Crime Displacement’s Effect on the Prevention of Social and Situational Crime

Crime Displacement’s Effect on the Prevention of Social and Situational Crime

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Displacement is a key measurement when determining whether crime prevention programs are effective or not. According to Rosenbaum, Lurigio, and Davis in the book, Prevention of Crime: Social and Situational Strategies, displacement is the dislocation of “criminal activity in time, space, method, or type of offense.” Since crime is being displaced on the micro level, understanding the effects of displacement is important when dealing with situational crime prevention. There are several forms of crime displacement: temporal, spatial, target, tactical and offense. Of all the forms, spatial is the most commonly perceived and, when discussing crime, displacement is the one most often referred.
Spatial crime displacement is the transfer of criminal activity from one area to the next typically after a crime reduction initiative has taken place in the original area. That is, criminals could be squeezed out of one area just to reorganize in a different area, usually close in proximity and with the intention of targeting the same type of victims (Phillips, 2001, p. 10). Spatial crime displacement is the most easily measurable form of crime displacement, which is why it is frequently the most studied. The threat of spatial displacement is usually a barrier when it comes to the task of combating crime within a community (Weisburd et al., 2004, p. 3). People, such as community development experts or law enforcement agencies, tend to oppose community development initiatives (CDIs) with the argument that using resources in this manner to reduce crime will be counterproductive since the crime will just relocate to another area. However, research has proven otherwise and has shown that spatial displacement is a rare occurrence. In fact, the od...

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...n. Retrieved from
Phillips, Catherine. (2011). Situational crime prevention and crime displacement: Myths and
miracles? Internet journal of criminology. Retrieved from (ISSN 2045-6743)
Rosenbaum, D. P., Lurigio A. J., and Davis, R. C. (1998). Prevention of crime:
Social and situational strategies. Belmont, CA. Wadsworth Publishing Co.
Weisburd, D., Wycoff, L. A., Ready, J., Eck J. E., Hinckle, J., and
Gajewski, F. (2004). Does crime just move around the corner? A Study of displacement and diffusion in Jersey City, NJ. Grant no. 97-IJ-CX-0055. Retrieved from The U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice:

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