CJE 3444 FIU The Multicomponent Mentoring Program Discussion
Hello,I need help with this discussion board. There is one original response and one suplemental response to one classmates. The book of the class has to be used as a reference.
This is a clear and comprehensive approach to crime prevention. The focus of the book is applied and practical, which makes it ideal for the
classroom. The new edition provides an excellent in-depth coverage of what works in crime prevention, and how prevention programs are
evaluated to assess their impact on crime and fear of victimization. It is an essential resource for both students and practitioners.
Jonathan Kremser, Kutztown University
This book, in comparison to others I have seen, offers the widest coverage regarding the different possible approaches to crime prevention—it
addresses strategies as diverse as environmental design, block-watch initiatives, media-driven public service announcements, communityoriented policing, correctional rehabilitation, and many, many more. As such, it provides students with the foundation for an impressive
breadth of knowledge regarding crime prevention.
Pamela Wilcox, University of Cincinnati
I have used Professor Lab’s text on crime prevention and found that his crime prevention typology is great for the classroom. Grouping
tactics by primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention allows students to really think about some of the underlying factors driving these
crimes and gives them some basis for critiquing the initial efficacy of a program. This text is great for students and professionals alike.
Eric Martin, George Washington University
Crime Prevention: Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations, Ninth Edition, meets the needs of students and
instructors for engaging, evidence-based, impartial coverage of the origins of crime, as well as of public policy
that can reduce or prevent deviance. The book examines a range of approaches to preventing crime and
elucidates their respective goals. Strategies include primary prevention measures designed to prevent
conditions that foster deviance; secondary prevention measures directed toward persons or conditions with a
high potential for deviance; and tertiary prevention measures to deal with persons who have already
This edition provides research and information on all aspects of crime prevention, including the physical
environment and crime, neighborhood crime prevention programs, community policing, crime in schools, and
electronic monitoring and home confinement. Lab offers a thorough and well-rounded discussion of the many
sides of the crime prevention debate, in clear and accessible language.
Steven P. Lab is Professor of Criminal Justice and Chair of the Department of Human Services. He holds a
Ph.D. in Criminology from the Florida State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Lab is
the author or coauthor of five books, the editor/coeditor of two readers, and coeditor of one encyclopedia. He is
the author of more than 50 articles or book chapters and has presented more than 70 papers to academic or
professional societies. He is a past editor of the Journal of Crime and Justice and has been an assistant editor or
on the editorial boards of several additional journals. Dr. Lab has been a Visiting Professor at the Jill Dando
Institute of Crime Science of University College London and at Keele University in Staffordshire, England, as
well as a Visiting Fellow at Loughborough University (England) and a Research Consultant with the Perpetuity
Research Group at Leicester University (England). Dr. Lab has received grant funding for several large research
projects from the National Institute of Justice, and has served as a consultant to the Ohio Attorney General’s
Office, the Arizona Governor’s Office, and various offices of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Lab is also a
past-president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
A range of further resources
Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations
STEVEN P. LAB
First published 2016
711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017
and by Routledge
2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN
Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business
© 2016 Taylor & Francis
The right of Steven P. Lab to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means,
now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission
in writing from the publishers.
Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation
without intent to infringe.
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Lab, Steven P.
Crime prevention : approaches, practices, and evaluations/
Steven P. Lab. — Ninth Edition.
Revised edition of the author’s Crime prevention, 2014.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-138-94693-4 (hardback : alk. paper) -ISBN 978-0-323-35772-2 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Crime prevention-United States. 2. Crime prevention–United States–Evaluation. I. Title.
ISBN: 978-1-138-94693-4 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-0-323-35772-2 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-1-315-71276-5 (ebk)
Typeset in Adobe Garamond Pro
by Servis Filmsetting Ltd, Stockport, Cheshire
CHAPTER 1—Crime and the Fear of Crime
The Problem of Crime in Society
The Costs of Crime/Victimization
The Fear of Crime
CHAPTER 2—Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention Through the Ages
Defining Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention Classifications
CHAPTER 3—Evaluation and Crime Prevention
Types of Evaluation
Theory and Measurement in Evaluation
The Method for Evaluation
An Overview of the Book
PART I Primary Prevention
CHAPTER 4—The Physical Environment and Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Implementation of Environmental Design
Impact of Physical Design
Incivility, Disorder, and Crime
CHAPTER 5—Neighborhood Crime Prevention
Types of Neighborhood Crime Prevention Approaches
Evaluation of Neighborhood Crime Prevention
Citizen Participation and Support
CHAPTER 6—Displacement and Diffusion
Offender Choice and Mobility
Evidence of Displacement and Diffusion
Implications of Displacement and Diffusion
CHAPTER 7—The Mass Media and Crime Prevention
The Media and Crime
Mass Media Crime Prevention Activities
The Media’s Responsibility for Crime Prevention
CHAPTER 8—Developmental Crime Prevention
Risk Factors and Developmental Prevention
CHAPTER 9—General Deterrence
The Deterrent Effect of Legal Sanctions
Perceptions and Deterrence
PART II Secondary Prevention
CHAPTER 10—Prediction for Secondary Prevention
Predicting Future Offending
Risk Factors and Prediction
Predicting Places and Events
Implications for Crime Prevention
CHAPTER 11—Situational Crime Prevention
The Growth of Situational Prevention
The Theoretical Basis
Issues and Concerns with Situational Prevention
Implementing Situational Prevention
Situational Prevention Studies
CHAPTER 12—Partnerships for Crime Prevention
Partnership Efforts and Assessment
CHAPTER 13—Drugs, Crime, and Crime Prevention
The Scope of Drug Use
The Drugs–Crime Connection
Interventions and Prevention
Drugs and Crime Prevention
CHAPTER 14—The School and Crime Prevention
Educational Factors and Delinquency
School Programs for Delinquency Prevention
The Future of School/Educational Programs in Crime Prevention
PART III Tertiary Prevention
CHAPTER 15—Specific Deterrence and Incapacitation
The Specific Deterrent Effect of Criminal Sanctions
The “What Works?” Argument
Evaluations of Rehabilitation Programs
Assessing Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention
CHAPTER 17—Some Closing Thoughts on Crime Prevention and the Future
The State of the Evidence
Improving Our Knowledge
Recognizing the Diversity in Crime Prevention
Preface to the Ninth Edition
This ninth edition of Crime Prevention: Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations carries forth the successful
format developed over the previous eight editions. While there are many different ways to approach the field
of crime prevention, the feedback I have received over the years from a wide range of individuals has
consistently pointed out that the format of the text lays a nice pedagogical outline for the academic study of
crime prevention. Consequently, I have endeavored to stay true to the approach in the book while
simultaneously adding emerging new ideas and prevention initiatives to the discussion. The general
organization of the book remains the same following the public health prevention model of primary,
secondary, and tertiary prevention. Adding more recent materials does not always result in a clean, clear
division of prevention into the basic public health model. Many of the topics bridge across the three
components. Two easy examples are in discussion of physical design and prevention aimed at high-risk
individuals/situations. Physical design is a cornerstone of primary prevention, particularly Crime Prevention
Through Environmental Design, and also appears in many situational prevention activities, most notably
product design for high-emerging items. Prevention that seeks to target high-risk individuals/situations fits
both in secondary prevention activities (that by definition target risk) and tertiary prevention where
deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation may target high-risk offenders. These facts do not detract from
the presentation in the book; rather they point out the growing interest in and focus on emerging prevention
The field of academic crime prevention continues to see major advances. These changes cover the entire
gamut of prevention, from physical design to developmental prevention to identifying high-risk individuals to
situational initiatives to partnerships and beyond. Across almost all topics it has become necessary over the
years to expand the discussions to cover the many emerging programs and approaches in crime prevention,
while preserving the more classic bases of crime prevention. This current edition has been modified in the
Data on crime and crime prevention have been updated throughout the book.
Chapter 1 has updated crime/victimization data and expanded discussion of identity theft and forms of
victimization not found in official measures.
Chapter 4 offers a new discussion of CPTED that places territoriality at the apex of initiatives for
prevention activities, with surveillance, activity support, image, and other elements as components in
the building of territoriality; expanded discussions of the use of CCTV; a new Third-Generation
CPTED for consideration; and shifts the topic of product design to another point in the book.
Chapter 5 offers a new logic model for neighborhood crime prevention, adds a more in-depth
discussion on guardianship, and enhances the material on leveraging guardianship.
In Chapter 6 the presentation on crime pattern theory has been reworked for clarity, and more
research on displacement has been added.
The material on mass media and prevention (Chapter 7) now includes a discussion of the use of social
media both in terms of crime and crime prevention.
Chapter 8 has added more examples of effective developmental prevention programs, including a new
section on Mentoring Programs.
The discussion on risk factors (Chapter 10) now includes materials on risk assessment instruments
used at various points in criminal justice system processing.
The Situational Prevention chapter (11) has added material on how to make prevention techniques
more useful for practitioners (the 11Ds), has added a revised discussion of product design, and
eliminated sections on Organized Crime and Crowd Violence (these topics can be found on the book
Chapter 12 has a new section on Hot Spot Policing, has added Civil Injunctions to the discussion of
abatement, eliminated sections on Weed and Seed and Business Improvement Districts, and expanded
on the discussions of PSN and gang suppression.
