Distributive Justice and the Crime Drop

  • Dainis Ignatans
  • Ken Pease

Abstract

The present chapter seeks to link two of the central facts concerning victimization by crime in the Western world. The first is that the burden of crime is borne very unequally across areas and within areas across households and individuals (Tseloni et al., 2010). The second is that there has been a very substantial cross-national drop in crime as captured by victimization surveys (van Dijk et al., 2007) (Farrell et al., 2010). The authors seek to establish whether the crime drop has resulted in a more or less equitable distribution of crime across households. Inequality of victimization challenges distributive justice. Harms as well as goods should be distributed equitably. Changes in inequality would suggest whether we should regard the crime drop as unequivocally benign (inequality reducing or neutral) or have reservations about its benefits (inequality increasing). The possible outcomes of the analysis have differing implications for criminal justice in general and policing in particular. There is already evidence that policing concentration at least in England and Wales is not proportionate to the presenting crime problem (Ross & Pease, 2008), and reasons have been suggested for this, the writers’ favoured account being labelled the “winter in Florida, summer in Alaska” paradox (Townsley & Pease, 2002).

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Britton, A., Kershaw, C., Osborne, S., & Smith, K. (2012). Understanding patterns within the England and Wales crime drop. In J. van Dijk, A. Tseloni, & G. Farrell (Eds.), The international crime drop: New directions in research. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Buerger, M. E., Conn, E. G., Petrosino, A. J. (1995). Defining the “hot spots of crime”: Operationalizing theoretical concepts for field research. In Weisburd, D. & Eck, J. (eds.) Crime and place. New York: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cohen. L. E., & Felson, M. (1974). Social change and crime rate trends: A routine activity approach. American Sociological Review, 44(4), 588–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Farrell, G. (2013). Five tests for a theory of the crime drop. Crime Science, 2(5), 1–8.Google Scholar
  5. Farrell, G., & Pease, K. (2007). The sting in the tail of the British crime survey: Multiple victimisations. In M. Hough & M. Maxfield (Eds.), Surveying crime in the 21st Century. Cullompton: Willan. pp. 33–54Google Scholar
  6. Farrell, G., & Pease, K. (2014). Repeat victimization. In G. Bruinsma & D. Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of criminology and criminal justice. London: Springer. pp. 4371–4381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Farrell, G., Tilley, N., Tseloni, A., & Mailley, J. (2010). Explaining and sustaining the crime drop: Clarifying the role of opportunity-related theories. Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal, 12(1), 24–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grove, L., Farrell, G., Farrington, D., & Johnson, S. (2012). Preventing repeat victimization: A systematic review. Stockholm: Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.Google Scholar
  9. Kershaw, C., & Tseloni, A. (2005). Predicting crime rates, fear and disorder based on area information: Evidence from the 2000 British crime survey. International Review of Victimology, 12, 295–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Koper, C. (1995). Just enough police presence: Reducing crime and disorderly behavior by optimizing patrol time in crime hotspots. Justice Quarterly, 12(4), 649–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lauritsen, J., Gatewood Owens, J., Planty, M., Rand, M. R., &; Truman, J. L. (2012). Methods for counting high-frequency repeat victimizations in the national crime victimization survey. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  12. Osborn, D., & Tseloni, A. (1998). The distribution of household property crimes. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 14, 307–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pease, K. (1998). Repeat Victimisation: Taking Stock. London: Home Office.Google Scholar
  14. Planty, M., & Strom, K. J. (2007). Understanding the role of repeat victims in the production of annual victimisation rates. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 23, 179–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Roach, J., & Pease, K. (2014). Police underestimation of the heterogeneity of criminal careers. Journal of Investigative Psychology, 11(2), 164–178Google Scholar
  16. Ross, N., & Pease, K. (2008). Community policing and prediction. In T. Williamson (Ed.), The handbook of knowledge-based policing. London: Wiley. pp. 305–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dainis Ignatans and Ken Pease 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dainis Ignatans
  • Ken Pease

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations