This paper analyzes the German approach to devising police crime-control strategies as a theoretical instrument for enabling the police to develop crime-reduction strategies through criminal investigations.
The analysis distinguishes between "general" and "operative" criminal investigation strategies. The criterion for this distinction is the object of analysis and the level of planning. In "general" criminal investigation strategies, the focus is on reducing all crime or a certain type of crime. "General" criminal investigation strategies are further divided into crime strategies, which are oriented toward certain types of crime (e.g., economic, organized, and property crime); strategies that target individual professional fields of police work (e.g., covert investigation methods); and regional strategies (crime reduction in a geographically limited area). "Operative" criminal investigation strategies, on the other hand, involve planning to reduce individual types of criminal offenses in a certain area, e.g., peer violence in schools, street violence, and the street sale of drugs. "Operative" criminal investigation strategies rarely address the activities of a certain crime group. Police management involves the coordination of, training for, and the acquisition of tools for the investigative strategies that will result in the prevention and/or reduction of various types of crimes, individual criminals, and criminal groups. This new type of police management strategy for criminal investigations goes beyond an exclusive management focus on the investigation of individual crimes that have already occurred. Instead, it begins with a comprehensive analysis of the types of crimes and criminals that threaten the security and safety of the public, followed by the development of comprehensive investigative strategies and tools tailored to crime types, so as to prevent and reduce these crimes. 1 figure and 22 references