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Situational Crime Prevention: Theoretical Background and Current Practice

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Handbook on Crime and Deviance

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Situational crime prevention is quite different from most other criminological approaches to crime control. Proceeding from an analysis of the settings giving rise to specific kinds of crime or disorder, it seeks to introduce discrete managerial and environmental changes that will reduce the opportunities or incentives for crime. Thus, it is focused on the settings in which crimes occur, rather than on those committing criminal acts. It does not try to eliminate criminal tendencies by arresting and sanctioning offenders or by improving society or its institutions. Rather, it seeks to make crime less attractive and it operates, not through the criminal justice system, but through a host of public and private organizations and agencies – schools, hospitals, transit systems, shops and malls, manufacturing businesses and phone companies, local parks and entertainment facilities, pubs and parking lots – whose products, services, and operations spawn opportunities and incentives for a vast range of different crimes.

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Clarke, R.V. (2009). Situational Crime Prevention: Theoretical Background and Current Practice. In: Krohn, M., Lizotte, A., Hall, G. (eds) Handbook on Crime and Deviance. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0245-0_14

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