John E. Eck and Tamara D. Madensen
Police influence on offender choices has largely been described in terms of general and specific deterrence. This chapter expands this description by examining the quantity and quality of police influences. With regard to quantity, theory and research from environmental criminology have described a rich set of influences that have direct and indirect effects on offenders. Indirect influences operate through various third parties and by manipulating crime situations. With regard to quality, theory and research from a wide variety of disciplines show that how the police behave with offenders has an influence on offender choices. Four principles are particularly important for quality: the degrees to which the police appear to be reasonable, disarming, focused, and consistent. Expanding our understanding of how police can influence offender choices provides useful areas for research and opens a wide range of possibilities for improving police effectiveness and fairness in addressing crime.