A Situational Approach to Heritage Crime Prevention
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We have seen earlier in this book the range and consequences of the phenomena which have come to be collectively labelled as ‘heritage crime’. This chapter takes as read, therefore, the recognition of the special importance of the protection of heritage assets being an irreplaceable part of a country’s narrative. The focus in this chapter is on reducing the risk of damage to or loss of heritage assets by the use of situational crime prevention. While the primary focus of this chapter is on the UK context, many of the techniques we outline should be transferable to other jurisdictions. We attempt to address crime against heritage assets including, for example, considerations of the prevention of criminal damage, arson, anti-social behaviour and theft. Our central argument is that the difference between heritage crime and other volume crime lies in the consequences of loss or damage rather than in the strategy and tactics of crime prevention. The rich literature on situational prevention may thus be freely accessed in pursuit of the reduction of heritage crime. The single exception in the situational reduction armoury which is denied to keepers of many heritage assets is the separation of assets from the public, which will include motivated offenders. Such denial of access defeats the whole purpose of maintaining heritage assets.
KeywordsCrime Prevention Heritage Site Crime Reduction Situational Crime Prevention Motivate Offender
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