Theories Of Situational Crime Prevention

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Based around the assumptions on what causes crime, situational crime prevention techniques involve strategies which aim to reduce the opportunity and triggers which may encourage crime. There are two theories of situational crime prevention, opportunity theory and rational choice theory. Summarising the rational choice theory, Ron Clarke explains that if we increase the effort and risks of performing a criminal act then therefore we may be able to change the thinking processes of individuals prone to commit criminal acts. Entrenched from the notion that criminals rationally decide to commit a crime, the theory explains that the rational decision is characterised by a number of factors Therefore with this theory in mind if factors which encourage …show more content…
One technique involved in increasing the effort needed to successfully commit a crime is target hardening, whereby physical obstruction prevents any given opportunity to commit crime. One example includes anti- robbery screens, these screens create a physical barrier between the public and the potential for a criminal act. In Baltimore1988 it was mandatory for taxi drivers to have screens between themselves and the passengers. Subsequently assaults on taxi drivers decreased to 90 percent. From this example we can clearly see the effectiveness of using target hardening as a situational crime prevention technique.

Controlling access to facilities is another technique for increasing the effort of crime.
Preventing access to places where individuals have no right to be correspondingly has proven to be effective in reducing crime. Illuminating access to places where the option for crime is available, crime simply cannot occur. Examples of where there is control into facilities include, PINs used for credit cards and access into certain areas are unique to individuals who have confirmed access, accordingly without these pins it makes it sufficiently harder to gain immediate access. In addition to this the use of a garage and/or electric gate restrict access and limit the opportunity for theft of
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Meaning that both areas had an equal risk of being subjected to crime. Results showed a decrease of 23.1 per cent of crime in the lit area compared to a 0.9 decrease in the unlit control areas. This shows a significant difference between lit places and unlit places, supporting the effectiveness of using natural surveillance to increase the risk of crime as a mechanism of situational crime prevention, although there is still evidence of crime that appears to have not been deterred by the increase of risk. Not only is increasing lighting effective in preventing vast amounts of crime, it is also proven to be cost effective, this specific case sees that every pound spent on extra lighting saves £4.66 worth of crime