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  • Subject Name : crime prevention and community


Crime prevention refers to the many strategies used by individuals, communities, businesses, non-governmental organizations to address various social and environmental factors that increase the risk of crime, inconvenience , and abuse. There are various methods of preventing crime, varying the focus of the intervention, the nature of the activities performed, the idea of how these activities should achieve the desired outcomes, and the methods used.

Many models have been developed to classify various categories of items that fall within the definition of crime prevention (Brantingham & Faust 1976; Crawford 1998; ECOSOC 2002; Sutton, Cherney & White 2008; Tonry & Farrington 1995). Understanding various crime prevention methods are important as it involves the establishment of appropriate administrative and management structures to support specific crime prevention strategies (Weatherburn 2004).

The Crime Prevention Program (SCP) is a crime prevention program that "seeks to reduce the probability of certain categories of crime by increasing the risks and difficulties associated with reducing the benefits"1. It is a multi-stage process built on a theoretical framework, which seeks to understand how, when, and how crime occurs. According to an analysis of the incidence and distribution of the given criminal problem, the SCP method then identifies risk factors, develops and implements appropriate solutions, and evaluates outcomes.

According to Clke (1997), the SCP approach is quite different from other criminal methods, differing in the sense that it seeks to predict criminal behavior by focusing on the underlying causes of crime rather than arresting and punishing perpetrators. It does not aim to prevent crime by focusing on the so-called “causes” of crime as social inequalities, but rather reducing the likelihood of crime. In this way, it is more in line with the disease-control approach used in health science.

The similarities between epidemiology and SCP are closer than traditional crime. This is because, as a traditional medicine that focuses on treating the individual as a preventative measure, traditional crime has focused on the criminal status of perpetrators as a means of reducing crime. The SCP, such as epidemiology, has sought to transform crime-prone areas to make them less prone to crime. In this way, the specific "size" of the offense, such as the individual diagnosis, becomes insignificant, at least as a preventative measure. This chapter discusses in more detail how to prevent crime. After a brief description of its historical development, the theoretical foundations are presented. A review of the process and types of prevention strategies are described and then followed by a discussion of the available evidence of effectiveness.

The Situational Approach of Crime Prevention

Unlike traditional crime prevention strategies that aim to reduce crime and violence by altering the dynamics of crime, the notion of local crime control (SCP) focuses more on immediate opportunities to sin. Prevention of crime scene aims to reduce the harm caused by crime by changing immediate or geographical factors in areas where crime is frequently occurring. These cases are very close to criminal events and can thus be very responsive to deception (Smith and Clark, 2012). The SCP incorporates "any measure of opportunity reduction, whether for construction, administration or policing, which aims to increase the severity or risks of transgression" (Clarke, 1989, p.13).

The SCP framework consists of four major elements, which can be considered as pillars of the status quo. These fundamentals are i) a theoretical basis, ii) a general approach, iii) a set of risk reduction strategies, and iv) a body of practice tested (Clarke, 1997). While several criminal theories inform the development of the SCP, there are three basic theoretical perspectives that guide the way. These ideas establish an understanding of the causes of criminal behavior and suggest appropriate responses to those situations / factors to prevent crime. The third part of the SCP framework is a set of mitigation strategies used to address the root causes of a given crime. The final piece of the status quo is expert testimony on its effectiveness and effectiveness.

Theoretical Underpinnings

The three basic foundations of SCP concepts include the Rational Choice Perspective (RCP), the Routine Activity Approach (RAA), and the Crime Pattern Theory (CPT). The Rational Choice Perspective (RCP), proposed by Carlke and Cornish (1985), thinks that crime is a meaningful process and that perpetrators can be responsible decision makers. When choosing to commit a crime, they analyze the costs and benefits of a given action. If the risk and effort exceeds the rewards for a given crime then it is less likely to occur.

The implication of the SCP, however, is that when the perpetrators make decisions based on their perceptions of the legitimacy of the crime, the local environment can be altered in a way that alters the imagined nature of the offense. The Rational Choice framework helps understand why some areas experience more crime than others and why some victims are abused and some are not. The perspective also helps to understand and identify appropriate preventive measures used to adjust the rate of acceptable effort and the risk of rewards so that opportunities for crime are reduced. Many of the SCP's strategies for prevention are found in the logical explanation of choosing criminal incidents.