Chapter 13 has a reworked discussion on drug use by offenders, including a new section on ADAM II,
and presents information on the most recent incarnation of D.A.R.E.
The schools chapter (14) has updated information on the G.R.E.A.T. program and police in schools.
The final chapters on specific deterrence/incapacitation and rehabilitation have been updated but are
Over the various iterations of this book, there are many people who deserve mention and thanks for helping
me along the way. First and foremost I need to thank my friends and colleagues who have supported me in
numerous ways and prompted me to look at things in different ways. This group includes Bob Langworthy and
John Whitehead, who have remained good friends and colleagues. Since entering the crime prevention arena, I
have had the great pleasure and honor to get to know many people who have provided insight, material, and
friendship—Paul and Pat Brantingham, Ron Clarke, Ralph Taylor, George Rengert, Paul Cromwell, Tim Hope,
Graham Farrell, Shane Johnson, Kate Bowers, Marcus Felson, Gloria Laycock, Martin Gil, Nick Tilley, Jim
LeBeau, David Farrington, Brandon Welsh, Dennis Rosenbaum, and Wes Skogan. Finally, I have to thank my
editor, Ellen Boyne, who has endured the changes in publisher and continues to watch my back and make sure
I don’t look foolish in print. I am certain that I have missed some people who deserve to be mentioned. The fact
that they know me means that they are probably aware of my penchant for forgetting names and will forgive
me for the oversight. I thank you all for helping make this book a success. The errors and omissions, of course,
are mine alone.
Hopefully you will find this edition helpful in your individual pursuits. Please do not hesitate to let me know
what you think. It has been the feedback of many people over the years that has helped make this book a
Crime and the Fear of Crime
The Problem of Crime in Society
Official Measures of Crime
The Costs of Crime/Victimization
The Fear of Crime
The Level of Fear
Fear and Crime
Fear and Demographics
Explaining the Divergent Findings
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
Identify and discuss two different measures of crime and victimization.
Discuss the changing crime rates in the United States.
Identify shortcomings with the UCR.
Explain how a panel survey works.
Discuss the NCVS and what it shows about victimization.
Provide information on the costs of crime/victimization.
Give a definition of fear and discuss how it manifests itself.
Explain the differences between fear, worry, and assessments of crime.
Discuss the levels of fear in society and how fear relates to crime and victimization.
Define vicarious victimization.
Provide reasons for the reported levels of fear.
Define incivility and show how it relates to fear.
Crime remains an indisputable fact of life for many, if not most, members of modern society. This is true
despite the frequent declarations that crime continues to fall and is reaching levels not seen in years. While the
overall level of crime has fallen in recent years, large numbers of citizens are still victimized every year and the
impact of crime on everyone in society is substantial. Beyond those who are actually victimized, many
individuals are fearful of crime and victimization. That fear has consequences of its own for both individuals
and our communities. Crime and fear lead most individuals to turn to the criminal justice system for help. The
ability of the criminal justice system to single-handedly alleviate crime and fear in society has been seriously
questioned by both proponents and opponents. Despite the claims by some that the reductions in crime since
the early 1990s are due to concerted police actions, there is little reason to believe that actions of the criminal
justice system are the primary (or sole) cause of the reductions. At the same time, crime and fear still impact
the lives of many individuals. Society clearly needs to continue to pursue means of preventing crime and fear.
This first chapter attempts to show how crime and fear have changed over time and remain problems that
need to be addressed. It is this information that forms the basis for continued calls for crime prevention actions.
After examining the level and change in actual crime in society, this chapter will examine the impact of crime
on victims and society. It will also examine the companion issue of fear of crime. Indeed, the “fear of crime”
poses a greater, more far reaching problem for society and its members. Demonstrating a need for crime
prevention is not difficult to accomplish when you consider the levels of crime and fear in society.
The Problem of Crime in Society
The magnitude of the crime problem can be evaluated using both official and victimization measures of
crime. The use of official crime statistics, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports,
provides a view of crime from the standpoint of what the formal criminal justice system must handle. Many
critics argue that this provides an inaccurate and incomplete analysis of the true levels of crime in society.
These individuals point to the results of victimization surveys as a basis for their argument. While each
presents a different absolute level of crime, both tend to reveal similar patterns in criminal activity over time.
Official Measures of Crime
The FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) are the most widely used and cited official measures of crime in the
United States. The UCR represents the number of criminal offenses known to the police. The reported crime
rate reflects only those offenses known as Part I crimes (violent crimes: murder, rape, robbery, and assault;
property crimes: burglary, larceny, auto theft, and arson). A host of other offenses (i.e., fraud, kidnapping, and
drug offenses), known as Part II crimes, are not included in the computations and reported crime rates. The
resulting crime rates, therefore, reflect only a portion of the offenses with which the formal criminal justice
system comes into contact.
According to the UCR, there were more than 9.75 million index crimes committed in 2013. Of that number,
almost 1.2 million were personal crimes (murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and 8.6 million were
property offenses (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2014). This translates into 3,099 index crimes for every
100,000 people in the United States (also known as the “crime rate”). The corresponding crime rates for
personal and property crime are 367.9 and 2,730.7, respectively. Conklin (2003) notes that many individuals
compare these figures to those from the mid-1980s and early 1990s and trumpet the great decreases in crime.
Even further, these figures are used by various groups to take credit for the decreases: police leaders claim that
aggressive police tactics caused the decline, mayors have pointed to wider ranging community policies as the
cause, and politicians claim that mandatory sentencing laws caused the changes (Conklin, 2003). While
determining the cause of the reductions is important, it is beyond the scope of this book to attempt that task.
What is more important is to place the “great reductions” in crime into context.
On the Web
Detailed information on official crime numbers and rates from the UCR can be found at the FBI
UCR site at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013
The trend in violent and property crime since 1962 is shown in Figures 1.1 and 1.2. Figure 1.1 illustrates that
the 2013 violent crime rate has fallen almost to the levels in 1970. Thus, it is a true claim that violent crime is
lower today than any time in almost 45 years. Similar claims can be made about property crime, although the
reference point would be roughly 1968 (see Figure 1.2). Interestingly, all of the levels in these two figures are
significantly higher than they were in the 1960s when the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and
the Administration of Justice lamented the great growth in crime and the need to do something about it.
The crime rates today are significantly higher than throughout the 1960s. This is especially problematic if
you consider the data for violent crimes, which are those crimes that most concern people. Figure 1.1 shows
that the violent crime rate in 1962 was 162 offenses for every 100,000 persons. This was less than one-third of
the rate in 1977 and roughly one-third of the rate in 1992. Similarly, the property crime rate in 1962 (1,858) was
less than half of the 1971 rate and only about one-third of the 1980 property crime rate (Figure 1.2). In both
cases, the recent figures are still significantly higher than those of 40 years ago when society was lamenting the
high crime it was facing. The property crime rate in 2013 is 126 percent higher than the rate in 1962, while the
personal crime rate is roughly 46 percent higher. This suggests that those who point to the great strides made
combating crime should be careful not to congratulate themselves too much.
Figure 1.1 Change in Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 population)
Source: Constructed by author from UCR data.
Figure 1.2 Change in Property Crime Rate (per 100,000 population)
Source: Constructed by author from UCR data.
While the UCR shows a large number of crimes are committed in the United States, it still comes under fire
from a variety of sources for underreporting the actual level of crime in the country. O’Brien (1985) points out
that concerns over the way the data is collected and how the police learn about crime lead many to question
the validity of the results. Foremost among the concerns is the question of whether the police records and
reports provide an unbiased, complete view of crime in society. Popular wisdom would answer this question
with a resounding “No!” Examination of the UCR reveals three major points at which the UCR can be
First, the UCR is a voluntary system of data collection. It is possible for police departments to adjust their
figures in order to enhance the image of their operation and/or their jurisdiction. Police funding is based on
service delivery and productivity is often measured by the crime figures they report (O’Brien, 1985). As a
result, it may be in the best interests of the department to alter its collection and reporting practices in order to
make itself look better. Interestingly, this may be accomplished through both increasing and decreasing the
level of crime. For example, an increase in the reported crime rate may be touted as an indication of better
police work and improved police effectiveness. This would be especially true if the police had previously
announced a “crackdown” on a selected crime and then wished to demonstrate their success. Similarly, a
decrease in the level of crime may be pointed to as deterrence brought on by improved police performance.
A second major problem with the UCR involves the ability of individual police officers to adjust the crime
rate. Any officer can refrain from making an arrest or a formal report on an incident. Such activity may allow
the officer to deflect minor or unimportant events away from an already overburdened criminal justice system.
More importantly, however, such discretion factors into a distorted and underrepresented crime rate.
Departmental policies may also contribute to this shift in reported crimes. Administrative procedures
concerning the handling of crimes may alter the level of reported offenses. McCleary et al. (1982) found that,
by requiring all reported cases of burglary to be investigated by detectives, the number of officially recorded
burglaries showed an immediate drop. This was attributable to the detectives reclassifying offenses that were
not burglaries (i.e., thefts) to their correct UCR categories. Less experienced officers who used to handle these
offenses elevated many instances to the burglary category. It is clear that the UCR crime rates are subject to
unintentional, as well as intentional, manipulation.
The third criticism of the UCR revolves around the claim that many offenses are not brought to the attention
of the police. The police are a reactive force. This means that they primarily respond to calls for service.
