Nothing: Criminology and National Crime Rates Essay examples

Submitted By mommie-x3
Words: 403
Pages: 2

with implications for national crime rates in the United States. First, the authors argue that the U.S. population’s routine activities shifted in the decades following World War II. As women began entering the workforce in greater numbers, many households were left vacant for longer periods of time. According to the routine activities approach, this general change in behavioral patterns explains the rising crime rates in the decades after the war because of increased opportunities for certain types of crime, such as residential burglary. As day to day activities increasingly shift into public domains, the likelihood of motivated offenders crossing paths with suitable targets also increases.
Cohen and Felson (1979) also demonstrate how the evolving nature of commodities influences aggregate levels of crime through the changing suitability of targets. Personal property and valuables serve as suitable targets for many offenders, although a target’s suitability largely depends on the feasibility of the crime and the anticipated reward. A thief would be more likely to take a wallet than a refrigerator because the wallet is more portable, more easily concealable, and more valuable per pound than a refrigerator. As technologies develop over time, many valuables such as televisions and portable electronic devices undergo a reduction in size and weight, an increase in monetary value, and greater prominence within society. In light of this observation, Cohen and Felson (1979) illustrate again how changing social conditions increase the opportunities for crime. Consider the computer as an example. At one time, a single computer would occupy an entire