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Glendale, Arizona Smart Policing Initiative: Reducing Convenience Store Theft

NCJ Number
Michael D. White; Frank Balkcom
Date Published
March 2012
11 pages
This study examines the Glendale, Arizona Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) which addresses thefts at Circle K convenience stores using a problem-solving model.
Results show that Circle K management practices contributed to the theft problem. These practices included inadequate staffing; failure to respond to panhandling and loitering; and violations of basic Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) survey principles, such as product placement, line of sight, and lighting. The Glendale team targeted thefts because they clustered at these store locations more than at other store chains, and because the crimes threatened the safety of both customers and Circle K employees. The team was also concerned about the conditions attracting more serious crimes to be committed at these locations, which would ultimately result in overextension of available police resources. The team analyzed the data and subsequently developed a multi-faceted response that included engagement of Circle K management, recommendations for improved store operation and design, prevention efforts targeted at youth, and suppression operations focusing on the most active locations. The team documented significant decreases in calls for service at three of the six target stores during the project period, resulting in the prevention of substantial costs to victims, the city of Glendale, and its police department. The Glendale SPI experience highlights a number of lessons that may be useful for other police departments dealing with this problem, such as likely convenience store reactions to police intervention efforts, the involvement of serious offenders in low-level crime, the relevance of CPTED, and the critical importance of active partnerships. 2 tables and 1 figure

Date Published: March 1, 2012