Focus on Places, Not People, to Prevent Crime

Joel Caplan

  • 7 February 2018
  • Posted by: Nicolas Devia
  • Number of views: 1441
RTM or Risk Terrain Modeling is an application designed by Dr. Joel Caplan to study the conditions of a certain geographic area and determine if its morphology incentivizes or not crime and violence. The state of the buildings, the type of public equipment (if there’s any), the type of business in the neighborhood, etc. and their interaction are key variables to determine where and why crime takes place in the places it does. By identifying those hot spots it is possible to better assign resources not only on policing but also to bring urban rejuvenation, inclusive architecture and public services. RTM is a free tool that has been effectively tested in multiple cities across the world, performing with great success. For low and medium income countries that depend on an effective application of scarce resources, a tool like this one could save plenty of lives.

Why open a school? To close a prison

Nadia Lopez

  • 6 February 2018
  • Posted by: Nicolas Devia
  • Number of views: 1127
Opening schools in segregated an unequal regions is not just an investment to educate children. It is also about empowering communities, letting them achieve their dreams and escape the fear of violence and crime. By letting citizens out of the education system we are leaving their communities vulnerable to criminal organizations, low expectatives and a vicious spiral of poverty. Criminals are not born, but rather the result of a toxic atmosphere were future seems only like a dream. Nadia Lopez empowered low income communities in New York City through education and showing them the world, helping them create dreams they could fight for.

Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime

Anne Milgram

  • 1 February 2018
  • Posted by: Nicolas Devia
  • Number of views: 995
While cities, enterprises and even romantic relations have moved to and adopted information technologies as their future, policing in the majority of the hemisphere is still conducted the same way as 50 or even more years ago. Even further, criminal organizations use internet as a tool for expanding their businesses and therefore violence. However, data offered by the digital networks of society and the one police officers recollect empirically is an invaluable asset for governments looking to improve their situation of public safety. Anne Milgram introduced data analysis and statistics into New Jersey’s criminal justice system and policing strategy, resulting in a sharp decrease in violence rates. While the initial investment could be heavy for low income governments, keeping the current system without actualizations represents a much expensive option. Lack of effectiveness in the system creates unimaginable costs due to overcrowded prisons, saturated courthouses and underprepared police officers. Smart statistics are then the best rational option for governments with grave situations of violence and crime.

Cities on Speed

Improving Civic Behavior - Bogota (Andreas Dalsgaard - Danish Film Institute)

  • 23 January 2018
  • Posted by: Nicolas Devia
  • Number of views: 1456

The constant decline of Bogota's rate of homicides and violent deaths during the late 90's and the beginning of the new millennium has its roots in an unconventional practice: mimes, soccer cards, balloons and an unorthodox Mayor wearing a super-hero costume. An innovative experiment on governance shows the effectiveness of approaching the citizens in a pedagogic, familiar and enjoyable way, improving the lives of the citizens regardless of their economic capacities. Rather than approaching the problem of violence with a zero-tolerance style of policies, Bogota invented a new sort of Community policing without the need for the police. By teaching tolerance, respect of law, empathy and patience to the citizens, Bogota created an atmosphere of trust and rejection of incivilities, which led then to a reduction of violence and crime. This case sheds light and guidance to another way of approaching the problem of violence in the Americas that truly deserves to be revisited.