To continue to visit burgled properties and improve security within 24hrs of the burglary (a scheme that has been implemented in many other areas, so nothing unique with this)
  • Visit neighbouring properties within 24hrs of the burglary (starting with homes within 100m of the burgled property), involving as much face-to-face contact with residents as possible.  The message was to inform (state there has been a burglary), reassure (say the chances of being burgled are very low), and advise (expressing the need to be extra vigilant over the next few days, provide practical, seasonally-sensitive crime prevention advice, and asking residents to report anything they think is suspicious).

Many 'cocooning' projects of this type tend to rely on leaflet drops to promote crime prevention.  We felt that these messages failed to resonate, and by tweaking the response by better understanding how residents would react to face-to-face contact, it was anticipated that this would be much more effective in helping to reduce burglary, and in particular near repeat victimisation.

The initial results have been impressive.

Repeat victimisation

  • Between 1 Oct - 30 Nov 2011, GMP Trafford expected (based on previous crime levels) there to be 8 RVs.  There was 1.

Near Repeat Victimisation

  • Between 1 Oct - 30 Nov 2011, GMP Trafford expected (based on previous crime levels) there to be 4 NRVs per week.  There were 2 per week.

This has helped contribute to a 26% reduction in residential burglaries across Trafford in 2011. More details on this project are here: GMP slides from ICIA Conference 2011

On the back of this work and the long history of close collaboration between UCL and GMP, Chief Supt Mark Roberts (Commander at Trafford) invited Spencer Chainey to spend a week with him and his officers to explore how this predictive work could be built on and transferred to other crime problems.

The Trafford Experiment: working with GMP to predict and reduce crime

In addition to the blog, activities were also posted on Twitter @SpencerChainey #UCL_GMP

Tuesday 10th January

Travel to Manchester this afternoon.  How does an academic prepare for spending a week with GMP Trafford?  You can't really! Other than to go in with batteries charged and feel confident that they wouldn't have invited you if they thought there was little gain for them.  Although, one thing I have prepared for, following the advice of that famous climatologist Carlos Tevez who says 'it always rains in Manchester' - I've packed a waterproof jacket!

Wednesday 11th January

Today was very much about getting up to speed with current crime issues in Trafford, meeting people and deciding on some initial areas of focus.

8am start with Inspector Vinny Jones (head of divisional intelligence hub), Matt Fielding (analyst), Jennie England (analyst), Carol Spencer (GMAC analyst) and Stuart Millington (GMAC Dep Manager) to discuss the project scope and what we all want to get out of it.

Then straight into 8.30 pre-meeting for Pacesetter (the daily briefing meeting) with Vinny, Spotlight staff (integrated offender management) and volume crime team, and then off to Pacesetter.  This is when what has happened over the last 24hrs is reviewed, and actions are decided on what is going to be carried out that day on targeting certain individuals and addressing specific crime problems.

10.00 quick meet with Supt Jim Liggett talking about current crime problems.  Over the last 12 months Trafford have seen some great reductions in crime.  The focus of the conversation was on pedal cycle theft and how this is one of the top issues in Trafford at the moment.  In my experience, bike theft isn’t taken that seriously by the police due to other competing and more ‘serious’ crime issues that require attention.  TfL and the Met have shown it to be a much more organised criminal activity than many people think it to be (see: TfL and the Met slides from ICIAC11).  Looks like we might be giving it some focus this week. 

10.10: Carol Spencer sorts me out a ticket for the Man City vs Liverpool game tonight!

10.30 and off to the weekly Tasking and Coordination Group meeting.  This is where the Neighbourhood Police Team inspectors, CID, IOM and various crime team heads (responsible for certain crime types – theft offences, crimes against businesses, sexual offences) meet with senior staff and review the most recent performance figures and certain crimes that have occurred.  It’s a good job I know what most of the acronyms stand for!

