How the CCO framework can be used to describe causes, interventions and roles for particular crime problems – two examples

The examples below cover a pattern of vehicle airbag thefts from a hospital car park, and a fight in a pub.

Note that the suggested interventions for each example are all ‘initial ideas’, which would have to be filtered for suitability and cost effectiveness in the specific context where they were to be implemented.

CCO example 1: a fight in a pub

This example is a typical potentially serious incident, starting in a pub and ending in the street – one of many in this hot spot – which can be analysed rather like an air crash, to derive preventive lessons. Ideally the incident would be broken down into several scenes, reflecting stages and locations of the fight, but for simplicity it is shown here as one.

Note: WordPress constraints mean numbers in a given row of table below can’t be aligned. E.g. in the fight in the pub, under the crime promoters row, causal precursor #1 corresponds with possible intervention #1 etc.

Immediate causal precursors to crime or disorder eventPossible interventions in cause
Crime promoters (culpable, negligent or innocent)
1. Some onlookers ignore fight
2. Others egg offender on
3. Victim was an active promoter – insulted offender
4. Bar staff ignored confrontation until too late
5. Bar staff failed to clear up empty glasses – lie around available for misuse
6. Pub management/ brewery adopted policy of attracting mainly young people – concentration of potential offenders, insufficient rule-setters/ role models
7. Pub management declined to change to toughened beer glasses
8. Pub management indifferent to risks to which customers exposed 
1. Encourage good citizenship – cautious social control
2. Engender subcultural approval of good behaviour
3. Avoidance – teach prudence
4. Alert, inform, motivate, empower bar staff to intervene effectively and early…
5. …and to clear up glasses and bottles (restrict resources)
6. Broaden intake of clientele
7. Motivate management to change – persuasion, incentives?
8. Naming/ shaming; threat of withdrawal of pub licence by magistrates
Crime preventers (informal/ formal)
1. Passers-by do not intervene to try to separate protagonists, or call police. Due to fear of reprisal; hostility to police
2. Police arrest offender (preventing further escalation of current event and hopefully leading to prevention of next offence/s). However, police force is stretched, since all pubs close at once 
1. Witness protection; build social capital of trust to give bystanders motivation/ confidence to intervene; improve police-public relationships
2. Negotiate with pubs to stagger closing time
Wider environment
1. Physical/tactical: restricted space outside pub, making it difficult for protagonists to go their separate ways
2. Poor lighting inhibits surveillance and intervention
3. Motivational: potentially rowdy young people attracted to entertainment district  

1. Reopen disused exit onto street
2. Improve lighting after careful inspection – so offender can’t lurk unseen; and so facial recognition is possible, perhaps in conjunction with CCTV (although this is unlikely to deter expressive crime by intoxicated offenders, it could help catch and convict more serious ones and then deter people from getting drunk in first place)
3. Find other attractions/venues for boisterous young people, to reduce concentration; attract alternative clientele
Target enclosure – pub
1. Provocation – crowded – collisions/spilled drinks readily occur
2. Priming – very noisy music/games machines – stress shortens offenders’ fuses (readiness), makes preventers’ attempts at social control difficult
3. Inadequate rules of acceptable behaviour established – generates and permits crime; reputation for rowdiness attracts people who like that sort of thing
1. Rearrange furniture; consider reducing demand/ spreading it more evenly over time
2. Reduce noise
3. Establish and publicise rules; enforce them through staff training, more experienced staff, building relationships with clientele
Target person 
1. Passively provocative – wearing rival team’s football strip
2. Vulnerable – slender
3. Present in pub due to away-match
1. Advise young people on street-wise prudence – avoidance tactics
2. Training for self-defence, assertion not aggression
3. Deflect to different pubs
Offender presence in situation
1. Routine visit to regular pub
1. If this regularly brings two rival sets of supporters into contact/ conflict, try to channel them to different pubs with different hours in different parts of town; and/or encourage culture of more friendly rivalry
Decision to commit offence:
Anticipation of risk, effort and reward

1. Not very salient to the offender – an impulsive, expressive crime
2. Supportive mates, ineffectual bar staff, poor lighting outside – little risk
3. Weak appearance of target/ victim – little effort or risk
Prompting, provoking
1. Revenge, honour motives engaged
2. Sight of empty beer glasses prompts their use as a weapon
1. Make aware of serious consequences for victims, and of penalties (but both would have to be pretty extreme to have any impact)
2. Establish culture of non-aggression (aggression portrayed as stupid/ uncool)
3. Training for self-defence, confidence

1. As 2 above
2. Clearing up empty glasses
Resources for crime
1. Beer glasses – tempered – break into jagged edges
1. Replace with toughened glass or plastic (and watch for displacement to bottles)
Readiness to offend (current life circumstances)
1. Offender primed by history of conflict with victim’s team, and recent defeats
2. Offender primed by significant consumption of alcohol
3. Offender primed by stressful noise/ overcrowding in bar

1. Work with football club to encourage constructive attitude; or sack their manager
2. Modify drinking culture; have attractive soft drinks available at reasonable price; train bar staff to monitor customer state and if necessary restrict consumption – include this in rules
3. Reduce noise and overcrowding
Resources to avoid crime
1. Lack of self-control
2. Lack of ability to de-escalate dispute
1.& 2. On a universal/ selected/ indicated basis (Mrazek and Haggerty 1994; a targeting strategy used in 5Is framework), work with parents, schools, supporters club, prison or probation service to foster aggression management and social skills for de-escalation
Criminality (predisposition)
1. Aggressive predisposition
2. Prone to provocation
1. & 2. On a universal/ selected/ indicated basis (see cell above), work with parents, schools, supporters club, prison or probation service to identify and reduce any underlying causes of aggression/ easy provocation, including changing subcultural approval, poor parental discipline; in shorter-term, supply resources to avoid crime as above

CCO example 2: theft of airbags

Note: WordPress constraints mean numbers in a given row of table below can’t be aligned. E.g. in the theft of airbags, under the crime promoters row, causal precursor #1 corresponds with possible intervention #1 etc.