Despite their patrol function, little crime is encountered directly by the police. They must rely on victims and
witnesses to call them for help. The absence of such calls when offenses do occur translates into crimes that are
not known to the police and that do not become part of official crime figures. The fact that there is much
unreported crime, along with the potential problems of data collection, has prompted many individuals to rely
on victimization surveys in order to assess the extent of the crime problem.
A fourth concern is that most UCR data is restricted to Part I offenses and ignores the Part II crimes. While
the UCR does collect some information on Part II offenses, it is related almost exclusively to data on the
number of persons arrested for various categories of crimes. Included here are other assaults (besides
aggravated assault), forgery and counterfeiting, fraud, vandalism, sex offenses (besides forcible rape and
prostitution), drunkenness, and disorderly conduct. Assuming that greater attention is paid to the Part I
offenses and the clearance (arrest rate) for those crimes is roughly 20 percent, it can be assumed that the arrest
data for Part II offenses are serious underreports of the number of such offenses. Nevertheless, the arrest rate
for other assaults is 360.5 (per 100,000 population), fraud is 46.2, vandalism is 66.0, drunkenness is 145.7, and
disorderly conduct is 152.7 (FBI, 2014). Looking solely at the known Part I offenses, therefore, presents a limited
picture of crime, even given limitations with UCR figures.
Limitations of the UCR suggest that other means of measuring crime are needed. Perhaps the main
alternative source of data involves surveys of the public.
Victimization surveys are surveys of the population carried out to measure the level of criminal
victimization in society. This form of crime measurement was prompted by the 1967 President’s Commission
on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, which commissioned surveys to assess the accuracy (or
lack thereof) of the UCR. The results of those early surveys suggested that the police data reflected only half of
the crime in society (see, for example, Ennis, 1967). Based on those early investigations, victim surveys became
a common method for measuring crime by the late 1970s, with the federal government institutionalizing the
National Crime Victimization Survey (originally the National Crime Survey) in 1972. These surveys typically
inquire about the victimization experiences of a subject and/or his household over a specified period of time
(usually the preceding six months or year). Such surveys have been lauded as a more accurate reading of crime
in society because they circumvent the problems of official records and they uncover crimes that are not
reported to the police.
On the Web
In-depth discussion of the NCVS can be found at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?
ty=dcdetail&iid=245 and http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2173
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the best known of the victimization surveys. It is a
panel survey of households drawn from across the United States, in which a panel of subjects (in this case
addresses) are surveyed repeatedly over a specified period. The NCVS contacts the same households every six
months for a period of three years, with one sixth of the sample dropping out and being replaced every six
months. Interviewers attempt to talk with every household member aged 12 and older. While the NCVS has
undergone considerable change in data collection methods in recent years, including the use of computer-aided
interviewing and changes in preliminary screen questions, the findings relative to official statistics have
remained fairly stable. The success of the NCVS has prompted similar victim surveys in other countries, most
notably the British Crime Survey (BCS).
According to the 2013 NCVS, there were almost 23 million victimizations in the United States against
persons aged 12 or older (Truman and Langton, 2014). Of that number, 6.1 million were violent crimes and
almost 17 million were property crimes. These raw figures translate into victimization rates of 2,380 violent
crimes (per 100,000 population) and 13,140 property crimes (per 100,000 households). These figures, both the
raw numbers and the crime rates, are significantly higher than the UCR data. Indeed, the NCVS violent crime
rate is almost 6.5 times as high as the UCR violent crime rate. While the NCVS property crime rate is
considered for households instead of individuals as in the UCR, the fact that the rate is almost five times as
high as the UCR rate is indicative of the fact that property crime is larger than reported in police data. The
claim that the UCR underreports crime, therefore, is supported in these figures.
On the Web
Detailed information on the 2010 NCVS can be viewed in Truman and Langton’s (2014) report
that can be found on the textbook’s web site.
Consistent with UCR figures, the NCVS reveals decreasing victimization levels, with great reductions in
violent crime over the past decade. The NCVS estimates that there were 35,646,755 offenses in 1973. This
number rose to 41,267,496 in 1981. Since 1981 there has been a relatively steady decline in property
victimizations (Rand et al., 1997; Rand, 2009). Conversely, the violent crime rate held fairly steady throughout
the 1970s, decreased in the early 1980s, increased from about 1986 until 1994, and has steadily declined since
that time (Rand, 2009; Rennison and Rand, 2003). This trend varies somewhat for individual crimes (motor
vehicle theft, for example, increased steadily between 1985 and 1991) but the overall trend is consistent with
the findings from the UCR. See Table 1.1.
Victimization surveys have the ability to uncover crime and victimization not typically seen in official
measures or the traditional NCVS data. Identity theft is one growing area of concern, particularly due to the
growth of the Internet and electronic records. As society has moved toward paperless records and the storage
of information on computers, offenders no longer have to have physical access to the records. Instead, they can
access the information over the Internet by either having lawful access to the files, or illegally gaining entry to
the records by hacking into a computer system. Electronic methods can be used for theft from next door or
from around the world. Based on findings from a national survey of almost 5,000 adults conducted in 2006,
most victims did not even know they were victimized or how it was done (56 percent) (Synovate, 2007).
Identity theft can take a variety of forms. The NCVS has included questions on identity theft since 2004
(Baum, 2007). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has surveyed the public on identity theft since 2003
(Synovate, 2007). According to the NCVS, roughly 7.9 million households were the victims of identity theft in
2012 (see Table 1.2). Theft involving existing credit cards or other existing accounts is the most common form
of identity theft. The establishment of new accounts and the theft of personal information are also prevalent
forms of theft.
Table 1.1 Criminal Victimization, 2013 (number and rates per 100,000)
Type of Victimization
Total violent crimes
Total property crimes
Motor vehicle theft
Source: Adapted by author from J.L. Truman and L. Langton (2014). Criminal Victimization, 2013. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice
Table 1.2 Types and Extent of Identity Theft
Existing Credit Cards
Existing Bank Accounts
Source: Constructed by author from E. Harrell and L. Langton (2013). Victims of Identity Theft, 2012. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice
Information on identity theft offers a wealth of additional information. The NCVS data show that most
victims of identity theft are from households with incomes of $75,000 and more (Harrell and Langton, 2013).
Information from the NCVS suggests that this form of crime has been on the increase since the first survey was
completed in 2003. Many victims fail to realize that a theft has occurred until long after the event. The most
common means by which victims discovered the theft was being contacted by a financial institution about
account activity (Harrell and Langton, 2013).
Another form of theft not typically found in data involves mass-marketing fraud. This can occur through
schemes that seek to obtain relatively small amounts of money from a large number of victims or through
maximizing the return on a smaller number of wealthier victims. Again, this type of fraud can target victims
virtually anywhere in the world. The use of mail, telephones, the Internet, and the mass media makes borders,
whether physical or symbolic, almost meaningless. While there are a number of different mass-marketing
fraud schemes, there are several commonalities in the approaches. First is the use of some form of mass
communication to reach a wide range of potential victims spread over a large geographic area (often
internationally). A second common feature is the attempt to convince victims to provide funds or access to
funds in return for a promised service or benefit. Some of these schemes can appear very similar to those seen
earlier under identity theft.
On the Web
Read more about mass-marketing fraud and responses for victims and society at
Gauging the extent of mass-market fraud schemes is not an easy task. Three main reasons can be offered for
the lack of definitive data on these offenses. First, many of these offenses are relatively new crime forms, and
both the public and the criminal justice system are playing catch-up in identifying and addressing them.
Second, there is no systematic method for collecting and disseminating information on mass-market crimes.
While the FBI and other agencies are working to gather such data, the work is still in its infancy. Third, many
individuals either do not know they have been victimized or do not report the event to the authorities due to
embarrassment and shame. Despite these facts, we can glean some information on the extent and impact of
Most of the information that is available is from victim surveys or complaints filed by victims. The U.K.
Office of Fair Trading (2006) reports that almost half of its survey respondents had been approached by a
scammer in some way over their lifetimes. Of those individuals, 8 percent had been the victim of some form of
scam, with most of the events taking place in the past year. The survey report estimates that more than 3.2
million people (6.5 percent of the U.K. adult population) are victimized every year. In the United States, a
Federal Trade Commission survey on consumer fraud claims that 10.8 percent of the U.S. adult population was
victimized in 2011, with a total of almost 38 million fraud incidents (Anderson, 2013). An alternative source of
data comes from the Internet Crime Complaint Center. In 2012, the Center received 289,874 complaints
(Internet Crime Complaint Center, 2013). It is important to note that these data reflect only those incidents
reported to that office and not victimizations reported to any other agency.
Victimization studies are not without their critics and shortcomings. Among the many problems inherent in
the surveys are the lack of knowledge of what constitutes various crimes on the part of respondents, problems
of respondent recall, and issues of question wording. These issues are well documented elsewhere (see O’Brien,
1985) and will not be considered here. The magnitude of the difference between official and victimization
figures, however, is too large to be offset solely by the problems of victim surveys. There is little question that
victim surveys uncover more crime than official measures.
Clearly, no single measure of crime/victimization is perfect. Each measure taps something different. The
exact nature and level of crime in society is unknown. Official UCR figures reveal a staggering amount of
crime. More than doubling those numbers to account for unreported offenses, as victimization figures would
suggest, compounds the problem. Measures of new and emerging forms of crime further exacerbate the crime
problem. Even with the recent reductions in crime, the number of offenses is staggering.
