Social Approach To Crime Prevention

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Tilley (2009) explained that crime is socially constructed and “patterns of criminality vary by the community and networks that offenders inhabit”. The social approach to crime prevention looks at the underlying social and economic causes of crime and aims to prevent crime by improving community cohesion. Hirschfield stated that areas of low social cohesion “do not have such well-defined social networks and is often the case that residents of these areas share very few common interests” (Hirschfield 1996, p1276) and these areas are likely to have a rise in burglaries as the level of deprivation increases. Neighbourhood Watch schemes were created as a method of reducing crime and increasing community cohesion through residents observing their…show more content…
Another programme used in an attempt to prevent repeat domestic burglaries is the Kirkholt Burglary Prevention Project, funded by the Home Office in 1980. This used a problem-solving approach and established a Cocoon Neighbourhood Watch where the residents of six or more houses contiguous with a victimised dwelling were asked to look out and report on anything suspicious around the house previously burgled to prevent repeat victimisation. Statistics show that 85% of offender’s travel less than five miles to their targeted house (Forrester, 1988), meaning there is an increased risk of recognition if offenders continuously burgle locally and if effective neighbourhood watch schemes are in operation. This works as a deterrent once burglars realise that the odds in favour of detection are shortened. When interviewing burglars, it was also found that a common identified target was taking the money from the pre-payment gas and electricity meters and so the majority of these were changed to card…show more content…
The criminal justice approach looks at removing the offender from society as a way of protecting the public from potential further victimisation. Incarceration also acts as a deterrent to others, particularly where a more severe sentence is imposed. The situational approach goes on to discuss which security measures are most effective in protecting the home, for example, a burglar alarm in itself can be seen to be ineffective compared to having locks and doors on the windows. It also explains that a suggestion of occupancy deters an offender because of the increased risk. Signs of social cohesion, such as Neighbourhood Watch, also help prevent domestic burglary as it increases the detection rates. Individual offender programmes, such as drug rehabilitation, are available as a way to avoid reoffending by removing the motivation. Overall, both the individual offender and factors in and around a property are to be considered when looking at measures to prevent domestic
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