Crime Control through Collective Efficacy and Social Cohesion

On March 9, 2016, from 2:00-3:30 pm eastern, the Smart Policing Initiative presented a webinar on "Crime Control through Collective Efficacy and Social Cohesion." This webinar was presented by Craig D. Uchida and Shellie E. Solomon of Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. The idea of the “community” is critical to community oriented policing, yet many community policing efforts undervalue the role that residents play in crime control. While police play an important role in crime control and are legally authorized to do so, the vast majority of crime control actually results from the everyday activities of citizens. An effective crime control strategy is one that acknowledges and embraces the importance of regular citizens in preventing crime and seeks to enhance their ability to do so.

The ideas of "collective efficacy and social cohesion" are two notions that directly involve residents and communities in a crime control strategy. These notions do not involve community organizing per se; rather they embrace and facilitate simple acts of neighbor-to-neighbor interactions. By engaging residents in collective efficacy, police can not only gain allies in crime prevention and crime reduction, but can build public trust for themselves. This webinar defined collective efficacy and social cohesion and demonstrated how these concepts can be applied in police agencies and communities across the country. The presenters discussed their work on collective efficacy in Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn Park, MN.