Routine Activities Theory Research Paper

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CHAPTER 11. HOT SPOTS, CPTED, & SCP

Routine Activities Theory

Different lifestyles equate to different risks of being victimized (Vold et al., 2002). The spatial and temporal characteristics of each person’s normal, legal, and daily activities, known as routine activities, affect the amount and type of illegal activities that the person is exposed to in certain areas (Akers and Sellers, 2009; Cohen and Felson, 2004). For example, if there are a lot of people congregated in a certain spot, such as inside a home, that spot will be less attractive to criminals. On the other hand, if a person is alone in a dark alley, that individual becomes more attractive to criminals.

Cohen and Felson (2004) considered the variables of place, time,
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Department of Justice, n.d.). One way to reduce crime is to reduce the anticipated rewards. This can be achieved by a) removing the target, such as by removing the jewelry from under the counter after hours, b) identifying the property, such as by marking products with identification numbers, c) reducing temptation, such as by using gender-neutral telephone lists, and d) denying the benefits, such as by requiring a security code for a car radio to work. A second way to reduce crime using SCP and CPTED is to increase the perceived effort. This can be accomplished by a) hardening the target, such as by using unbreakable glass and slug rejector devices, b) controlling access to the area, such as by using parking lot barriers and fences, c) deflecting offenders, such as by closing off certain streets and by strategically relocating bus stops, and d) controlling the facilitators, such as by using caller ID and credit cards with photographs on them. Finally, a third way to reduce crime using SCP and CPTED is to increase the perceived risks. This can be accomplished by a) screening the entry/exit points, such as by using automatic ticket gates and merchandise tags, b) using formal surveillance, such as by using burglar alarms and security guards, c) using employee surveillance, such as by using closed-circuit televisions and parking attendants, and d) using natural surveillance, such as by using street
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