Now I feel up to speed with most things.  Residential burglary is still an issue, albeit having reduced over the last year.  I meet with Matt and Jennie and we decide that reviewing Trafford’s recent super-cocooning work on aiming to reduce burglaries by reducing repeat victimisation and near repeat victimisation is a good place to start.  The super-cocooning work began in October, and although it appears that RVs and NRVs have reduced, residential burglary has increased.  I notice that the majority of recent burglaries have been where the car keys are targeted and the car is then stolen, rather than other items in the house. So is this what has driven the recent increase, is it just the seasonal increase that has been seen in previous years, or have offenders adapted their behaviour around the the targeted work to reduce repeats and near repeats?  More on that tomorrow.  I've got the semi-final of the Carling Cup to go and watch ... Come on you reds.

Thursday 12th January

8.30 start at Stretford Police Station, then into daily Pacesetter briefing.  General crime levels are still low for the week, but there has been a worrying situation over the last 24hrs that I hope is resolved.  Obviously can’t go into details, but it’s very heartening to see the devoted and very considered attention by the police to issues of public safety that is often not duly recognised by the public and media. And I’m not brown-nosing here.  It’s seeing exactly how these type of issues are picked up and responded to, alongside dealing with crime incidents, working with local partners on crime prevention, dealing with offenders, prison releases and the media, that is making my-side of the visit worthwhile.

So, good result at the Etihad Stadium last night (I’m a Liverpool supporter!).  It was difficult containing myself when, surrounded by a crowd of sky blues (I was in a City stand), Gerard scored what was the winner, and takes Liverpool with a 1-0 lead into the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.

After Pacesetter it was then a meet up with the analysts to review some residential burglary patterns between October and December last year.  GMP Trafford have been doing some targeted work to reduce repeat and near repeat victimisation.  The reduction in the number of repeats and near repeats continue to be impressive (see background page) but I felt there were some statistical tests worth using to see more robustly the impact this work was having.  Using Temple University’s Near Repeat Calculator we could measure if there was statistical evidence of repeat and near repeat patterns being disrupted.  It looks like GMP Trafford have cracked any previous repeat victimisation problem and now records levels that make it virtually non-existent.  This is exceptionally rare and testament to the innovative work they have been doing to tackle burglary.  A near repeat pattern remains, although numbers of near repeats have approximately halved over the last year.  One thing that’s bumping up their figures is burglaries where cars are targeted.  Modern-day cars are very difficult to break into and steal, so the only way to nick them is to steal the keys i.e. breaking into the house to do so.  Today we did some analysis that has now helped to better understand this problem and consider how it can be tackled.

I don’t know the whole of Trafford borough that well so organised a trip out in the afternoon to a number of sites to help become better aware of the area.  Took the analysts with me so they could also put into context the places they see on maps.  It was interesting to see the alleygates around the Old Trafford area, bike stands at the Trafford Centre, visited the scene of the only house burglary in Trafford in the last few days, and drove around Stretford, Sale, Atrincham and Hale.  Any police reading this – if you ask an analyst to do some analysis on a crime problem, encourage ... no insist they go out and have a look where the problem is (preferably when it tends to happen most).  This is so useful in helping to interpret what is causing the problem.

Back to Stretford Police Station where I then went through a technique with the analysts to help identify emerging problem areas.  It uses one of Jerry Ratcliffe’s tools – the Dispersion Calculator.  This has helped us identify those places in Trafford where there is need to focus some more attention.  We are going to review these tomorrow alongside using a new technique for helping to identify chronic hotspots.

Plans for Saturday are coming to together nicely.  And as a Liverpool supporter it is causing me some difficulties that go against my principles!  More on this tomorrow ...

Friday 13th January

Begun the day with the daily Pacesetter briefing.  By attending three in a row it really shows how GMP in Trafford keep on top of issues.  Not just in relation to crime, but also their activities in relation to the top local known offenders and disrupting their activities, the gathering and use of intelligence for investigating and detecting crime, dealing with issues of public safety, public protection, domestic violence, providing services to support vulnerable people, and managing police staff resources against all these commitments.

Today’s focus has been reporting back on the findings of some residential burglary analysis to Insp Vinny Jones (who manages the Intelligence Hub) and discussing the potential of improving burglary prediction by combining repeat and near repeat victimisation analysis with techniques for identifying emerging problem areas and seasonally-chronic hotspots.  The point of this is to help further refine the police’s targeted tactical response for reducing residential burglary and improving the marriage between these operational tactics and strategic interventions that are planned and delivered by the police and local partners such as the Council and registered social landlords (e.g. housing associations).  Next week I hope to publish some results in the blog that give an indication on just how many burglaries can be predicted using these techniques.  And if they can be predicted, they can be prevented.

