As a conceptual model, POP can address various policing problems. It requires the police to dig deeper into the underlying issues affecting the community’s safety and security. Hence, police can scan accessible information sources, including recorded crime, informants, calls for service, and the community. They must also reclassify the requests for action into aggregations not per bureaucratic categories but as items linked with the underlying issue. It is assumed that the police can develop long-lasting solutions to problems affecting communities and increasing the police department’s workload by resolving the root cause.
The utilization of POP has been relatively slow, and its implementation is halting in pace despite the massive appeal among senior officers. It will take a long time to achieve widespread transformation of problem-oriented policing rhetoric into practice. The primary cause of the problem is the lack of involvement of lower rank officers in problem-solving (Ratcliffe, 2016 P.71). Thus, problems thus occur to POP since it assumes a bottom-up method of crime reduction, giving more roles to the lower levels of the police. Unfortunately, these subordinate rank officers do not agree with the management on problem identification and selection and have limited control over resources.
POP techniques have in recent years been used in solving crime problems. The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing now issues guidelines for addressing witness intimidation, meth labs, bomb threats at school, among other issues. Besides, Situational crime prevention methods are aligned to POP and have been used in recent works on terrorism prevention (Ratcliffe, 2016 p.74). The application of POP emphasizes more on crime events as a collective problem rather than on arresting criminals.
Compstat is a strategy meant to foster managerial accountability of the police force. Its crime control strategy entails four principles: timely intelligence, efficient methods, immediate deployment, and continuous follow-up and assessment. Compstat meetings began in early 1994 when crime maps in New York City were significantly high (Ratcliffe, 2016 p.76). With this mechanism, meeting participants could focus more on the hot spot areas of crime while pressurizing precinct commanders to address the emerging crime spots.
Compstat merges crime mapping, operational strategy, and accountability among middle-level commanders, making it a technical and managerial system. Ratcliffe (2016 p.76) mentioned that a successful compstat involves organizational changes allowing precinct commanders to try new approaches for reducing crime. The commanders map local crime hot spot for timely and accurate intelligence and introduce strategies for combating new crimes. As opposed to community policing which gives responsibilities to line officers, the pressure is also laced on the middle managers (Ratcliffe, 2016 p.77). As such, rapid resource deployment is central to compstat because the lack of immediate response withdraws the value of timely intelligence.
Intelligence-led policing is meant to introduce innovative approaches to police management and crime reduction. However, compstat could be failing in fostering innovativeness in police units. Evidence shows that organizational changes, including data-driven decision making, organizational flexibility, and innovative problem solving, which represent a substantive change from traditional management forms, pose a challenge to the police department. Therefore, while compstat is still laudable, its implementation in practice reinforces the older bureaucratic-military model of police management instead of innovative policing practices.
Revising the Original Model
Intelligence-led policing is by definition an evolving concept. Its components involved targeting serious crimes, triaging out crimes, positioning intelligence in decision-making, and using surveillance. However, over the years, a revisionist approach to intelligence-led policing attempts to shift intelligence-led policing towards the crime-focused problem-solving methodology of policing (Ratcliffe, 2016 p.84). The strategy aligned with government ideology over the last few years. With a more integrated model, intelligence and problem-solving work together, such that initial crime investigations are conducted while problem-solving relies on routine consideration of intelligence. That influenced the perception of intelligence-led policing as an instrument rather than a philosophy.