The core mission of law enforcement worldwide is to secure public safety and serve our communities. This purpose may be phrased many different ways in mission statements and enacted through a multitude of differing policies, tactics, and strategies, but I would suggest that we can all agree that controlling crime is a key element of protecting our communities.
But what does “crime control” really entail—and how do we determine which crime control strategies are most relevant and effective based on our jurisdictions’ particular needs and resources? Originally, crime control encompassed policing methods that concentrated on the arrest, prosecution, and penalization of those who committed crimes. This perspective on crime control is reflected in the legislation of some countries, including the United States, that mandated more severe sentences for the perpetrators of certain crimes. The intents of this reactive approach to crime were to both keep offenders off the streets and to discourage future offenders (or recidivism among released offenders).