The purpose and effectiveness of police patrols

The essay discuses the purpose and effectiveness of police patrols in neighborhoods. It illustrates that the main purpose of police patrols is preventing crimes from taking place. Reducing public disorderliness and responding promptly to crimes of scenes, have also been discussed in the essay as other major purposes of police patrols. The essay takes a firm stand on the issue of effectiveness of police patrols. It supports the idea that they are effective even though they might not be one hundred percent effective.

The general public basically expects the police officers to accomplish several things violent crime reduction is mostly ranked as one of the most important factor. However, public disorder, which is mainly characterized by consumption of alcohol in public, vagrancy, prostitution, and drug abuse and dealing can loom more in virtually all neighborhoods as compared to other serious forms of crimes. Police patrols are more effective in controlling such public disorders. Such crimes decrease as the levels of police patrol increase, as people tend to misbehave less in the presence of police officers. However, even though the police patrols are capable of reducing violent crimes, they are not as effective as in reduction of public disorders. The main purpose of police controls is reducing both violent and other serious forms of crimes as well as reducing the level of public disorders in the neighborhoods (Moore  Braga, 2004).

Purpose and effectiveness of police patrols
One of the major objectives of police patrols is preventing crimes from taking place. When criminals are aware that police officers are likely to be patrolling a certain neighborhood, at a certain time, they will shy from carrying out their activities in such places. Criminals are thus deterred from committing crimes in such neighborhoods. As a result, the levels of crime will reduce if the police patrols are increased. Police patrols are also aimed at enhancing increased interaction between the police officers and members of the society. Criminals live amongst the rest of the society members. Therefore, to the police officers, the society is a very important source of information about criminals within the community. Through increased police patrols, interaction between the police and the society members increases making it possible for officers to receive a lot of information concerning crimes and criminals (Clapton, 2006).

Without police patrols, it would be difficult for the police officers to respond promptly to incidents of crimes. The police patrols are thus carried out to ensure that they are in a position of responding quickly when crime takes place. In this case, even though a crime has already taken place implying that they are less successful in deterring crime, the officers will succeed in mitigating losses arising from crimes. Responding quickly is therefore another major purpose of police patrols. It enhances their ability to collect evidence before it is interfered with by the public, thus making it easier for them to apprehend criminals and succeed in prosecuting them. Public disorder, though not constituting a major crime is also focused by police patrols (Clapton, 2006).

Even though police patrols are not absolutely effective in preventing crime from taking place, they are highly effective. According to Moore  Braga (2004), neighborhoods with high levels of police patrols witness less incidents of crime compared to those where less police patrols take place. This is because criminal activities are reduced by police patrols, as criminals are less likely to attack people in neighborhoods with high presence of police officers. He argues that the difference in the levels of crime between the areas that are patrolled more regularly is a good indicator which shows that police patrols are effective in reducing crime.

The effectiveness of police patrols have been greatly enhanced by the increased interaction between the police officers and the community members. The work of police officers affects the communities and thus it cannot be deemed to be complete without contributions from members of the society. As Clapton reckons, when interaction and communication levels between the police and the public increases, the society members are more willing to provide crucial information to police officers. Such information enables the officers to not only respond quickly when a crime is committed, but to also prevent several crimes from being committed. It therefore implies that well coordinated and implemented police patrols are highly effective in preventing crimes from occurring (Moore  Braga, 2004).

According to Moore and Braga, reducing public disorder in the neighborhoods is one of the greatest achievements police patrols have attained over the years. People committing offences such as consumption of alcohol in the public, prostitution, vagrancy and drug abuse are less likely to commit them within neighborhoods with high levels of police patrols. Societies with more police patrols are thus more orderly as compared to the ones without or with less police patrols. This is yet another indicator showing that police patrols are very effective the more disorderly societies are likely to experience more incidents of crime than the orderly ones. By police patrols decreasing public disorder, crime is also decreased.

The major purpose of police patrols is reducing the levels of both violent and less serious crimes in the neighborhoods. These patrols also aim at reducing the level of public disorderliness in societies and thus effectively reduce probability of crimes taking place. Responding promptly to crime scenes is yet another major purpose of police patrols. The police patrols are quite effective in reducing and preventing crimes from taking place. They are also effective in increasing interaction with community members which eventually lead to crime reduction. Public disorderliness is an area police patrols are highly effective as they assist in reducing petty as well as more serious crimes.


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