Though they may run counter to conventional wisdom, these 5 research-backed policy ideas could reduce crime in Bedfordview and the surrounding suburbs. Here’s how—and why.
Respect residents of high-crime neighborhoods. The Stop and frisk strategy places the focus of local law enforcement on suppressing crime in dangerous places. But by assuming anyone in a dangerous place is a potential criminal, these policies strain the police-community relationship and make it harder for police to gain trust and, ultimately, solve crimes. A better solution is for police to integrate themselves into neighborhoods and become part of the community.
Respect defendants in court. Defendants who face judges who listen to them, understand their problems, and assist them into and through therapy are less likely to re-offend.
Respect convicted offenders. Getting tough on crime may have reduced crime, but it’s come at enormous costs fiscally—and to communities. It is cheaper and more effective to rehabilitate returning prisoners than to incarcerate them.
Aggressively investigate burglaries. Police in busy areas often do not investigate residential burglaries, preferring to save resources for more serious crimes. But research shows that burglars, particularly those caught via DNA evidence, already have long track records of serious offending.
Encourage gentrification. Research finds that places that are integrated have less crime than places that are economically and racially segregated. And, when a crime-ridden place gentrifies, much of the crime does not follow the residents who leave. It simply disperses. That is because the crime was about an infected place, not about the residents who live there.