A Collective Approach
Crime prevention initiatives reduce or eliminate the risk of crime. Each and every resident is responsible for preventing crimes. Crime prevention takes on many forms including: police officers patrolling your neighborhood, closing your garage door, and contacting the Police Department if you observe suspicious behavior. To be successful, crime prevention must be a partnership between the Police Department and the community.
Crime Prevention Triangle
The Police Department uses the Crime Prevention Triangle, a concept that states that in order for a crime to occur, all three of the triangle's elements - desire, ability and opportunity - must exist. If we can eliminate any one of these elements, a crime has not occurred. Let's take a quick look at each of these elements.
The desire of a criminal to commit a crime. We, as citizens, cannot effect or remove a criminals desire to commit a crime. If someone really wants to commit a crime he or she will.
The criminal's ability to commit a crime. We cannot effect the ability of a criminal to commit a crime. He or she will find a way. He or she can be thousands of miles away, use telephones, or the internet. Not even physical impairment will stop some individuals from committing crimes.
The criminal's opportunity to commit crimes. This is where we can take action to prevent crime. By removing the opportunity for crime to occur, we have broken the Crime Prevention Triangle. How do we do this? We do this with police officers patrolling neighborhoods, closing garage doors, locking your homes and vehicles, and contacting the Police Department if you observe suspicious behavior.