realism on crime

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  • Realism
    • Left realism
      • thinking
        • emphasise social causes of crime which might be characterised as tough on causes of crime e.g. poverty
        • recog that offender & victim = those w/ highest lev of marg & social exclusion (poor)
        • emph need to tackle material & cultural dep as risk factors for crime - particually amongst youg
          • factors inc pov, unemp, poor housing etc
      • policies
        • build strong comms - local solutions - cohesion
        • multi-agency working, inv everyone in fight ag crime
        • creation of safer neighbourhood/ police & community together groups
        • > democratic & comm cont of policing to win public conf to tackle causes of crime & encourage victims to report crime
        • > time spent by police in investig crime
        • tackling social dep & other risk factors for crime by improv comm facilities i.e. youth clubs
      • EVAL
        • soft on crime - focus too much on social causes of crime - downplay role of offender in choosing to commit crime
        • explanations are inadequate - maj of these in dep comms don't turn to crime
        • deflect attention away f/ > practical crime prev measures - e.g. tighter soc cont & sit crim prev e.g. target hardening
        • ignore w.c.c; too much focus on w/c
    • Right realism
      • thinking
        • lays > stress on sit crim prev & being tough on crims
        • focus on indivs rather than wider social issues
        • indivs choose crime & must be dissuaded f/ committing crime & if can't, must be pun
      • policies
        • Sit crim prev  (SCP)- like routine activity theory & rat choice theory (new right)
          • routine activity theory - crime occurs part of everyday routine when 3 conditions present
            • 1) suitable target          2) no 'capable guardian'           3) potential offender present
          • rat choice theory - sees offenders as acting rationally weighing up benefits & costs of crime
        • SCP aims to make pot targets of crime > difficult & risky - target hardening
          • this reduces crime & opps for crime
            • therefore concerned w/ prev crime in locations rather than watching offenders
        • increased soc cont
          • linked to Hirschi's control theory - focus on tighter cont & socialisation
            • policies e,g. making parents > resp for supervision of kids, neighbourhood watch, zero tolerance policy
      • EVAL
        • don't address wider soc causes of crime
        • don't allow that some people may be targeted unfairly by police
        • assume offenders act rat in choosing crime
        • SCP geograp limited - only prev crime in partic locations


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