Gaming behavior Policing

New crime policing strategies in law enforcement domain are geared towards lowering crime rates and at the same time making communities more “livable”. This study (archive.org) exposes unethical methods that police use to cook books in order to create favorable statistics. Problem with crime control in general is the overall measurement of performance as motivational force. We have to discount high profile cases that shape public opinion of police where police are forced to put all their resources and focus on day to day work. “Observations had identified four distinct categories of perverse behaviours designed to improve performance by unethical means, or give the false impression performance had improved. Such behaviours are referred to colloquially as “fiddling the figures”, “cooking the books” or “good housekeeping”.

In the academic literature they are referred to as “gaming” behaviour and there is a body of theory on the subject”. One has to wonder and question if new policing methods truly lower crime or they just create better circumstances for crime rates to appear lower?

The report calls this unethical behavior as “gaming”:

The four categories of “gaming” behaviours identified are defined as follows:

  • Cuffing: The under-recording of reported crimes, the term being derived from the magician’s art of making objects disappear up the sleeve or cuff.
  • Nodding: This involves collusion between officers and suspects to admit to large numbers of offences, usually whilst in prison after sentence, in return for favours such as reduced sentences, access to partners, drugs or alcohol. The term is used to describe the act of a prisoner pointing out or “nodding” at locations where they claim to have committed offences.
  • Skewing: This involves moving resources from areas of activity which are not subject to performance measures in order to improve performance in areas that are monitored for control purposes
  • Stitching: This includes a variety of malpractices designed to enhance the strength of the evidence against a suspect in order to ensure the desired criminal justice outcome. Fabricating evidence or stitching someone up are forms of this behaviour.

Of course gaming is not related to organized stalking directly, but you have to keep in mind the numbness of institutional authority as to what is going on in their backyard. It’s hard to imagine that they are unaware of it with all the surveillance and intelligence. You have to give props to UK for at least being transparent with FOIA.

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