Shobak Castle was the first fortress built by the Crusaders in the nation of Jordan. My friend, Gary Curry, and I visited this site and used it as an opportunity to talk about how to “CRASH” criminal strongholds.
In the early 12th century, the Crusaders used Shobak as their base of operations to exercise influence over the surrounding area. In the same way, criminals will establish strongholds and use them as base for “invading” surrounding communities, effectively expanding their influence (not to suggest Crusaders were criminals, but you get the point). It’s akin to playing chess on a giant chessboard. As the criminals gain ground, they expand their influence.
Reactive Policing is largely ineffective in rooting out criminal strongholds.Typically, we simply find ourselves rushing from call to call in an endless cycle of reactivity. Interestingly, we start to measure our effectiveness not by what we did to solve the problem that generated the call, but by how long it took us to get there! Does the term “average response time” sound familiar?
Breaking the cycle of reactivity requires a coactive approach that attacks the stronghold at it’s foundation: Fear, Apathy, and Tolerance for crime. These three factors allow strongholds to exist. Building community relationships that are fueled by trust and powered by the character of police officers who are properly aligned under authority is the key to CRASHing the gates of the StrongHold.