Report for Chief of Police on Street Racing and Underage Drinking

Peace and order are prerequisite for development in any community.  They are important aspects that help in maintaining peaceful coexistence of community members.  However, the role of maintaining peace and order in the community is solely the responsibility of law enforcement agencies (Larry, 2003).  In the recent past, there has been a major shift in policing from reactionary to preventative approaches which are being propagated by community-oriented policing and problem solving (COPPS philosophy).  This philosophy has provided framework for community and police working together to address various security threats facing their community.  This report is presented to Chief of Police on proposed strategies to tackle the problem of underage drinking and street racing which have been on the rise in Westwood community. The report is presented in line with SARA methods through lens of COPPS philosophy.

COPPS philosophy
To effectively deal the problem of underage drinking and racing in Westwood community, law enforcement agencies must work together with community. This means that COPPS philosophy is indispensable to address the problem.

The COPPS philosophy lays down the framework that facilitates police agencies and the community to work together to solve problems confronting them.  It sets out crime prevention strategies which allow police force to use hands-on strategy in policing.  The utmost objective of COPPS philosophy is providing paradigm which establish partnership between police service and community members (, 2009).  This is a core paradigm in crime prevention and widely viewed as collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies and the community members. The underlying principle on this philosophy is the sociological interpretation for crime which perceives crime to be a product of the environment. In line with social learning theories, this philosophy perceives crime to be learnt through interactions and associations with others.

In order to tack the problems of underage drinking and street racing, there has to be a concrete plan that helps the community members to work in liaison with the law enforcement agencies. The SARA model provides an analytical framework that describes different phases in tackling the problem (Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, 2010).

Underage drinking is a universal problem faced by many societies. It is among major challenges facing law enforcement agencies. There have been calls to lower legal drinking age from the current 21 years to proposed 18 years, but this has been met with challenges.  Statistics shows that about 47 of individuals between the age of 14 and 20 years consume alcohols more compared to individuals who have attained legal drinking age (Larry, 2003).  This clarify that fact that the current laws directed to tackle the problem are not working right.

Street racing has been identified as another major challenge facing law enforcement agencies.  Street racing is associated with speed and recklessness. It is a part of pop culture associated with rebellion. It results to related injuries and deaths. This means that street racing does not only pose a major risk to those involved in the race but also to road users and other pedestrians.

Bother underage drinking and street racing are major security problem in Westwood community. They not only pose risk to individuals but to the whole community as a whole. They are problems which need to be dealt with in the most appropriate with in community involvement.

Underage drinking is an obscure social problem but it can be dealt with effectively with collaboration between policing agencies and the community.  Underage drinkers are a part of the society and people interact with them now and then. This means that more than the policing agencies, the community in Westwood is in a better position to tackle the problem. However, because they lack enforcement mechanism, they have to work in liaison with the police in order to effectively tackle the problem from the roots.  Underage drinkers and street racers carry out their vices because they find the environment enabling.  The community has not done enough to show them that their actions are not permitted in their immediate environment.

There are many factors which contribute to persistence of the two problems in Westwood. Most important, social access and commercial access can be identified as two major factors that increase the risk of individuals committing the two crimes.  This means that the community is a part and parcel of the problem since they provide the ground for the vices. For example it is community members who sell alcohol to the youths. On the other hand, street racing takes places because the environment is not effectively supervised (Larry, 2003). There are not officers visible in Westwood which gives a perfect opportunity for situational crimes to take place.

In order to deal effectively with underage drinking, there is need for collaboration between the whole community of Westwood and the police force.  This will ensure that commercial and social access to alcohol is minimized. The main response to prevent underage drinking would involve sensitizing the Westwood community on the legal drinking age and the liabilities that commercial distributors will assume in case they are suspected of selling alcoholic beverages to underage drinkers.  This information drive should also be targeted at the police to ensure that they understand the legal framework of the crime.

On the issue of street racing, there must be collaboration between the police force and the community in general.  This collaboration should be directed towards controlling the environment under which the activity happens.  There must be effective strategies that will be implemented through police-Westwood community collaboration to minimize incidences of street racing. This would include additional bumps on community roads and carry out a campaign for the community to report incidence of street racing.

In order to understand the effectiveness of this strategy, it will be important to carry out timely assessment.  The effectiveness of the strategies taken can only be assessed by their impact in reducing the prevalence of both crimes.  This means that the most effectively assessment tool will be the number of crimes reported for underage drinking and racing.

In conclusion, it is expected that the above strategies will reduce incidence of underage drinking and street racing in Westwood. However, the plan must be implemented swiftly and contingency put in place to avoid drift in strategy.


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