The rest of the day was very much a masterclass with Matt, Jennie and Carol (the analysts) on using a technique called the Gi* statistic for identifying chronic hotspots.  More details on the technique are here (Advanced hotspot analysis class).  I left it to the analysts to ‘drive’ the computer, directed by me, to generate a Gi* map showing those areas across Trafford division that are the persistent hotspots at this time of year.  Heavy going for all of us on a Friday afternoon!

Shorter day today, clocking off at 4pm because tomorrow will be a long one.  It pains me to write this, as a Liverpool supporter, but off to Old Trafford tomorrow! I’ve been invited to see how GMP police Man Utd fixtures, so will be joining the briefing at 11.30am, on a walkabout with the patrols before the game, then over to the police room at the stadium for the rest of the afternoon.  Then tomorrow night I’m out with the Altrincham Neighbourhood Police Team from 22.00-02.00 to see what happens on a Saturday night!

Saturday 14th January

Today’s plan: first to Old Trafford as an observer on the policing for the Man Utd v Bolton game, and then to Altincham town centre from 22.00 – 02.00 with its Neighbourhood Police Team.

Got to Stretford Police Station for 11.30 where I met with Inspector Vinny Jones who was going to be my chaperone for the day and who filled me in on the plans.  Then it was off to the 12 o’clock parade and briefing when the inspector in charge of the day’s policing in and around Old Trafford went through what is expected of the officers on duty (from ensuring they adhere to the high level of professional standards that the force expects of them, to their specific roles), and intelligence relating to possible issues of disorder, terrorism and other public safety.  Just over 100 extra officers were involved in the policing of the game.  This included specially trained officers in tackling public disorder, experts in football crowd and hooliganism intelligence, horse-mounted patrols, and the dog squad.  A dedicated team was also deployed to the city centre (Man Utd’s ground is about three miles from the centre of town) to monitor football crowd movement, particularly because many Bolton fans (which is on the outskirts of Greater Manchester) were expected to use the tram system to travel to the stadium (via the city centre).  Two other football matches were also on today within the GMP command area: Bury v Sheffield Utd and Rochdale v Stevenage.  These games also had additional dedicated policing, with all policing for the three games being coordinated from a central control room by a Chief Supt and Supt. Even though 76000 people were expected at Old Trafford, it was the few thousand at these other games that had been assessed as creating more of a public disorder threat.

Before the game I spent a couple of hours walking around the stadium with Insp Vinny Jones, observing the police work ... and the crowd.  While there were many die-hard local Man Utd fans in evidence, there were also many supporters who you could tell were definitely not local and had never been to a game before (I chatted to one family who had flown in from Norway for the weekend). Adding substance to the taunt you hear from many away supporters to the Man Utd crowd - “I’ve been here more times than you ...!”

Once our fingers and feet had turned to ice (it was cold today!) and most of the supporters had gone into the ground it was into the stadium and pitchside to have a look around and see the police deployment alongside the very large stewarding deployment that Man Utd employ as the first line for keeping things in order.  Plus, some time to watch a bit of the game.  15 mins in, Rooney misses a penalty!  Then to the Police Room in the stadium for a briefing with the senior police team on duty, and Superintendent John Graves (via teleconference) who was coordinating all GMP police resourcing and activities for the football matches across Greater Manchester.  Nothing of note to report from Old Trafford, everyone was behaving themselves, but it sounded like things were bubbling over at Bury v Sheffield Utd so it was time to consider if some police resource needed to be shifted from the Man Utd game to Bury to help out over there.

After half-time, back pitchside to observe the policing and watch a bit more of the game.  Then just before the finish, off outside as the police team went into their next phase - ensuring there was a safe, trouble free dispersal from the ground.  Back to Stretford Police Station, and then to my hotel in the city centre to thoroughly cleanse myself after being surrounded by Man Utd fans all day (... did I mention.  I support Liverpool ...?!).

