When crime problems develop and an agency comes up with a strategy to tackle the problem, one thing that is often discussed is the possibility of displacement of the problem. Displacement can occur in several ways. In this step, we're going to look at these two ways:
- Geographic displacement - when the crime problem moves from one physical location to another
- Temporal displacement - when the crime problem moves to another time or day
The author's have this to say:
If geographical or temporal displacement occurs, it is most likely to shift crime to locations and times very similar to the locations and times affected by the prevention. Such shifts require less effort, learning, and risk for offenders than shifting to very different places and times. It is more likely that offenders will try to outwait the response, which explains Lawrence Sherman's finding that the effects of crackdowns decay. If offenders cannot outwait a response, it will be the most familiar locations and times that will have the greatest chance of receiving displaced crime.Displacement is one of the reasons that short term crackdowns aren't always that effective. The criminals just wait out the crackdown (temporal displacement). They know that the police often can't keep up the increased enforcement posture for too long. For the criminal, temporal displacement is easier than geographic displacement.
If you plan for displacement when you develop a solution to a crime problem, you can adjust your plan accordingly should displacement occur.
Next time we'll look at other types of displacement when we cover Step 49 - Examine Displacement To Other Targets, Tactics and Crime Types.