The level of crime, whether at its peak or more moderate numbers, exceeds the limits of what the criminal
justice system can hope to handle. The system is already overburdened and often simply processes people
through the maze of legal requirements while having a questionable impact on the level of crime (Conklin,
2003). Even if the criminal justice system could claim credit for the recent reductions, there is still a lot of work
to do. Compounding the situation is the fact that the bulk of criminal justice system activity (e.g., arrests,
convictions, incarceration, and corrections) reflects an after-the-fact approach to crime. The system deals
primarily with crimes which have already been committed. There is little, if any, evidence to show that the
criminal justice system actually stops crime before it occurs.
The Costs of Crime/Victimization
The problem of crime and victimization goes beyond simple counts of the number of offenses. Crime has a
number of different impacts on both the victims and society, and in many ways these impacts surpass the size
and scope of the UCR and NVCS figures. Economic loss, injuries, the need for medical care, and lost time from
work are additional measures of crime’s impact.
Information on the impact of crime is routinely collected each year by both the UCR and victimization
surveys. Data on direct economic loss from various crimes according to both the UCR and NCVS appear in
Table 1.3. According to the UCR figures, victims experienced more than $17 billion in direct loss from crimes.
This ranges from $7.5 billion for theft, with an average loss of $1,259 per incident, to $20 million for bank
robbery, at an average loss of $3,542. NCVS data report similar losses at just under a total of $18 billion. Theft is
again the most costly overall ($6.4 billion) but has the lowest per crime costs ($524), while robbery experiences
the lowest total loss ($885 million). The differences are largely due to variation between the two data sources.
What is important to note beyond these dollar figures is that, despite the reductions in the number and rates of
crime in recent years, the economic loss per event has steadily increased at a rate greater than inflation.
Table 1.3 Economic Loss for Specific Crimes
Motor Vehicle Theft
Source: Constructed by author from FBI (2014). Crime in the United States, 2013.https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-theu.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013; Bureau of Justice Statistics (2010). Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2007, Statistical Tables.
Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Beyond measures of monetary loss, the NCVS provides information on the impact of physical injuries and
lost time due to victimization. In 2008, 36 percent of robbery victims and 23 percent of assault victims sustained
a physical injury, with 17 percent of the robbery victims and 10 percent of the assault victims requiring
medical care (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). Roughly 10 percent of the robbery, assault, and burglary
victims reported losing time from work, with the related loss of income. Of those who lost time from work,
almost 26 percent of assault victims and 12 percent of robbery victims lost more than 10 days.
On the Web
NCVS and UCR cost figures and the Miller et al. (1996) report can be found on the textbook web
While the above information paints a serious picture of the impact of crime, the actual impact extends
beyond the direct financial loss due to the crime or the time lost by victims as reflected in the UCR or the
NCVS. Indeed, crime exacts a wide range of additional costs on the individual and society. Among these are
the criminal justice system costs of investigating, arresting, prosecuting, adjudicating, and
incarcerating/punishing the offender. Besides the direct crime losses suffered by the victims, there are the
medical costs related to injuries and lost income, as well as intangible costs which include pain and suffering,
psychological impacts, and reduced quality of life.
In a recent analysis, McCollister et al. (2010) provide a detailed discussion of the data and computations on
the costs of crime to society. The authors draw data from the UCR, National Incident-based Reporting System
(NIBRS), the NCVS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Fire Administration (for arsons), the
Bureau of Justice Assistance (for jail and prison data, criminal justice system employment data, and
expenditures), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (income and earnings). They also rely on data and input from
other analyses, including the work of Miller et al. (1996) and Aos (2003b). Table 1.4 presents the tangible and
intangible costs for 13 crime types in 2008 dollars. The total costs range from a high of almost $9 million for
each murder to a low of $3,532 for each larceny/theft. While these per-crime figures are themselves staggering,
multiplying the costs of homicides by the number of homicides in 2010 reveals a total cost of more than $132
billion just for this one offense category. Carrying out this same computation for all 13 crime categories reveals
a total costs of more than $295 trillion in 2010!
Table 1.4 Tangible and Intangible Costs of Crime
The economic impact of crime on the individual and society is huge. Simply looking at the immediate loss
due to the victimization itself is short-sighted. To these losses you need to add the costs of the criminal justice
system, other costs to the victim and his family, pain and suffering, and lost productivity by the offender.
While the actual level of crime has fallen in recent years, the staggering economic costs to the individual
victims and to society cannot be ignored.
The Fear of Crime
To further compound the problem of the levels of “actual crime” and the economic and physical impact of
crime in society, one needs only to examine the perceived levels of crime and the resultant fear held by many
members of society. The “fear of crime” presents a view of criminal victimization that, although not necessarily
real, forms the basis for daily “inactivity” and anxiety. Because fear reduction is an important component of
many crime prevention programs, it is important to understand the extent of fear and issues related to
measuring and understanding fear.
Fear of crime emerged as a social issue in the mid-1960s and soon became a permanent part of
criminological research. Lee (2007) argues that fear was “invented” in the 1960s through a convergence of
various factors. Among these were the development of victimization surveys as a part of the 1967 President’s
Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (and subsequently in other countries), the
growth of professional/academic interest in crime and its causes, the use of crime and fear as political capital,
and the feminist movement (Lee, 2007). The newly discovered “fear of crime” became an integral part of
national and local government policymaking.
What exactly is fear? Despite the growth of interest in “fear of crime,” there remains a lack of consensus on
exactly what the term means. Perhaps the most recognized work on this issue is that of Kenneth Ferraro and
his associates. Ferraro defines fear as:
an emotional response of dread or anxiety to crime or symbols that a person associates with crime. This definition of fear implies that some
recognition of potential danger, what we may call perceived risk, is necessary to evoke fear.
(1995, p. 8)
While this definition requires an emotional response, the fear may manifest itself in various ways depending
on the person involved and the basis for his anxiety. Some individuals fear walking on the streets in their
neighborhood while others fear physical attack within their own home. As a result, there may be a shift in
physical functioning such as high blood pressure and rapid heartbeat. Alternatively, the individual may
similarly alter his attitudes about walking alone in certain places or avoiding various activities. To a great
extent, the source of the fear for the individual will determine the response to the fear. Regardless of the source
of this fear, it is real for the individual.
Ferraro (1995) points out that researchers have attempted to measure fear in a variety of ways. Some surveys
question respondents about how much they worry about being a victim. Others ask about perceptions of the
crime problem in their community. Still other surveys have respondents rate their chances of becoming a
victim. These various approaches do not provide the same information.
Figure 1.3 Classification and Examples of Crime Perceptions
Source: K.F. Ferraro and R.L. LaGrange (1988). “Are older people afraid of crime?” Journal of Aging Studies 2:277–287. Reprinted with permission
from Elsevier Science.
In an attempt to show the differences between various fear measures, Ferraro and LaGrange (1988) provide a
classification scheme that considers the perceptions of the respondent being tapped and the degree to which
the method addresses the individual or others (see Figure 1.3). This classification taps judgments of risk—how
safe the respondent or others are, values—how concerned the person is about crime or victimization, and
emotions—how much the individual is afraid or worried about becoming a victim. Personal fear of crime
appears in the lower right hand cell (F). This measure would ask respondents directly about how afraid they
are of being the victim of specific crimes, often without reference to any specific place or time. These questions
directly tap the “emotions of dread or anxiety” of the individual. At the other extreme (cell A), respondents
assess the general safety of other people, quite possibly without even mentioning crime.
Table 1.5 Common “Fear” Questions
National Crime Victimization Survey:
How safe do you feel or would you feel being out alone in your neighborhood at night?
General Social Survey:
Is there any area right around here-that is, within a mile-where you would be afraid to walk alone at
Taking a Bite out of Crime Campaign Evaluation:
How likely do you think it is that your home will be broken into or burglarized during the next year?
Is having your home burglarized or broken into something that you worry about?
National Opinion Survey on Criminal Justice:
Do you worry very frequently, somewhat frequently, seldom or never about:
– Yourself or someone in your family getting sexually assaulted
– Being attacked while driving your car
– Getting mugged
– Getting beaten up, knifed or shot
– Getting murdered
– Your home being burglarized while someone is at home
– Your home being burglarized while no one is at home
– Is there more crime in your area than there was a year ago, or less?
– Is there more crime in the U.S. than there was a year ago, or less?
– Overall, how would you describe the problem of crime in the U.S.? Is it extremely serious, very
serious, moderately serious, not too serious, or not serious at all?
Fear of Crime in America Survey:
Rate your fear of: (1 = not afraid at all; 10 = very afraid)
– being approached on the street by a beggar or panhandler
– being raped or sexually assaulted
– being murdered
– being attacked by someone with a weapon
– having your car stolen
– having your property damaged by vandals
Interestingly, while discussions of “fear of crime” are common, many researchers utilize measures that
reflect risk or assessments of crime levels, rather than the emotional response of the individual (Ferraro, 1995).
This diversity is seen in many of the common and large-scale surveys. Table 1.5 presents a sample of “fear”
questions used in past surveys and research. Note that the questions vary from asking about perceptions on
changes in crime (Gallup Poll), to feeling safe outside at night with no mention of crime (NCVS), to rating fear
of specific criminal actions (Fear of Crime in America Survey). These differing measures all tap some aspect of
the fear definition presented earlier.