So what was particularly useful about this visit? Justin Kurland, a PhD student of ours, is currently doing research to explore crime and disorder levels around Premiership football stadiums.  At the moment, clubs pay for policing within the ground and upto 100m around it.  His research, and certainly from the evidence of today's visit, is that the cost of policing and the cost of the additional crime that takes place on match days far exceeds what football clubs pay to their local police force, and effectively means that it is left to the tax payer to foot the remainder of the bill.  Our research aims to help raise the profile of this funding mismatch.

21.30 and back to Stretford Police Station to meet Sergeant Chris Corbett who had organised for me to join the Altrincham Neighbourhood Police Team, and head out on patrol with them into Altrincham town centre.  But then a change of plan.  The officer who was going to take me out had just arrested a couple of lads and was going to be tied up with processing them for a few hours, so instead it was out in the van with the Stretford Neighbourhood Police Team.  Within five minutes we spot a guy walking down the street pushing two bikes with two additional wheels hanging off the crossbar.  Rouses immediate suspicion (there’s a bit of a pedal cycle theft problem in Trafford at the moment) but after stopping him and having a chat, it actually appears as though he is totally innocent.  Then a report of an attempted house break-in which we (and about 4 other police cars), respond to, looking for three lads who have run from the scene.  After half an hour of searching, nothing. Then we go off to a local bar where a known offender occasionally hangs out, who is wanted for a return back to prison – seems like he’s broken his bail conditions.  As I’m the only one with the police not in a police high vis jacket I get asked if I’m ‘undercover’ by a couple of women outside ...

It’s now getting near to 01.00 (Sunday morning) so we (Mike and James from the Stretford NPT) do another drive around the main problem areas before their shift ends.  All is very quiet ... but getting very cold.  Frost is already shimmering off the surface of the side roads, and cars are thick in it.  We talk about changes in policing over the last ten years – good and bad, and they ask me about how GMP compares to other forces.  The grass may appear greener elsewhere, but from my experience, while GMP is not perfect, it’s got alot of good things going for it.

Going out on patrols is so valuable for the work I do. There are many so-called experts in universities working in criminology, policing and criminal justice, but very few ever get their hands dirty and observe what it's really like at the frontline.  And although this visit is only a taster of day-to-day policing, when adding it to the other collective knowledge of police visits I make, it all helps to ensure that the research that we do at UCL has a strong practical focus.

Sunday 15th January

A day number crunching today and preparing some work for the analysts for the rest of the week.  The first task was to pull together burglary data from the last two years and explore previous levels of repeat and near repeat victimisation in order to get some idea as to how prevalent this has been previously, and then be able to estimate how many burglaries have been prevented as a result of GMP Trafford’s recent work.  No stats to report on yet until they’ve I’ve reviewed them with GMP on Monday!

I’ve also been sketching out the plan for a new problem profile on pedal cycle theft to set the analysts off on.  Key to this is to help to better understand the stolen goods market for bikes in Manchester, and see if certain principles of the intelligence-led approach that GMP Trafford have applied to burglary is portable to pedal cycle theft i.e. I’m sure there are hotspots of pedal cycle theft, but are patterns of repeat and near repeat victimisation also evident?  Pedal cycle theft is recorded across two main crime types: theft of pedal cycle, and burglary other than in a dwelling (where a shed or garage is broken into and a bike is stolen).  Rather than lump it all together, because the two are different in context, we will be exploring them separately.

Monday 16th January

The day started with the daily morning Pacesetter.  GMP Trafford run three Pacesetter each day to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on, and to review progress on actions.

Most of my morning was spent completing some number crunching on past and recent residential burglary levels in order to get an understanding of the ability to be able to further predict burglary patterns.  These were then reviewed with Inspector Vinny Jones and the analysts.  Here’s an illustration of the findings:

