Is Zero Tolerance Policing the Way Forward?
By Benny Roberts, Crime Correspondent | March 21, 2018
Zero tolerance (ZT) was adopted by the NYPD during a crack-cocaine epidemic in 1994. In just a few years of enforcing ZT, it was measured that crime had been reduced by about 30%. ZT clearly has a big strength, as shown from the figures in the New York City example. Experts have said that ZT is a cheaper policing method compared to intelligence led policing (ILP) and proactive or quality of life policing. ZT has been known to have an immediate effect on crime, which is unlike the more expensive, long-term social solutions used in other cities and states.
During the trial period in NYC in 1993, ZT resulted in a lot more people being arrested for what some may consider a minor crime. By 2012, it was estimated that one person every ten minutes was arrested for the possession of marijuana. The majority of those people lost their jobs and rental houses as a result, which created more problems. And, in some cases, other crimes increased.
On the flip side of ZT, analysts have strongly put forward that other methods are more appropriate. Intelligence led policing is the process of building relationships with those committing minor crime, or the friends and relatives of people involved in crime in order to build up a rapport and build a bigger picture on crime for intelligence officers to lead an operation to have the same sort of impact on crime. Although ILP may not look as though the police are doing their job immediately, in the long run they will prove that they have been able to decrease crime.
It is important to remember that there are many factors to the reduction of crime. It has been said that the internet (more people spending time on it) has been a factor, for example.
It is not clear whether the Los Santos Police Department and the Los Santos County Sheriff's Department work solely on a zero tolerance policy.
If you have an opinion, or would like to speak to us about this topic, please leave a comment below. You can also contact Benny Roberts via the SAN 1-800-SAN line.
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