There are three things that must be present in a community for a criminal stronghold to exist: fear, apathy, and tolerance for crime. The criminal knows that if he can intimidate the citizens, he has a toehold in the stronghold. If he drives through the community and sees overgrown lots, graffiti, abandoned homes, broken-down cars, and litter everywhere, it sends a message that the community does not care about itself. And if the community tolerates crime, it will have crime. This is a fundamental truth. Interestingly, it will have just as much crime as it is willing to tolerate.
Coactive policing is about building a trust-based partnership with the community, and then applying the power of that relationship to attack the fear, apathy, and tolerance for crime that allows a criminal stronghold to exist.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a report called CRASHing the Gates of the Stronghold that outlines a practical plan for coactively reducing crime in problem neighborhoods (but give me a few days because I’m about to leave for a vacation…).