In an average sized Police division/borough of 100,000 homes, 100 burglaries a month is fairly typical.  This equates to a burglary rate of 12 burglaries per 1000 homes, per annum – in line with the national average.  Homes that are burgled are approximately four times more likely to be burgled a second time if nothing is done to minimise this heightened risk.  The second burglary is likely to occur soon after the first (within a week of two), with this heightened risk rapidly decaying as time passes.  We often see burglary repeats (and that is just repeat offences, not including the first offence) accounting for 10-20% of all burglaries in an area.  That is, we could predict that upto 20 burglaries a month may take place at an address that was recently burgled i.e. we are in a position to be able to identify those properties where burglary may occur in the future, based on previous victimisation.  GMP Trafford operate a programme whereby a burgled property is visited (in addition to any immediate police response) by crime prevention staff within 24 hours, with the aim to reduce this heightened risk of repeat victimisation.  GMP Trafford’s burglary repeat victimisation levels are now about 2.5%.  This targeted crime prevention programme to burgled properties has been a key reason for burglaries reducing over the last three years in Trafford.  Thing is though, if only 2.5% of your burglaries are now repeats, this means that at best, you can only reduce your burglary volume by an extra 2-3 offences per month (based on 100 burglaries per month).

Today we worked out that near repeat victimisation currently contributes a further 3% to Trafford’s burglary levels.  This has reduced over the last few years as Trafford have used this predictable pattern to introduce and refine their crime prevention cocooning work.  But it again means that the burglary volume can only be reduced by a further 2-3 burglaries per month (based on 100 offences per month) using this tactic.  Of course, if GMP Trafford stopped their targeted RV and NRV work its likely that burglary will increase.  So their current work is keeping a lid on the problem, with their being some opportunities for some more small reductions.

Those areas that are chronic hotspots (based on the where burglaries have happened over the last 12 months) cover just 3% of the total area of Trafford (using the Gi* statistic, and a Bonferroni correction to calculate statistical significance levels).  We’ve managed to predict that a further 15% of burglaries (after taking into account RV and NRV – so we are not double counting) is likely to take place in these areas.  In addition, using a technique for identifying emerging problem areas (see Thursday’s blog) we were able to predict where a further 5% of burglaries are likely to occur (in an area representing just a further 1% of the total area of Trafford).  This provides opportunities for targeted proactive policing work and crime prevention with local partners (such as the Council and housing associations), and tailored crime prevention advice to residents who live in these higher risk areas.

So all in all, previous victimisation provides the best means of predicting where future victimisation is likely to occur.  In GMP Trafford’s case, this has been used to predict where burglaries are likely, developing a programme to minimise this risk, and as a result reduce burglaries across the division. The programme has been so successful that only a couple more burglaries per month can be reduced based on this predictable pattern.  However, there is the opportunity to reduce burglary further through targeted work to chronic and emerging hotspots – in these tightly defined areas, a further 20% of burglaries are likely to occur.  Reducing these will require partnered crime prevention work with the Council and others, but also targeted messages of tailored crime prevention to residents in these areas that provides practical means for them to reduce their risk of burglary.

Tuesday 17th January is a day off from the Trafford Experiment for me as I head over to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to begin a programme of problem solving development with them.  Then it’s back to Trafford for the final day on Wednesday.

Tuesday 17th January

Today was a day off from the Trafford Experiment, and instead I was with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service on another project.  In my absence the analysts in Trafford had plenty to do in pulling together information for a problem profile overview into pedal cycle theft.

Wednesday 18th January

Final day, and it could not pass without attending the morning Pacesetter briefing.  The last agenda item caught me a little by surprise with some feedback to me from GMP on the blog and tweets!  Looks like I gained a number of followers over the week, including GMP ACC Garry Shewan, who was either interested in what I was saying or was keeping me under surveillance!  Looks like my presence also convinced the Trafford borough commander CS Mark Roberts to sign up to Twitter as well.

A key thing for me today was to review some work the analysts had begun on analysing pedal cycle theft and helping to direct them on the next stages.  Pedal cycle theft accounts for a large chunk of Trafford’s crime problems at the moment and is only likely to get worse as the weather improves (it increases over the summer as bike use increases).  So it’s valuable to start some work before this pre-emptive increase, and work on preventing it.  We also went through a couple of technical analytical items, including two hours exploring the impact of parameter settings on kernel density estimation hotspot maps ...Ooh, don’t I know how to choose a topic of charming conversational engagement  ...

