An Evaluation of a Situational Crime Prevention

Best Essays
There is an attempt in criminology to find an all-encompassing theory of crime in order to develop a more scientific approach to crime. This means that a universal theory of crime must be devised. This would give criminology the status of science. Thus, criminology has borrowed and further developed the concept of rational choice from the areas of economics and sociology as a background theory for situational crime prevention (Clarke, 1992). This of course, has sparked a debate among criminologists as to whether rational choice offers a complete explanation of all kinds of crime or its validity is reduced when dealing with crimes of anger, hostility and excitement (Farrell, 2010).

The argument goes, according to the rational choice perspective following this theory, that crime committers are seen as rational decision makers who make the choice of making a crime after rationally balancing the cost-benefit analysis of this crime. According to this perspective, there is no crime in which reason, choice and purpose play an insignificant role (Cornish and Clarke, 2006). Although situational crime prevention has received a lot of criticism, its popularity with governments is such that the theory has resulted in techniques of situational crime prevention becoming important tools of security management. In fact, Cornish and Clarke (2003) presented 25 techniques of their earlier model. This revised alternative version maintained the four categories and partly accepted Wortley‘s comments (1997, as cited in Cornish and Clarke, 2003). However, although the provoked offender may commit the crime by triggers in the environment, he is still influenced by rational decision making before committing a crime. There is no doubt that some of the deci...

... middle of paper ...

.... Morgan, and R. Reiner (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 866-909.
Farrell, G. (2010) ‘Situational Crime Prevention and Its Discontents: Rational Choice and Harm Reduction versus ‘Cultural Criminology” Social Policy and Administration 44(1): 40-66.

Farrell, G. and Pease, K. Criminology and Security, as cited in the handbook of Security, edited by Martin Gill 2006.
Forrest, R. and Kennett, P. (1997) ‘Risk, Residence and the Post-Fordist City,’ American Behavioral Scientist, 41: 342-59.

Goldstein, H. (1979) ‘Improving Policing: A Problem Oriented Approach,’ Crime and Delinquency, 25: 236-58.
Goldstein, H. (1990) Problem Oriented Policing. New York: McGraw Hill.
Hayward, K. (2007) ‘Situational Crime Prevention and its Discontents: Rational Choice Theory versus the ‘Culture of Now’’ Social Policy & Administration 41(3): 232-250.
Get Access