Situational Crime Prevention Theory Analysis

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SECTION 3.
Introduction to Theoretical Perspective
This section includes the various scholarly ideas on the social phenomena of crime and perceptions of it in the academic discourse community. Many criminologists are of the view that crime is largely an urban phenomena. Others have also argued that there is a strong link or nexus between crime, poverty and inequality. (Owusu, Oteng-Ababio et al., 2016) This section dissects the various theories surrounding the circumstances of criminal behavior in greater detail. Theoretical Perspective
An example of a theory which tries to explain the rationale behind criminal behavior is Robert Merton’s strain theory. According to this theory, people tend to commit crimes due to the absence of legitimate
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(Australian Institute of Criminology, 2003) One of the leading proponents of this theory, Edwin Sutherland (1947) argued that crime had two main characteristics. These according to him were, historical and situational. The historical characteristic involves the personal histories of criminal activities whereas the situational characteristic involves the environmental characteristics encompassing the crime scene. In later years another proponent by name Ronald Clarke (1983), redefined the situational crime prevention theory by focusing on the immediate physical and social settings of the crime as well as the wider societal arrangements in place during the occurrence of the crime in question rather than the perpetrator of the crime.…show more content…
In a nutshell, situational crime prevention theories assume that greater opportunities lead to more crime also, easier or less risky opportunities attract more perpetrators. Situational prevention theories are greatly influenced by other sociological theories on crime such as rational choice theory, routine activity theory, and crime pattern theory among others. According to rational choice theory, offenders focus on suitable targets while weighing the risks and benefits of their criminal activities in the absence of effective controls before committing any crime. For example, an armed robber will target a wealthy family who have a poor or weak home security system as against a less wealthy family who live in slum notoriously known for lynching criminals. Routine activity theory on the other hand, argues that crime occurs due to the existence of three main variables. These include, a motivated offender, a suitable victim, and a lack of control by police and other security agencies. Based on the arguments of rational choice and routine activity theories, effective crime prevention can be achieved through two main strategies. These include, changing the offender’s
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