Opportunity Theory

913 Words4 Pages
Cohen and Felson (1979) proposed an innovative routine activity approach to analyze the crime rate trend. They summarized that only when the convergence in space and time of motivated offenders, suitable targets and the absence of capable guardians happened, crime could happen. They also mentioned that it is social structure that changed people’s legal activities of everyday life, and this in turn produced that convergence, which enriched the illegal activities. This means, even though the proportion of motivated offenders and suitable targets remain stable in the given area, the crime rate can still increase because of the increased likelihood of the convergence of those two at same time and location. In other words, the increasing dispersion…show more content…
Cohen, Felson and Land (1980) used the stochastic difference equations to test the relationship between population density and property crimes with the data of robbery, burglary, and automobile theft during 1947-1977 in the United States. The unemployment rate, proportion of population aged from 15-24, total consumer expenditures, and automobiles per capita were selected as the control. The concept “opportunity theory” was stated here, whose main theorem was: “(when) other things being equal, a decrease in the density of a population in physical locations that are sites of primary-group routine activities (i.e., role-directed behaviors) produces an increase in criminal opportunity and hence an increase in the rate of occurrence…show more content…
Other than crime rates, they put the emphasis on the likelihood of individual victimization. By analyzing 107,678 persons in 56,789 households in thirteen major U.S. cities in 1975, they extracted one dependent variable victimization, and seven independent variables, including family income, gender, race, marital status, age, frequency of nighttime activities, and major daily activities. They made all of the variables to be dummy variables and fit them to logit models. The results suggested that besides the significant influence of socioeconomic variables, night activity showed direct influence on individuals’ victimization on both violent crimes and property crimes. While both night activity and daily activity showed significantly positive effect on individuals’ victimization on property crime. Moreover, they also tended to mediate the effect of socioeconomic variables on both violent and property victimization. By taking a unique way, this study also supports the routine activity

More about Opportunity Theory

Open Document