The Crime Pattern Theory (CPT) of Brantigham & Brantingham (2005) also informed the SCP by describing the ongoing criminal behavior in the local area. This perspective helps to understand the focus of crime especially on time and place. Among the "hotspots" of local crime, opinion is said to be two common types. The first, criminal producers, are places that attract many victims and perpetrators in the area for non-criminal purposes, such as bus stops, and thus prepare crime for the opportunities created by their encounters. These alternatives, advocates of crime, are referred to areas known as criminals as the place where crime occurs. Criminals are attracted by these places to commit crime. This view is also reasonable because it empowers policy-makers to prevent crime and to identify areas that require preventive intervention and to find ways to identify relevant interventions in each area.

Evidence of Effectiveness

More than forty experimental research reviews provide evidence that state protection efforts provide an effective way to reduce criminal harm. Evidence of the effectiveness of SCP strategies is shown both in individual case studies (Clarke, 1997) and in a comprehensive review of experimental studies (Guerette and Bowers, 2009 & Eck and Guerette, 2012). This review used various classification systems and methods. Some found conclusions in each study (Guerette and Bowers, 2009), some categorized findings by type of intervention or intervention type (Eck and Guerette, 2012), while others examined standard SCP strategies, such as CCTV and street lighting (Wales and Farrington, 2008a, b). In terms of research design, these experimental studies make extensive use of quasiexperimental formulations including time series or pre-geographical formulations for comparison sites.

After conducting a SCP pilot study during the last four decades, Guerette and Bowers (2009) came to the conclusion that three-thirds of the intervention (75%, n = 154) resulted in a reduction in overall crime. Twelve percent (n = 24) of local projects did not deliver the desired results, while 6% (n = 12) indicated mixed results, and 8% (n = 16) of learning outcomes were unequal (Guerette and Bowers, 2009 & Bowers and Guerette, 2014). Another review of Eck and Guerette's (2012) empirical study findings on types of sites collects a sample of 149 surveys.

This review reveals that performance varies depending on the types of locations; while in 60% of the interventions all types of sites were found to be effective. At first glance, entertainment and social settings show the highest and lowest performance rating, respectively. However, any conclusion must be taken in light of the number of test programs as increasing the number of applications increases the chance of system failure. This is further illustrated in the case of residential property which has resulted in the second highest rate of failure, following the intervention of public roads. Given the number of successful cases, the proportion of unsuccessful interventions is small and unknown (Eck and Guerette, 2012).


Existing evidence of the success of a 40-year local crime prevention survey suggests that this approach has much to offer. The crime-prevention approach, which seeks to eliminate crime opportunities in crime-prone areas, has shown greater success and offers an easier way of reducing crime than traditional crime-control methods that focus on the specificity of one criminal. This approach, similar to epidemiology in health sciences, holds promise for the development of current policies and practices to prevent criminal problems and problems. Just as vaccines seek to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the SCP approach seeks to use strategies that reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of serious criminal problems. Efforts to collaborate between government and private sector and communities open new opportunities for advocacy and the use of a criminal defense framework to reduce the harm brought by crime.


1. Brantingham, P. L., Brantingham, P. J., & Taylor, W. (2005). Situational crime prevention as a key component in embedded crime prevention. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice/La Revue canadienne de criminologie et de justice pénale, 47(2), 271- 292.

2. Clarke, R. V., & Cornish, D. B. (1985). Modeling offenders' decisions: A framework for research and policy. Crime and justice, 147-185.

3. Clarke, R. V. (1995). Situational crime prevention. Crime and justice, 91-150.

4. Goldstein, H. (1979). Improving policing: A problem-oriented approach. Crime & delinquency, 25(2), 236-258.

5. Lanier, M. M., Pack, R. P., & Akers, T. A. (2009). Epidemiological criminology: drug use among African American gang members. Journal of Correctional Health Care.

6. Lanier, M. M. (2010). Epidemiological criminology (EpiCrim): Definition and application. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology, 2(1), 63-103.

7. Lanier, M. M., Henry, S., & Desire'JM, A. (2014). Essential criminology. Perseus Books Group.

8. Welsh, B., & Farrington, D. (2008a). Effects of Closed Circuit Television Surveillance on Crime: A Systematic Review. Campbell Systematic Reviews,4(17).

9. Welsh, B., & Farrington, D. (2008b). Effects of improved street lighting on crime: a systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 4(13).

10. Wood, E. (1961). Housing design, a social theory. New York: Citizens' Housing and Planning Counsel of New York.

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