Policing, procedural justice and prevention

Authored by: Mike Hough , Jon Jackson , Ben Bradford

Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety

Print publication date:  July  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138851054
eBook ISBN: 9781315724393
Adobe ISBN:


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The term crime prevention has always had narrower connotations than its near-synonyms such as crime reduction or crime control. The particular focus of crime prevention is best illustrated by the ‘Problem Analysis Triangle’ or crime triangle first proposed by Cohen and Felson (cf. Felson, 1994): the now-standard approach to crime analysis is premised on the idea that crimes occur when motivated offenders converge with an attractive crime target in the absence of ‘capable guardians’ (or effective controls). The triangle directs our attention to preventive strategies involving opportunity reduction, reducing rewards or obstruction. As a heuristic device, the triangle certainly doesn’t exclude strategies designed to reduce levels of criminal motivation, but in practice crime prevention has been concerned with motivational issues only at the margins. This chapter constitutes an extended plea for extending the scope of crime prevention to embrace strategies and tactics that are designed to strengthen people’s normative commitment to the rule of law – and therefore ‘demotivate’ offending behaviour.

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