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| Kings Cross Shooting Essay

The Kings Cross Shooting was an incident that received a lot of media coverage. Not only was it covered by the print media, but by the broadcast, and online media as well, with most of the reporting taking place between the 21st and 28th of April, 2012 . The incident culminated in the shooting by police of two Indigenous youths who were in a previously stolen vehicle. The two were in the company of 3 other Indigenous youths. Of the two youths, one was a 14 years old who was the driver. He suffered a shot in the chest and the arm. The second was an 18 years old passenger who was shot in the neck. The police claimed to have fired the shots in an attempt to rescue a pedestrian who was trapped under the vehicle after the driver mounted on the footpath in an attempt to escape the police, dragging her for under the vehicle. Videos captured in the ordeal captured the police officers man-handling the suspects once they were subdued.

The media and public responded to the incident in numerous ways. However little has been responded as to what should have been done differently or how such incidences can be prevented or could have been prevented from occurring. It is apparent that like any other incident, there is a possibility that this fateful event could have been prevented had the community enjoyed an applicable and ideal crime prevention strategy. By definition and application, a crime prevention strategy is meant to assist in the reduction of crime, the elimination of any criminal and pathological phenomena, create a working environment with offenders as well as protect and assist victims of a crime. In this case, the strategy was meant to assist the 5 Indigenous youths as the offenders and the pedestrian as a victim of the crime.

As noted by Smith, M.J. and Cornish, D.B. (2003) one of such strategies is Crime Prevention Through Environment Design (CPTED). This particular strategy is developed upon a set standard which are meant to amongst to assist in the development of an ordinance that addresses a broad category of issues. Common amongst the issues that the ordinance addresses are property crimes to include issues like robbery, burglary, larceny, vandalism, assault, drug dealing and auto theft. Notably, the Kings Cross incident perfectly falls within a category of incidences that perfectly matches this criterion. This is because the incidence resulted from an auto theft, which in the eventual end, robbery had taken place, the culprit were suspected to have been high on alcohol and drugs as well as the assault inflicted upon the pedestrian as well as the offenders; where the pedestrian was assaulted by the offenders, whilst the offenders by the police officers. In the application of this strategy, the CPTED strategies would have influenced the offenders’ decisions and precede the criminal acts therein.

One of the ways that this strategy would have been applied would have been to organize a small group which was to represent the planning, the zoning, building as well as crime prevention. Moffatt further explains that safe from organizing the said small group, the authorities should have also provided CPTED training to the entire planning group. This should also have been doubled up by the orientation of the strategy to the police department, the community groups existing in the Kings Cross area, the business leaders in the area as well as the development officials. Lastly, they should have developed a list of CPTED initiatives. These initiatives should primarily ensure efficient zoning and redevelopment of the Kings Cross area. This can be achieved by installing sufficient lighting in the area, investing in reliable security hardware, having a comprehensive street and building control system, ensuring sufficient visibility and also ensuring that the landscape is conducive for implementing the strategy.

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