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Examine the Effectiveness of Situational Crime Prevention as a Means of Reducing the Impact of Crime on Society.

In: Social Issues

Submitted By charbeveridge
Words 673
Pages 3
Situational crime prevention arose from the work of Clarke, Cohen and Felson. Their theories suggested that by limiting the opportunity of committing crimes and making it become more risky that it would drop crime rates. Situational crime prevention included making it more difficult to steal by having neighbourhood watch schemes and by marking valuable goods with identifiable codes. It also included limiting opportunities for violence by using plastic glasses in pubs at night and having secruity guards to maintain order.

The opportunity theory by Clarke consists of two elements: how attractive the target is, for example, how much they can gain by committing the crime against the particular place, person or property. If it is the property they will ensure that it is easy to carry away and sell. The second element is how accessible the target is, if it is easy to get away with then they will be more likely to commit a crime. Therefore using CCTV and high security, there are less likely to be crimes as they do not want to risk getting caught. However Katz and Lyng put forward the idea of 'edgework' which argues that criminals also do it for the thrill of the act and that situational crime prevention actually encourages crime due to the risk involved that fuels the criminals adrenaline. However the use of situational crime prevention does make it more difficult to commit crimes as CCTV and security guards act as informal social control.

Felson and Cohen developed the idea of opportunity theory and came up with the concept of routine activities. Routine activities are the normal activities of daily life that provide the cognitive maps and opportunities for crime. Felson and Cohen argued that crimes were more likely to happen where the day-to-day activities of offenders and victims were likely to coincide and where there was no 'capable guardian' such as a police...

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