Immediate causal precursors to crime or disorder eventPossible interventions in cause
Crime promoters
1. Local fence will buy stolen airbags – has a ready outlet in local market
2. Local group of offenders pass on Modus Operandi for removing airbags
3. Car owners still sometimes leave doors unlocked/ windows open
4. Some car makers still give insufficient attention to security. They may also adopt a strategy of selling cars cheap and spares dear, giving elevated value to the airbags
1. Crackdown on local fences, and car parts sales over wider area
2. Attempt to break up group/ prevent fresh recruitment by attracting youngsters into other circles
3. Publicity campaign to alert owners
4. National action on car design and pricing strategies
Crime preventers
1. Hospital gives little priority to crime against visitors
2. Part-time security guard with limited training, poor communications and on short term contract
3. Car park users hurry in and out of hospital, hence little time and little motivation to report suspicious activity – which would involve long walk back to reception area
4. Not within sight of public space, hence no passing police patrols
1. Mobilise hospital authorities to take responsibility – e.g. name and shame
2. They may then improve provision of guards (if these are appropriate). CCTV might be considered as means of using guards to greatest effect
3. Reporting point for people seeing suspicious activity, conveniently placed in car park area – doubles as enquiry point and emergency help point in case of attack
4. Lower wall/ bush on road running beside car park, so patrols can look in. Consider altering traffic flow (if cheap, or changed for other reasons) to allow vehicle patrols easy access
Wider environment
1. Hospital car park – many entrances, hence poor access control, and poor pursuit
2. Thick bushes and weak lighting give good concealment and poor surveillance, hence tactically favouring offenders over preventers
3. Rich concentration of targets
1. Reconfigure entrances/ exits
2. Trim/relocate bushes; improve lighting especially in hot-spots of theft within car park (but be alert to internal displacement). Take account of lighting, CCTV, surveillability and scope for response by guards, in integrated approach
3. Can’t do anything about this
Target enclosure
1. Car body – despite improvements, still fairly easy to break into
1. National action on car design
Target person or property
Airbag – a ‘hot product’:
1. Concealable (small)
2. Removable (for ease of repair/replacement)
3. Accessible (for ease of repair/replacement)
4. Valuable – marketing/ pricing strategy
5. Disposable (serial numbers absent or easily removed)
1. National design solutions
2. National design solutions
3. National design solutions
4. National action to alter marketing strategy
5. National action to improve serial numbering, and facilities to check these; local checking procedures e.g. through Trading Standards
Offender presence in situation
1. Hospital car park acts as favourite hanging-around site for local youths – no others readily available
1. Deliberate exclusionary policy, enforced by guards; curfews and incarceration for high-risk offenders; more positively, create/adapt other places for young people to hang around – youth shelters, clubs?
Anticipation of risk, effort and reward
1. Risk and effort perceived low in relation to reward – at all stages: preparing for crime (hanging around, casing vehicles), executing the theft, escape, and carrying/ storing/ disposing of airbags
1. Change offenders’ perceptions of risk etc, by publicity to deter (raised risk of getting caught, and convicted, with serialised airbags; bent cycle tyre levers accepted as ‘going equipped for crime’), and discourage (people won’t be buying the airbags/ fences will give a lower price)
Resources for crime
1. Modus Operandi readily acquired from promoters – peers and fences
2. Adapted cycle tyre lever often used
1. (As under Promoters) – disperse/dilute peer group; crack down on fences – treat ‘schooling’ of offenders especially severely in court
2. Confiscate bent tyre levers; (as under ‘Anticipation’) use as evidence of going equipped; nationally, redesign car/ airbag to require a special tool to extract it
Readiness to offend – current life circumstances
1. Offenders have little honest entertainment
2. Unemployed hence little money
3. Some have drug habit that requires funding
1. Supply attractive and affordable entertainment facilities elsewhere
2. Economic regeneration
3. Drug treatment, crackdown on dealers, education
Resources to avoid crime
1. Some offenders have lack of basic literacy, which constrains job prospects
2. Others are impulsive in the face of temptation
1. Literacy scheme – for all young people, for those at risk of offending, for those who have offended
2. Cognitive skills training – again, primary, secondary or tertiary targeting
Criminality (predisposition)
1. High-crime subculture influences local youths’ attitudes to property from an early age
2. Risk factors for offending present include especially poor school performance/ truancy
1. Community-level interventions to alter subculture, ideally working with residents; perhaps changes in housing allocation policies to reduce concentration of ‘problem’ families
2. Mobilising families and schools to exert social control to reduce truancy; improving school performance/attractiveness to pupils