Crime psych-5- crime prevention

  • Created by: livvvx
  • Created on: 05-04-19 17:57

Crime prevention (social)

Crime nprevention refers to behaviours designed to reduce the likelihood of crime by making it more difficult for a criminal or making it less worth their while.

Situational crime prevention

Involves moving the emphasis away from the individual (criminal) and instead focussing upon the env and how this can present fewer opportunities for people to offend. 

  • Brown & Altman (1983)

Investigated features of home burglaries using a sample of 306 homes (some that had been burglarised and some that had not) and suggested that, as well as implementing normal security measures such as locking doors, 3 other measures can help to deter burglars...

  • Barries (such as fences and walls)
  • Territorial markers which signal the owner's individuality and the proprty being occupied such as house name plaques
  • Traces- for example garages may help to prevent burglaries because they make it hard for potential burglars to know if someone is home or not (because there are no visible traces of them being around to allow occupancy to be monitored)

Features of Neighbourhoods

One important factor in explaining why crime occurs is the environmental desgin of neighbourhoods.

In the 1970s many modern housing developments built in the UK and USA after WW2 were considered to be 'failing'- many were high rise flats and, although they maximised space, residents were experiencing rising crime rates and poor quality of life.

An important concept introduced by Newman (72) was that of 'defensible space' which means a space which can be perceived as belonging to a particular person or small group of people.

This is a problem with high rise blocks of flats because, numerous spaces do not belong to anybody i.e. stairwells, landings, lifes, parking areas and shared gardens- we refer to these as being of 'secondary' significance as residents feel a diminished responsibility for these areas. 

Another factor Newman identified as leading to a reduced sense of community was that the neighbourhoods themselves often consist of a number of high-rise buildings- residents struggle to distinguish between who lives in their buildings or neighbourhoods thus identifying potential criminals is more difficult. This leads to a reduced sense of community, with criminal activity less easily detected or challenged. 

Red Road Flats, Glasgow, Uk:

Built in the 1960s- The estate was made up of 8 multi-story blocks housing 4700 people. The buildings were among the tallest in Glasgow. By the 1970s the estate had a reputation for anti-social crime ranging from youths throwing objects from the roofs to frequent burglaries. In 1977 there was an incident in which a fire was started by vandals in an empty flat which led to the death of a 12 year old boy.

By the 1980s crime still continued within the estate e.g. drug dealing, muggings and suicides. Measures were introduced in the 1980s which gave residents more protection e.g. control of access through communal entrance doors by key fobs, intercoms and round-the-clock concierge facilities which led to a dramatic fall in crime. The buildings were demolished in 3…


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