Situational Crime Prevention: Its Theoretical Basis and Practical Scope

Situational crime prevention can be characterized as comprising measures directed at highly specific forms of crime that involve the management, design, or manipulation of the immediate environment in as systematic and permanent a way as possible so as to reduce the opportunities for crime and increase its risks as perceived by a wide range of offenders. These measures include various forms of target hardening, defensible space architecture, community crime prevention initatives, and a number of less- categorized measures such as improved coordination of public transport with pub closing times, or more sensitive public housing allocation policies that avoid the concentration of children in particular housing developments

Ronald V. Clarke

2005

Key concepts

Scholarcy highlights

  • Situational crime prevention can be characterized as comprising measures directed at highly specific forms of crime that involve the management, design, or manipulation of the immediate environment in as systematic and permanent a way as possible so as to reduce the opportunities for crime and increase its risks as perceived by a wide range of offenders. These measures include various forms of target hardening, defensible space architecture, community crime prevention initatives, and a number of less- categorized measures such as improved coordination of public transport with pub closing times, or more sensitive public housing allocation policies that avoid the concentration of children in particular housing developments
  • Traditional criminological theories have been concerned with the etiology of crime-the fundamental social and psychological causes-and have provided little support for situational measures not aimed at "root causes." An alternative theoretical perspective that gives greater weight to situational factors in crime and to the ways these are taken into account by potential offenders provides better conceptual underpinning for situational prevention
  • Various examples of successful situational measures, as well as a general pessimism regarding the effectiveness of other forms of crime control, might lead one to expect a growth in situational prevention
  • For some people situational prevention has unattractive connotations of "big brother" forms of state control and of a "fortress society"; it is criticized for avoiding fundamental moral issues

Need more features? Save interactive summary cards to your Scholarcy Library.