The Level of Fear
Trying to delineate the actual level of fear is like trying to hit a moving target. No two studies provide the
same results. This may be due largely to the use of varying measures of fear. Despite this fact, it is possible to
offer some insight and “ballpark” figures for fear.
Many researchers report that 40 to 50 percent of the population express a fear of crime (Hindelang, 1975;
Maguire and Pastore, 1995; Skogan and Maxfield, 1981; Toseland, 1982). In 2011, 38 percent of respondents
report that there are areas near their home where they would be afraid to walk alone at night (Maguire, 2011).
Questions asking about perceived changes in crime in the United States or a respondent’s area often result in
greater fear levels with 66 percent or more reporting that there is “more” crime than in the past (Jones, 2010).
Table 1.6 Percentage of Respondents who Frequently or Occasionally Worry About Different Forms of Victimization
Table 1.6 presents data on the level of “worry” about being a victim of specific crimes. Maguire (2011)
reports that one out of five respondents worries frequently or occasionally about being murdered, almost half
worry about having their home burglarized when they are not home, 30 percent worry about a burglary when
they are home, 44 percent worry about having their car stolen or broken into, and one out of three worries
about being mugged. Interestingly, few respondents report ever being a victim of any of these crimes.
Fear and Crime
One very important fact to keep in mind is that the level of fear exceeds the actual levels of crime. Skogan
and Maxfield (1981) illustrate the lack of a connection between crime and fear by showing that, in terms of
robbery, approximately 48 percent of the non-victims report feeling somewhat or very unsafe, while 54 percent
of the victims report the same fear. The expectation was that victims should express significantly more fear
than non-victims. Similarly, both official and victimization measures show that less than 10 percent of the
population is victimized, despite fear of 40 percent or more. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that, despite
the reductions in crime found in both official and victimization figures, 66 percent of the respondents to a
Gallup Poll in 2002 believe there was more crime in the United States than in the previous year (Jones, 2010).
Another way of looking at fear and crime is to examine the link between fear and past victimization of
respondents. Some studies offer empirical support of a positive relationship between victimization and fear of
crime (Bachman et al., 2011; Ferguson and Mindel, 2007; Keane, 1995; Lumb et al., 1993; McCoy et al., 1996;
Roundtree, 1998; Skogan, 1987; Will and McGrath, 1995; Zhao et al., 2015). Other studies, however, fail to find
any relationship between victimization and fear (Ferraro, 1995; Garofalo, 1979; Gates and Rohe, 1987; Liska et
al., 1982; McGarrell et al., 1997; Perkins and Taylor, 1996; Rifai, 1982). Yet another group of researchers argue
that the relationship depends on the definitions and measures of fear and/or victimization (Baumer, 1985;
Bennett and Flavin, 1994; Ferraro and LaGrange, 1987; Garofalo, 1981; Gomme, 1988).
Fear and Demographics
Besides the diversity in the fear–victimization relationship, the level of fear is not consistent across all
demographic groups in the population. It is principally an urban problem and affects the elderly and women to
a greater extent than other groups. Greater than 60 percent of those persons living in urban areas express fear
of crime. Conversely, only 30 percent of rural residents voice the same fears. A wide range of studies reveal
that the elderly and women are the most fearful groups in society (Baumer, 1985; Bennett and Flavin, 1994;
Ferraro, 1995; Hindelang et al., 1978; McGarrell et al., 1997; Perkins and Taylor, 1996; Riger et al., 1978; Skogan
and Maxfield, 1981; Will and McGrath, 1995). This persists despite the fact that the elderly and women are the
least victimized groups. Some researchers argue these fear results are an artifact of how fear is measured and
that the young are actually the most fearful (Chiricos et al., 1997; Ferraro, 1995; Lumb et al., 1993).
Fear also varies along other demographic lines. Numerous studies report that fearful people tend to be black
(Biderman et al., 1967; Chiricos et al., 1997; Lab, 1990; Smith and Lab, 1991; Parker, 1988; Parker and Ray, 1990;
Skogan and Maxfield, 1981), lower socioeconomic status (Bennett and Flavin, 1994; Biderman et al., 1967;
Gomme, 1986; Greenberg et al., 1985; Riger et al., 1978; Will and McGrath, 1995), and live in large communities
(Baumer, 1985; Biderman et al., 1967; Boggs, 1971; Kennedy and Silverman, 1985; Liska et al., 1982; Will and
McGrath, 1995). Other studies, however, note the lack of a relationship or a reverse relationship between some
of these demographic factors and fear (Gomme, 1986; Gomme, 1988; Kennedy and Krahn, 1984; Kennedy and
Silverman, 1985; Lab, 1990; Smith and Lab, 1991; Menard and Covey, 1987; Ortega and Myles, 1987; Toseland,
Explaining the Divergent Findings
Two basic questions arise from an inspection of past research on fear of crime. First, how do you justify the
levels of fear in light of the actual levels and chances of victimization? Second, why do different studies find
divergent sets of characteristics among fearful individuals? There is no clear answer to these questions. Instead,
there may be many contributing factors.
Hough (1995) argues that fear is related to measures of vicarious victimization. Vicarious victimization
refers to knowing someone or hearing about others who have been the victim of a crime. This information may
elicit a sympathetic reaction and empathetic fear of crime. Grohe et al. (2012), using a phone survey of
residents in one southeastern U.S. city, report that fear of burglary is significantly related to actual burglary in
the city. Analyzing fear among Houston residents, Zhao et al. (2015) note that local crime is related to fear of
violent, property, and disorder offenses independent of actual victimization. Vicarious fear can also come from
real or dramatic depictions of crime in the media, particularly television. Both fictional police dramas and the
reporting of crime and violence in the news inundate the populace with a view that crime is a constant threat
to every individual. It is also noteworthy that most depictions are not of everyday “street crimes.” Instead, they
focus on more heinous and frightening offenses such as murder, rape, and home burglary. Several studies
(Chiricos et al., 1996; Lane and Meeker, 2003a; Weitzer and Kubrin, 2004) report that exposure to crime in the
media is related to higher reported fear.
Perceived Risk and Harm
A second possible explanation for inordinate levels of fear centers on the potential harm one encounters
when victimized (Riger et al., 1978; Skogan and Maxfield, 1981; Warr, 1984). That is, victimization has a greater
impact on some individuals than others. The elderly, for example, are largely on fixed incomes and any loss
due to theft, property damage, or medical expenses cannot always be accommodated within their budgets. A
minor dollar loss can translate into a major hardship. Similarly, physical injuries to elderly victims can result in
lengthy, painful recuperation beyond that needed by younger individuals. The elderly and females also have a
great physical disadvantage when faced with young male offenders who hold an edge in strength and physical
prowess. The perceived potential for physical harm is greatly enhanced when the victim and offender represent
opposite positions in physical and social power. McCoy et al. (1996) and Smith and Torstensson (1997) find that
perceived vulnerability is a strong predictor of fear among women and the elderly.
Vulnerability also appears in the form of social isolation (Akers et al., 1987; Bursik and Grasmick, 1993;
Kennedy and Silverman, 1985; Riger et al., 1978). Many elderly live alone and have few family members or
close friends living nearby. These individuals may feel they have no one to call on for assistance in the
aftermath of a crime. They are socially isolated from support networks that are more common among younger
members of the population.
A third possible explanation for the lack of a direct victimization–fear connection involves area incivility.
Incivility refers to physical and social factors involved in disorder and community decline. Physical signs of
incivility include the deterioration of buildings, litter, graffiti, vandalism, and abandoned buildings and cars.
Among the social signs of incivility are public drunkenness, vagrancy, loitering youths, harassment (such as
begging or panhandling), and visible drug sales and use. Both residents and potential offenders may see signs
of incivility as indicative of a lack of social cohesion, high transiency, a lack of resources, and/or an uncaring
attitude (Lewis and Salem, 1986; Skogan, 1990). Residents may feel a lack of control in the neighborhood that in
turn may generate a greater fear of crime. Conversely, areas that display collective efficacy and strong social
integration should have lower levels of fear (Doran and Burgess, 2012; Jackson and Gray, 2010; Zhao et al.,
Several studies have analyzed the contribution of incivilities to the level of fear. McGarrell et al. (1997)
report that neighborhood disorder/incivility contributes significantly to variation in respondents’ fear of crime.
Roundtree (1998) finds similar results when analyzing survey data from 5,302 Seattle residents. Residents’
perceptions of disorder significantly increased fear of both violent and burglary victimizations. Lane and
colleagues (Lane, 2002; Lane and Fox, 2012; Lane and Meeker, 2000, 2005, 2011) have demonstrated that
neighborhood conditions and signs of disorder are related to levels of fear. Finally, McCoy et al. (1996) note
that dissatisfaction with one’s neighborhood (a possible indicator of incivilities) is a key to residents’ fear.
Differing methodologies in the studies may also influence the results. As noted earlier, varying “fear”
measures can contribute to divergent findings. It is not improbable that the same respondents could provide
two different views of fear when asked different questions. For example, survey respondents may give “fearful”
responses when asked about walking alone after dark anywhere “within a mile,” but few “fear” responses to
the likelihood of being raped. Similarly, respondents may feel that crime is a greater problem today than a year
ago, but still not worry much about being mugged. The extent of fear also may vary depending on who is
answering which questions. Females, for example, worry more about sexual assault than do males. Ferraro
(1995) notes that general fear among women is better understood as an extension of the fear of rape.
