THE MAGAZINE

Crime Opportunity Profiling of Streets (COPS): A Quick Crime Analysis—Rapid Implementation Approach

By Ross Johnson, CPP,

***** Crime Opportunity Profiling of Streets (COPS): A Quick Crime Analysis—Rapid Implementation Approach. By J. Oxley, P. Reijnhoudt, P. van Soomeren, C. Beckford, A. Jongejan, and J. Jager; published by BRE Trust, www.bretrust.org.uk (Web); 48-page book and a CD-ROM; £47.50.

At its conference in Amsterdam in September 2003, the International CPTED Association launched a project in Europe called Crime Opportunity Profiling of Streets (COPS). COPS looked at commercial centers that suffered from street crime and problems associated with the drug trade. The goals of the project were to research CPTED practices in European countries and to “develop tools and multi-disciplinary strategies between police and other partners to reduce crime, fear of crime, and anti-social behavior within specified urban areas.” Specifically, COPS was a process by which police, planners, building owners, and residents would come together and alter environmental features so as to reduce crime and increase public confidence.

The results of the project are presented in two parts: a 48-page report and an associated CD-ROM containing 16 presentations, academic papers, and individual project reports. The hard-copy report traces the development of CPTED both as an academic discipline and as applied in the United Kingdom and Germany.

It presents a series of case studies and a toolkit describing several different resources. It also has a useful matrix that rates the effectiveness of the various tools from a number of viewpoints. Of the case studies and reports in the CD, Annex 16 is the most valuable, as it provides great detail on the implementation of a COPS program.

Although the booklet and CD are filled with useful information, it is not easy to access. It is very much a report written by numerous authors, heavy with format and infrastructure. The results of the project would have been far better communicated in a single text written by one author.

Practitioners and students of CPTED will find much to like about this work, in substance if not in user-friendliness. The tools presented in the CD-ROM offer good advice on CPTED implementation, and the bibliography covers much of the recent literature in the field.


Reviewer: Ross Johnson, CPP, is corporate security manager for EPCOR in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a member of the ASIS Oil, Gas, and Chemical Industry Security Council.

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