Met with CS Mark Roberts as well, along with Insp Vinny Jones, to review the activities of the week, and see what we all got out of it.  I think my blog speaks for itself in terms of what I got out of it, in particular getting a taste of policing over the course of a whole week, rather than the dip in and out that I usually do.  It’s made me more aware of the many domestic incidents that the police get involved in trying to sort out and its follow through, their support work towards vulnerable people, the planning that goes into policing a Man Utd game and the continual reassessment of resourcing as new intelligence comes to light from other games being held across the Greater Manchester conurbation, alongside the many tasks I was already pretty familiar with such as responding to calls for service, serving warrants, offender visits, processing arrests, proactive targeting, preventative work and neighbourhood policing.  And how all this is managed from day-to-day in a climate of increasing budget pressures.

It seems they got alot from the visit as well, but that’s for them to say!  But having a Chief Super and Inspector who runs their intelligence hub understanding the principles of repeat victimisation and near repeat victimisation, and the importance of mechanisms and context in response delivery (i.e. thinking about how exactly a response is going to work), and using it to reduce crime has been very refreshing!  So I pushed it further and we talked about self-selection and the opportunity it provides for offender disruption and detection (as an example, see the classic study on parking illegally in disabled parking bays).  Looks like these principles are going to be a new tool that they feature more routinely in their proactive work and neighbourhood policing.  We also discussed the importance of analysts having access to suitable IT tools, particularly if they are free (and produced using government funding).  All police forces I know place restrictions on what analysts can download from the internet for obvious reasons, but often the attitude from IT departments is a ‘no can do’ attitude - “It’s not on our list of products”, with the conversation often ending there (police analysts reading this are likely to know what I mean!).  I’ve left endorsing a few tools they should have access to (mentioned across this blog), which the CS says he will look to sort out.  In these austere times, to me it makes so much sense if analysts are asked to do more with less, and improve the quality of analysis, by having access to some excellent tools that help them do the job quicker and better.  I’ve recently raised this with Nick Gargan at the NPIA and ACPO lead for intelligence.  Plus got a tweet in the week from the Met saying they want some advice from me as well on this.  How should I put this .... I have a certain impression of the Met, know many good people there ... but ... well ... this too is refreshing ...

Sitting in a police station can often be fascinating for a Joe Public like me, for what is routine stuff for them.  I was in the intelligence hub manager’s office (Vinny Jones) today when he was being briefed on the plans for a number of warrants that were to be served first thing the next day.  Who would be where, when, to kick in ... knock on the door and serve an arrest warrant.  It was going to be an early 5.30am start for many in Trafford the next day ...

GMP Trafford have done a great job in recording exactly how many face-to-face visits have been made to residents as part of their super-cocooning burglary reduction work.  This includes when the visit was made, the address, by whom, and whether the resident was spoken to or if just a leaflet was posted through the letter box.  It shows that while there are some neighbourhood differences in the volume and proportion of face-to-face visits, in some neighbourhoods nearly 50% of residents have been informed, reassured and provided with crime prevention advice to minimise their risk of burglary.  With data of this quality it looks like there is a nice little research project for us in the making, to evaluate more exactly that value of verbal message delivery in burglary prevention during periods of heightened risk.  These visits are now a routine part of Trafford’s neighbourhood police teams’ daily activities (also reviewed routinely by the intelligence hub to make sure they are where they should be, when they should be).  In the last three months this has resulted in over 2000 face-to-face conversations with residents on a matter that most affects them.  This week GMP released their public confidence figures.  Trafford’s performance on this confidence score far exceeds any of the other divisions across GM, and I have little difficulty in thinking that part of the reason behind this is the positive engagement opportunity that their super-cocooning work provides.  Of course, a more detailed research study will be required to evaluate this fully, ... but that will be for another visit ...

This just leaves me to thank GMP Trafford for inviting and hosting me.  There are too many people to mention, but my special thanks are to Inspector Vinny Jones for his very kind hospitality and CS Mark Roberts for opening his doors for a little bit of academic scrutiny, observation and input.

I plan to write up Trafford’s burglary prediction and super-cocooning work into a little 3-page briefing and practice paper that I hope to make available by March, and write it up into a journal article for peer review and (I hope) publication.

If you have any feedback, comments or questions about this work then please email or Tweet me:

E: s.chainey@ucl.ac.uk Tw: @SpencerChainey

Page last modified on 10 jan 12 09:53