Operationalizing fear in different ways, therefore, produces greatly different results. Variation in fear also may
reflect the locale of the study. For example, Chiricos et al. (1997) point out that their results on fear differ from
those of Covington and Taylor (1991), despite the similar concerns addressed in the two studies. They speculate
that the variation is due to differences between Tallahassee, Florida and Baltimore, Maryland. The setting of
the analysis, therefore, can influence the results.
Crime and Fear
Yet another factor influencing the levels of fear involves the actual level of crime. While the fear of crime
varies independently from actual victimization and crime, it would be naive to claim that changes in the crime
rate have no influence on reported fear. Media reports of increasing crime and spectacular offenses
undoubtedly hold some sway over perceptions of safety in the community. Unfortunately, lower crime rates
probably do not bring about lower fear as easily. The media does not promote good news to the same extent as
bad news. Feelings of fear and worry, once formed, would be difficult to reverse.
Benefits of Fear
Throughout this discussion, fear has been presented primarily as a negative concept. That is, fear is a bad
thing that has negative consequences for the individual. Among these negatives are changes in behavior,
retreating behind closed doors, not trusting other people, anxiety, and/or depression, to name a few. The
logical conclusion to draw is that we need to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, fear. It is possible, however, to
view fear as a positive thing.
Jackson and Gray (2009) note that there is such a thing as functional fear. In essence, fear can be a good
thing, provided the individual uses it as motivation to take precautions. These precautions may range from
avoiding certain risky places or times, to utilizing safety devices at home, to pairing up with others for safety
when outdoors. A similar proposition is offered by Lee (2007) when he discusses the fearing subject. This
person is someone who becomes responsible for the safety of himself and his property. Jackson and Gray
(2010), using the Safer Neighborhoods Survey in London, report that fear actually promotes precautions, which
reduce subsequent fear for a significant number of respondents.
Based on these arguments, it would be ill-advised to try to completely eliminate fear. Rather, fear can be
healthy for people. The key would be to determine what that “healthy level” is and how to limit a person’s fear
at that optimal level. Under this approach, eliminating fear would result in people taking unnecessary chances
and ignoring risky situations.
Despite the issues and concerns inherent in measuring fear of crime, one fact remains unchanged. That is,
people report being fearful to a much greater extent than they report (either officially or unofficially) being a
victim of crime. Because of fear, people respond in a variety of ways. Some individuals will avoid certain
places at certain times, or stop going somewhere altogether. Others may install locks and security devices and
stay inside their fortress. The public may demand greater police presence. Funds may be expended on selfdefense classes, dogs, guns, or other items in an attempt to protect one’s self and reduce the feelings of fear.
Whatever the response, it is indicative of fear’s impact on the individual and society.
The extent of the crime problem is hard to accurately gauge and is multifaceted. Attempts to measure the
level of crime present a variety of findings and anomalies. While these various counting procedures may not
agree on the numerical magnitude of crime and victimization, there is consensus that crime remains a major
social problem. Crime may be on the decrease, but it remains far higher today than in the 1960s when the
President’s Commission proclaimed that major changes were needed to stem the problem of crime and
victimization. Beyond the enumeration of criminal acts, the economic, impact of crime on the individual and
society is substantial. Psychological and time losses due to crime are also significant. Also problematic are the
inordinate levels of fear of crime. Fear far exceeds the actual amount of crime and affects many individuals
who never have been, and may never be, crime victims. Crime prevention must be cognizant of both the real
and perceived levels of crime and must be prepared to attack crime in all its aspects.
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
Part I crimes
Part II crimes
Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)
Crime Prevention Through the Ages
Modern Crime Prevention
Defining Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention Classifications
Crime Prevention/Public Health Model
Alternate Classifications of Crime Prevention
Model of Choice
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
Discuss the historic methods used by individuals and communities to respond to and prevent
Provide a definition of crime prevention.
Contrast crime prevention and crime control.
Outline the crime prevention model based on the public health model.
Define primary, secondary, and tertiary crime prevention.
Provide examples of prevention activities for each part of the crime prevention model.
Offer examples of other crime prevention models.
Identify the difference between micro-, meso-, and macro-level prevention.
Define and discuss crime science.
Crime prevention is not a new idea. Indeed, for as long as people have been victimized there have been
attempts to protect oneself and one’s family. The term “crime prevention,” however, has only recently come to
signify a set of ideas for combating crime. Many people suggest that crime prevention today is new and
unique, particularly in terms of citizen participation. In reality, many recent activities classified as crime
prevention can be seen throughout history. “New” crime prevention ideas and techniques are often little more
than reincarnations of past practices or extensions of basic approaches in the (distant) past. It is only in the
relatively recent past that the general citizenry has not been the primary line of defense against crime and
victimization. This chapter will accomplish several things. First, it presents a brief discussion of crime
prevention throughout history. Second, a definition for crime prevention will be presented. Third, the chapter
presents the general crime prevention model that serves to organize the remainder of the text.
Crime Prevention Through the Ages
In any discussion it is important to set forth the context from which our ideas and thoughts emerge. Perhaps
the best place to start is with an understanding of what has happened in the past. The study of crime
prevention is no exception.
The earliest responses to crime were left to the individual and his family. Retribution, revenge, and
vengeance were the driving forces throughout early history. While such actions would serve to make the
victim whole again, it also would eliminate the benefit gained by the offender. It was assumed that potential
offenders would see little gain in an offense, thereby deterring the individual from taking action. The Code of
Hammurabi (approximately 1900 B.C.) outlined retribution by the victim and/or his family as the accepted
response to injurious behavior. Lex talionis, the principle of “an eye for an eye,” was specifically set forth as a
driving principle in the Hammurabic law. Such laws and practices provided legitimacy to individual citizen
The existence of formal systems of social control is relatively new. Early “policing,” such as in the Roman
Empire and in France, was concentrated in the cities, conducted by the military, and dealt with issues of the
central state and the nobility (i.e., king) (Holden, 1992; Langworthy and Travis, 1994). The general public was
left to continue self-help methods.
The Norman conquest of England in 1066 gave rise to a form of citizen policing referred to as obligatory
policing (Klockars, 1985). Male citizens were required to band together into groups for the purpose of policing
each other. If one individual in the group caused harm (to a group or non-group member), the other members
were responsible for apprehending and sanctioning the offender. Beyond this obligatory action, a variety of
cooperative practices emerged that relied on citizen participation to protect the community and one another.
Watch and ward rotated the responsibility for keeping watch over the town or area, particularly at night,
among the male citizens. Identified threats would cause the watcher to raise the alarm and call for help (hue
and cry). It was then up to the general citizenry to apprehend and (possibly) punish the offender. Those
responding to the call for help were not employees of the state. Rather, they were other common citizens. The
“watch and ward” and “hue and cry” ideas were codified in 1285 in the Statutes of Winchester (Klockars, 1985),
which also required men to have weapons available for use when called (assize of arms), and outlined the role
of a constable, which was an unpaid position responsible for coordinating the watch and ward system, and
overseeing other aspects of the law. It is apparent throughout these actions that crime prevention was a major
responsibility of the citizenry.
Similar citizen responsibility was commonplace in the new world colonies and the early United States. The
vigilante movement, which mirrored early ideas of “hue and cry,” was a major component of enforcing law
and order in the growing frontier of the young country (Klockars, 1985). Posses of citizens were formed when
an offender needed to be apprehended and punished.
The individual, often voluntary, responsibility for crime prevention in England generally persisted until the
1800s. The exceptions to this trend can be seen in the development of paid, private security police for
specialized industries or groups (Klockars, 1985; Langworthy and Travis, 1994). The Merchant Police of
England, which was established in the sixteenth century to protect the wool industry, is a prime example of an
early private police force. The parochial police, hired by the wealthy to protect their homes and businesses, is
Entrepreneurial policing appeared with the passage of the Highwayman Act in England in 1692. This law
outlined the payment of bounty for the capture of thieves and the recovery of property. The voluntary bounty
hunters came to be known as thief takers (Klockars, 1985; LaGrange, 1993) who, by the mid-1700s, were
organized under the leadership of English magistrates. The thief takers, who were often reformed criminals
themselves, were “paid” to protect the public by being able to keep a portion of all recovered property. The
evolution of the thief takers from a wholly voluntary activity to a legitimized, organized group under
government control was the beginning of a process that ended with the establishment of the Metropolitan
Police in London in 1829.
A key to the Metropolitan Police organization was the idea of crime prevention. Sir Robert Peel, who was
the driving force behind the Metropolitan Police Act, and Charles Roman, the commissioner of the new
organization, both saw crime prevention as the basic principle underlying police work (LaGrange, 1993). Even
earlier attempts at formal policing, such as that in seventeenth century Paris, emphasized crime prevention
through methods such as preventive patrol, increased lighting, and street cleaning (Stead, 1983). Formal police
forces in the United States, mirroring the movement in England, emerged in the mid-1800s and were restricted
primarily to the largest cities in the northeast, leaving citizens to continue their efforts at self-protection.
While much of this discussion has emphasized individual action and self-help, it should not be construed as
indicative that protective actions were solely a matter of retribution and revenge. There are numerous
examples of alternative approaches that would be considered preventive in nature. Easy examples were the use
of walls, moats, drawbridges and other physical design features around cities that protected the community
from external invasion. Surveillance, as provided by “watch and ward,” allowed the identification of problems
before they got out of hand. Yet another early prevention approach was the restriction of weapon ownership as
a means of eliminating violent behavior (Holden, 1992).
