Crime Prevention

Ron Clarke (1992) - Situational Crime Prevention
“A pre-emptive approach that relies, not on improving
society or its institutions, but simply on reducing
opportunities for crime”.

Ron is a right realist
Realists believe that crime is committed by choice.
He therefore believes that changing the environment of
the crime and the harshness of tackling it that it will
change crime rates.

He identified three measures for situational crime
prevention:
1. Directed at specific crimes (mainly petty crimes)
2. Involve managing or altering the immediate
environment of the crime
3. Increasing the effort and risks of committing crime
and reducing the rewards

Examples
Increasing the CCTV around areas where
there is a high crime rate.
Hiring bouncers and bodyguards

Target Hardening
Anything that increases the effort that a burglar needs
to put in to commit the crime.

Felson 1998 - Port Authority Bus Terminal in
New York

In New York there was a high crime rate in the bus terminal.
Eg. the public toilets were used by homeless people, drug
users and for homosexual liaisons. He argues that the design
of these toilets allowed these things to happen
The whole building was redesigned to “design out crime” with
large open spaces and a lot of CCTV.
Felson found that the crime rate significantly dropped after
the change

What different methods of crime prevention
have you seen in the last week?
Think about:
Actions that you have taken to stop yourself being a victim
Actions taken at home
Actions taken at school
Actions taken in shops
Actions taken on transport

Displacement
People change their target. Situational crime prevention does not prevent
crime, it just switches targets to the most vulnerable such as the poorest
who cannot afford security measures.

Chaiken (1974)
Found that a crackdown on tube robberies just moves it to
the streets above.
It takes on 5 different forms:
1. Spatial - moving elsewhere to commit the crime
2. Temporal - committing at a different time
3. Target - Choosing a different victim
4. Tactical - Using a different method

Evaluation
Situational crime prevention works in some cases but
most of the time the crime is displaced
It focuses on opportunistic street petty crimes. What
about white collar crimes, corporate crimes,
environmental crimes?
It assumes criminals are rational
Ignores the root causes of crime - cultural and capital
deprivation
CCTV is criticised - males use it to control women or it
focusses on stereotypes

Activity
What target hardening measures should
Rochdale’s neighbourhood watch
implement?
Remember: you want to reduce
displacement as much as possible