Crime Prevention

  • Created by: SarahBee
  • Created on: 14-05-15 14:01

Situational Crime Prevention


  • Pre-emptive > reducing opportunities for crime, not improving society.                          
  • Identified 3 features of measures > directed at specific crimes, altering the immediate environment of the crime, aim to increase risk and reduce rewards
  • Underlying this is RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY OF CRIME > most crime is opportunistic > need to reduce this


  • Criticism > do not reduce crime, just displace it
  • If criminals are rational, they will respond to target hardening by going where targets are softer 
  • E.g. Chaiken > Subway robberies moved to streets (NY)
  • Types; spatial (place), temporal (time), target (diff. victim), tactical (method) & functional (diff. type of crime) 


  • Tends to focus on opportunistic crime (petty street) and ignore white-collar, corporate and state crimes
  • Assumes criminals are rational, but this may not always be the case
  • Ignores causes of crime such as poverty or poor socialisation
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Environmental Crime Prevention

Wilson & Kelling > Broken Windows

  • 'Broken windows' > various signs of disorder/lack of concern found in some neighbourhoods
  • Leaving areas like this and tolerating certain behaviours > suggests no one cares
  • Lack of both formal and informal controls > downward spiral

Zero Tolerance

  • No controls > lead to crime
  • Environmental improvement strategy > repair broken windows or else more will follow
  • Zero tolerance policing must be adopted > musat tasckle the slighest sign of disorder instead of justs reacting to crime > will halt neighbourhood decline


  • 1992-96 > fall in crime NY crime rate, 50% drop in murder rate
  • Unsure of whether or not zero tolerance was the cause of this > 7,000 extra officers, general decline in crime rate in major US crities, attempted murders did not decline so perhaps the fall in murder rate is to do with improved emergency services not the police
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Social and Community Crime Prevention

  • Emphasis on potential offenders and their social context 
  • Aim to remove the conditions that predispose individuals to commit crime 
  • Long term > tackle root cause rather than removing opportunities
  • Causes of crime are often rooted in social conditions > general social reform programmes that address these issues may have a crime prevention role (even if not main focus) 

The Perry Pre-school Project 

  • Community programme aimed at reducing criminality
  • Project for disadvantaged black children in Michigan offered a 2yr intellectual enrichment programme for a group of 3-4yr olds
  • A longitudinal study
  • By the age of 40 > significantly fewer arrests and more had graduated from high school and were in employment
  • It was calculated that for every $ spent on the programme, 17$ was saved on welfare, prisons and other costs
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