The advent of the twentieth century witnessed a great deal of change in societal response to deviant
behavior. Not only was a formal police force becoming the norm, but other forces were emerging to address
crime and deviance. The growth of the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior offered new responses
to deviant behavior. The emerging fields of psychology and sociology in the late 1800s and early 1900s were
beginning to question the causes of deviant behavior. Rather than carry on the dominant tradition of
attributing deviance to the battle between good and evil (God and the devil), researchers were starting to note
patterns in where and when offenses occurred and who was involved in the offenses, and to relate these facts
to changing social structure and personal relationships. The logical result of this growing study was a
movement away from simple responses involving repression, vengeance, retribution, and the like to actions
that would attack the assumed causes of deviant behavior. The emerging criminal and juvenile justice systems,
therefore, responded by incorporating more prevention-oriented functions into their activity.
One prime example of an early “crime prevention” approach was the development of the juvenile court and
its efforts to combat the problems of poverty, lack of education, and poor parenting among the lower classes.
The preventive nature of the juvenile system can be seen in the parens patriae philosophy, which argued that
youths needed help and that processing in adult court was geared toward punishment rather than prevention.
The expansion of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction to cover status offenses reflected the belief that curfew
violation, smoking, playing in the street, incorrigibility, and other such actions (none of which were proscribed
by the criminal code) were indicative of later criminal behavior. Thus, intervening in these status offenses was
a means of preventing later crime. The juvenile system, therefore, was clearly an attempt at crime prevention.
Yet another example of early crime preventive action was the Chicago Area Project. Shaw and McKay (1931,
1942) found crime and delinquency concentrating in the central areas of Chicago, where residential transience
and an apparent lack of social ties predominated. Shaw and McKay (1942) argued that this constant turnover of
residents resulted in an inability of the people to exert any informal social control over the individuals in the
area. People were more interested in improving themselves and moving out of these neighborhoods than in
improving the area and staying there. Consequently, offenders could act with some degree of impunity in these
neighborhoods. The Chicago Area Project, founded in 1931, sought to work with the residents to build a sense
of pride and community, thereby prompting people to stay and exert control over the actions of people in the
area. Recreation for youths, vigilance and community self-renewal, and mediation were the major components
of the project (Schlossman and Sedlak, 1983). In essence, the project sought to build ongoing, thriving
communities that could control the behavior of both its residents and those who visited the area.
Modern Crime Prevention
The modern era of crime prevention can be traced to the changes in crime in the 1960s. That decade saw the
advent of major increases in crime and delinquency, accompanied by large-scale social unrest in the United
States over the Vietnam War and perceived social inequality. The public demanded that something be done to
address crime and social unrest. The work of the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the
Administration of Justice (hereafter the Commission) highlighted the plight of crime victims and the failure of
existing criminal justice system actions to curtail problems. The Commission called for new approaches,
including educational programs, local crime initiatives, better funding of criminal justice initiatives, and
research on the causes of and solution for crime.
Academic interest in the burgeoning crime problem led the way to modern crime prevention activities. One
of the first focal areas was on the contribution of the physical design of communities to crime. Jacobs’ (1961)
The Death and Life of Great American Cities focused on urban decay and the natural and social environments,
and their impact on crime and deviance. The modern urban environment, as well as many programs to change
urban life, were anathema to a vibrant community that protects itself and residents who look out for one
another. Jacobs suggested that the physical environment needs to enhance natural surveillance by those in the
neighborhood as a means of making streets safe for legitimate users. Similarly, Wood’s (1961) evaluation of
public housing in Chicago noted that safety is enhanced through resident surveillance and activity in the area.
The 1971 publication of Jeffery’s Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design took the ideas of Jacobs
and Wood further and argued that crime prevention requires environmental engineering. His emphasis was on
future offending rather than past behavior (the target of existing systems of social control). Jeffery (1971)
argued that criminal behavior, particularly potential future activity, is strongly influenced by the potential
future consequences of the individual’s actions. It is possible to curtail offending by removing environmental
cues that reinforce the offending behavior. The physical and social environments have great potential to
determine the levels of pleasure and pain faced by the individual. Jeffery argued that it is possible to make
alterations to the environment that will enhance conforming behavior and mitigate offending. Those changes
are not limited to physical changes. Rather, Jeffery claimed that increasing citizen involvement in community
activities and surveillance, and increased proactive programs by the police and other agents of social control,
can hold great potential for the prevention of crime.
While Jacobs, Jeffery, and others were laying out an academic basis for an emerging crime prevention,
architects and community planners, along with federal agencies and private corporations, were implementing
and testing new initiatives. Newman (1972), in his book Defensible Space: People and Design in the Violent
City, called on architects to change the physical environment in such a way as to maximize territoriality and
natural surveillance by residents and create an image of an area as cared for and protected. He demonstrated
the impact of appropriate construction on reduced crime and disorder. Newman’s work prompted the U.S.
Department of Justice, other government agencies, and private corporations (such as Westinghouse Electric) to
fund demonstration projects. The results of these projects led to the development of many different crime
prevention efforts, including neighborhood watch, “Take a Bite Out of Crime,” citizen patrols, lighting projects,
A final major development in modern crime prevention was the introduction of situational crime
prevention in 1983. Developed by the British Home Office, situational crime prevention refocused attention
from broad social/community change to target-, time- and place-specific efforts that would remove the
opportunities for crime. This move took crime prevention from the macro to the micro level of interest.
This short presentation demonstrates that crime prevention is an idea that has been around for as long as
there has been crime. While the form has changed and the term “crime prevention” is relatively new, the
concern over safety is age old. Throughout most of history, it was the individual’s responsibility, either
voluntarily or through obligation, to deal with crime and offenders. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
society moved to a system of police, courts, and corrections, which assumed the primary responsibility for
Since the 1960s there has been a growing movement toward bringing the citizenry back as active
participants in crime prevention. While many see this type of community action as “new,” in reality it is more
a movement back to age-old traditions of individual responsibility than it is a revolutionary step forward in
crime control. Crime prevention must utilize the wide range of ideas and abilities found throughout society.
Community planning, architecture, neighborhood action, juvenile advocacy, security planning, education, and
technical training, among many other system and non-system activities, all have a potential impact on the
levels of crime and fear of crime. The realm of crime prevention is vast and open for expansion.
Defining Crime Prevention
The definition of crime prevention varies from study to study and program to program. Ekblom (2005, p. 28)
states “Crime prevention is intervention in the causes of criminal and disorderly events to reduce the risks of
their occurrence and/or the potential seriousness of their consequences.” This definition addresses both crime
and its impact on individuals and society. As outlined in the last chapter, the consequences of crime are not
inconsequential. While most definitions of crime prevention incorporate the ideas of lessening the actual levels
of crime or limiting further increases in crime, few deal with the problem of fear of crime and perceived crime
and victimization. This book uses a very simple yet encompassing definition:
crime prevention entails any action designed to reduce the actual level of crime and/or the perceived fear of crime.
These actions are not restricted to the efforts of the criminal justice system and include activities by
individuals and groups, both public and private. Just as there are many causes of crime, there are many
potentially valuable approaches to crime prevention.
This definition differs from Ekblom’s in that it does not directly address the consequences of crime. The
reason for this is twofold. First, if crime and fear are successfully addressed, the consequences are also affected.
Second, it is possible to address the consequences of victimization without ever attacking the underlying crime.
This can occur in many ways, including payments to victims through victim compensation, the provision of
mental health counselors, actions taken to reduce the time lost from participating with the criminal justice
process, and any number of other interventions. While these actions are laudable, they do nothing to address
the cause of the problems. Therefore, throughout the discussion in this book, the emphasis is on crime and the
fear of crime, with the consequences receiving little direct attention.
Crime prevention and crime control are not synonymous. Crime prevention clearly denotes an attempt to
eliminate crime either prior to the initial occurrence or before further activity. On the other hand, crime
control alludes to maintenance of a given or existing level and the management of that amount of behavior.
Control also fails to adequately address the problem of fear of crime. Critics of this distinction will fault the
author’s implicit assumption that society and criminal justice can do something about crime and the fear of
crime beyond simple management of an inevitable, inescapable minimal amount of crime. These functionalists
would view crime as a social necessity that, regardless of the effort, will always exist. While functionalists may
be correct, taking the stance that crime is necessary and all we can do is “control” it leads to a mind-set
doomed not to achieve crime “prevention.”
Crime Prevention Classifications
Crime prevention can be classified in a number of different ways. Perhaps the earliest attempt to group
crime prevention efforts simply borrowed the well-established public health model of disease prevention
initiatives (see Brantingham and Faust, 1976; Caplan, 1964; Leavell and Clark, 1965; Shah and Roth, 1974).
Crime Prevention/Public Health Model
The tripartite public health model classifies prevention as either primary, secondary or tertiary. Each area
attacks the problem at different stages of development. From the public health viewpoint, primary prevention
refers to actions taken to avoid the initial development of the disease or problem. This would include
vaccinations and sanitary cleanups by public health officials. Secondary prevention moves beyond the point of
general societal concerns and focuses on individuals and situations that exhibit early signs of disease. Included
at this stage are screening tests such as those for tuberculosis or systematically providing examinations to
workers who handle toxic materials. Tertiary prevention rests at the point where the disease or problem has
already manifested itself. Activities at this stage involve the elimination of the immediate problem and taking
steps designed to inhibit a recurrence in the future. Crime prevention activities are directly analogous to this
public health model.
