Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Theories for Situational and Environmental Crime Prevention

  • Richard WortleyEmail author
  • Nick Tilley
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_548


The situational and environmental perspective in criminology refers to a collection of theories and approaches that focus on the role that immediate circumstances play in producing criminal acts. This contrasts with criminology’s more usual preoccupation with what creates offenders’ criminality: depending on the disciplinary orientation, the disposition to commit crime is accounted for by genetic makeup, developmental experiences, or current social, cultural, and economic conditions. Correspondingly, the usual solution to any crime problem is deemed to require altering these long-term and systemic causes of criminality, for example, by investing in early intervention with at-risk families, increasing educational opportunities, removing social and economic disadvantage, or providing treatments for known offenders.

Situational and environmental perspectives, on the other hand, focus instead on the dynamics surrounding crime events. Attention shifts from distal causes of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime ScienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK