Many crime control strategies developed today are based upon successes of the past. Given the complex nature of the environment, the chances for these strategies to achieve real success are limited. Design thinking and Adaptive Campaigning recognize and incorporate the evolutionary nature of the environment in their structure, allowing law enforcement agencies to not only expect environmental changes to occur as operations are ongoing, but anticipating those changes and manipulating the responses toward an intended future. Design strategies permit law enforcement agencies to be increasingly effective in disrupting criminal activity and reducing crime, particularly against criminal organizations like street gangs. To develop such adaptive strategies, law enforcement command staff members must first assemble a group of critical and creative thinkers who can take the necessary time to understand the complex network of relationships within and between members in these criminal organizations and who can use this knowledge to target those relationships. By understanding the environment as it exists in real time and continuing a cycle of understanding, designing, influencing, and evaluating, designers can guide their target through a series of intended responses. Used against criminal organizations such as street gangs, adaptive strategies target and exploit the relationships among middle-tier operators resulting in their incarceration and removal from the operational environment. Without these middle-tier operators, the ability for the criminal organization to effectively conduct its criminal affairs is lost, resulting in the disruption, destabilization, and dismantling of the organization in a way that prevents a power vacuum and the violence typically associated with it.
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