Primary Crime Prevention
Primary prevention within the realm of criminal justice “identifies conditions of the physical and social
environment that provide opportunities for or precipitate criminal acts” (Brantingham and Faust, 1976). The
types of prevention approaches subsumed here take a variety of forms and are located within a wide range of
social organizations (see Table 2.1). Included here are environmental design, neighborhood watch, general
deterrence, private security, developmental prevention approaches, and education about crime and crime
prevention. Environmental design includes a wide range of crime prevention techniques aimed at making
crime more difficult for the offender, surveillance easier for residents, and feelings of safety more widespread.
The use of building plans conducive to visibility, the addition of lights and locks, and the marking of property
for ease of identification fall within the realm of environmental design. Neighborhood watches and citizen
patrols increase the ability of residents to exert control over their neighborhood and add risk of observation for
Activities of varied groups/organizations can also play a major role within the realm of primary prevention.
The presence of the police may affect the attractiveness of an area for crime as well as lower the fear of crime.
The courts and corrections may influence primary prevention by increasing perceived risk of crime for
offenders. Actions of the criminal justice system may also bring about general deterrence. Public education
concerning the actual levels of crime and the interaction of the criminal justice system and the public may also
affect perceptions of crime and individual choices to violate the law.
Table 2.1 Crime Prevention Approaches
Identification and prediction
Early ID of problem individuals
Crime area analysis
Arrest and conviction
Levels of crime
Developmental crime prevention
Early intervention programs
Social crime prevention
Situational crime prevention
Prevention and treatment
Schools and crime prevention
Rehabilitation and treatment
Developmental crime prevention approaches focus on risk factors that may lead individuals to deviant
behavior. Programs working with parents and children to build parental and social skills, preparation for
school, cognitive abilities and more are prime examples of developmental approaches. Social prevention
activities are those typically aimed at alleviating unemployment, poor education, poverty, and similar social ills
that may reduce crime and fear by attending to the root causes underlying deviant behavior. These and many
other primary prevention behaviors are implemented with the intent of avoiding initial, as well as continued,
crime and victimization and may be instrumental at lowering the fear of crime.
Secondary Crime Prevention
Secondary prevention “engages in early identification of potential offenders and seeks to intervene”
(Brantingham and Faust, 1976) prior to commission of illegal activity. Implicit in secondary prevention is the
ability to correctly identify and predict problem people and situations. Perhaps the most recognizable form of
secondary prevention is the idea of situational crime prevention. Situational crime prevention seeks to identify
existing problems at the micro level and institute interventions that are developed specifically for the given
problem. These solutions may involve physical design changes, altering social behaviors, improving
surveillance, or any number of other activities. Closely allied to situational prevention is the emergence of
community policing. The community policing approach relies heavily on citizen involvement in a problemsolving approach to neighborhood concerns.
Many secondary prevention efforts resemble activities listed under primary prevention. The distinction rests
on whether the programs are aimed more at keeping problems that lead to criminal activity from arising
(primary prevention) or if the efforts are focused on factors that already exist and are fostering deviant
behavior (secondary prevention). Secondary prevention may deal with predelinquents or deviant behavior
which leads to injurious criminal activity. For example, alcohol and other drug use are highly related to other
forms of deviance. Targeting drug use as an indicator of criminal propensity is a secondary prevention
approach. Schools can play an important role in secondary prevention both in terms of identifying problem
youths and in providing a forum for interventions. Clearly, much secondary prevention may rest in the hands
of parents, educators, and neighborhood leaders who have daily contact with the individuals and conditions
leading to deviance and fear.
Tertiary Crime Prevention
According to Brantingham and Faust (1976), tertiary prevention “deals with actual offenders and involves
intervention … in such a fashion that they will not commit further offenses.” The majority of tertiary
prevention rests within the workings of the criminal justice system. The activities of arrest, prosecution,
incarceration, treatment, and rehabilitation all fall within the realm of tertiary prevention. Non-justice system
input to this process includes private enterprise correctional programs, diversionary justice within the
community, and some community corrections. Tertiary prevention is often ignored in discussions of crime
prevention due to its traditional place in other texts and the great volume of writing on these topics that
The types of approaches and interventions within each level of crime prevention are certainly not limited to
those mentioned. Within each of the three types of prevention there are many variations and novel ways to
approach a given crime problem. Indeed, crime prevention techniques are only limited by the imagination of
individuals interested in decreasing the levels of crime and fear of crime.
Alternate Classifications of Crime Prevention
As noted earlier, crime prevention can be classified in other ways than that of a public health model. One is
a variation on the tripartite public health model offered by van Dijk and de Waard (1991). Their model adds a
second dimension resulting in a 3 × 3 configuration with primary/secondary/tertiary on one axis and victimoriented/community-neighborhood-oriented/offender-oriented on the other axis. For example, primary
prevention techniques can be divided into actions that target victims, the community, or potential offenders.
This simply refines the public health-based classification system. Crawford (1998) offers another twodimensional typology that again uses the primary/secondary/tertiary view as a starting point, and adds a
distinction between social and situational approaches within each category. Both of these models offer
alternative views of crime prevention and ways of conceptualizing crime prevention interventions.
Hunter (2010) sees crime prevention divided into micro, meso, and macro levels, while maintaining the
primary, secondary, and tertiary distinctions. Micro-level crime prevention targets individuals, small groups,
small areas, or small businesses for intervention. These interventions may be very site-specific and target
individual vulnerabilities. Meso-level crime prevention looks at larger communities or neighborhoods, or
larger groups of individuals or businesses. Examples of this could be entire villages or towns, or possibly a
chain of specialty stores. The interventions here will involve larger groups and seek to engender cooperative
responses to crime. Finally, macro-level crime prevention looks at large communities, society as a whole, or
other very large collectives. At this level, responses would involve large-scale social changes, major shifts in
educational practices, major new employment opportunities, or legislative changes to address crime and
disorder (Hunter, 2010).
Tonry and Farrington (1995) divide crime prevention into four categories: (1) developmental, (2) community,
(3) situational, and (4) criminal justice. Each of these categories simply parcels out some aspect of the public
health model. The criminal justice category, for example, is substantially tertiary prevention, while community
is largely primary prevention. Bjørgo (2013) offers a general crime prevention model with nine categories: (1)
establishing and monitoring normative barriers, (2) reducing recruitment to criminal activity, (3) deterrence, (4)
disrupting acts before they occur, (5) protecting targets, (6) reducing the level of harm from crime, (7) reducing
the rewards of crime, (8) incapacitation, and (9) desistence and rehabilitation. Each of these fall somewhere
within the public health model.
An emerging area within the realm of crime prevention is that of crime science. Laycock (2005) suggests
that crime science is a new discipline, or at the very least a new paradigm, for addressing crime by coupling
efforts to prevent crime with the detection of and intervention with offenders. This is in contrast to the existing
paradigm within criminal justice where “Crime is seen as fundamentally about offenders rather than
situations” (Laycock, 2005, p. 21). The emphasis on offenders involves the criminal justice system in the
apprehension, adjudication and punishment/treatment of offenders. Little or no concern is paid to prevention
of crime. Conversely, “[c]rime science is the application of the methods of science to crime and disorder”
(Laycock, 2005, p. 4).
In essence, crime science attacks crime from a wide range of disciplines using a broad array of tools. Among
the disciplines included are those traditionally found in discussions of crime and criminality—sociology,
psychology, criminology, and criminal justice. Also included, however, are the fields of engineering, biology,
physics, architecture, genetics, communications, computer science, education, and many others. Each of these
disciplines offers insight to the behavior of individuals, how to control or manipulate the physical and social
environment, the development of safety and security devices, or a myriad of other factors that play a role in
crime and crime control. A primary goal of crime science is to bring these divergent disciplines together into a
functional, coordinated response to crime (Laycock, 2005).
In many ways, crime science fits nicely in the public health prevention model. An examination of the
approaches listed in Table 2.1 shows a wide array of actions and interventions that require the knowledge and
expertise from disciplines beyond those typically involved in the criminal justice system. At the same time, the
criminal justice system is intimately involved in the detection, apprehension and intervention with offenders,
as well as the implementation of new prevention initiatives. Many of the prevention approaches and
interventions outlined in this book rely on methods and information drawn from disciplines not traditionally
involved in crime or its prevention.
Model of Choice
While all of the classifications presented here have merit, this book utilizes the public health framework.
Virtually all of the other classifications fit within this model. Primary, secondary, and tertiary crime prevention
encompass diverse prevention methods ranging from physical design of homes and communities, to
neighborhood watch, to educating the public, to developmental approaches, to situationally unique
interventions, to drug prevention, to deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. Crime prevention is not
limited to the work of the criminal justice system. Instead, it relies on the knowledge and abilities of a very
diverse set of individuals and groups who work to apply scientific principles to the understanding and
prevention of crime. Beyond just presenting a discussion of different prevention approaches, this book attempts
to provide insight to the effectiveness of each approach. Evaluating prevention initiatives, however, is not
without its problems. It is to the topic of evaluating crime prevention that we n…