In light of the anger and such in the community, is catching one criminal worth the increased friction between the population and the police?
Location doesn't matter, crowd only matters in determining the team or backup size. If a criminal is worth getting, get him when you know where he is barring a hostage situation. I'm surprised you're thinking along these lines- let's go to the next step.
Attitudes of people may be wrong, may be stupid, even group insanity. Example: Greece, people paying no taxes are rioting because they may get benefits cut because the government has no money. Shouldn't the top 5% tax payers be rioting because they are threatened with more taxes? Lesson-you cannot begin to guess what will torque people off in the future and it will happen eventually anyway. If they want a reason they will find it or make it up.
Let's not send the police in because someone, even someone doing an illegal act like harboring a fugitive, might get miffed. When is that not going to happen? How about let's not send the police in because too many people supportive of the fugitive are there. Isn't that called a gang? How's that working so far? The gangs will just get big enough to intimidate the police and then control everything. Once people know a person can't be touched the farce is over. Police protect the peace and little more, the thin blue line will break and third world violence will be on our doorstep.
Make any sense?