Keri offender’s motivation. Situational crime prevention focuses on reducing

Keri McMahon

            Situational
crime prevention entails focusing on mechanisms that reduce the opportunity to
commit crime. Situational crime prevention methods are based around the
classical school and deterrence theory. This prevention tactic focuses on a
specific crime type to discover the situational factors that are causing that
certain crime (Freilich & Newman, 2017). Situational crime prevention focuses
on eliminating the opportunity for crime, no matter how motivated the offender
may be, which will subsequently reduce crime. It also emphasizes the importance
of deterrence and reducing opportunities to increase an offender’s motivation. Situational
crime prevention focuses on reducing crime rather than punishing or
rehabilitating offenders (Freilich & Newman, 2017). The major concepts of
situational crime prevention include rationality, specificity, and opportunity
structure (Freilich & Newman, 2017). Rationality focuses on human’s ability
to make rational decisions. However, it is up to each individual to choose
either the rational or irrational thought process. A rational choice however
can mean different things to different people. An offender may believe stealing
food is a rational choice because they need to feed their family whereas an
outsider would view this as irrational since it breaks the criminal law. Specificity
addresses situational crime prevention’s initiative to reduce very specific
types of crime by emphasizing which exact crime it wishes to prevent (Freilich
& Newman, 2017). For example, instead of wanting to reduce stealing,
situational crime prevention focuses on stealing food from supermarkets. Focusing
on the specific type of problem helps identify what the exact characteristics
and opportunities associated with that crime are. Knowing these
characteristics, helps discover possible strategies to prevent the crime.
Opportunity structure deals with analyzing the situations that surround a crime
so we can understand the opportunities offenders see when committing crimes. This
usually leads to breaking the opportunities that surround a crime into smaller
components which can lead to finding a productive way to prevent the crime (Freilich
& Newman, 2017).

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            The
routine activities theory is centered around three factors which are a
motivated offender, a suitable target, and the lack of guardianship. This
theory focuses on the notion that people go about their daily lives involving
themselves in situations where the possibility to commit crime is available. A
motivated offender is just as it sounds, there are people who have a motivation
to commit crime. A suitable target can encompass a vast majority of situations
depending on the crime the motivated offender wants to commit. Guardianship can
come in many forms, from police officers to better lighting in a parking lot.
When a form of guardianship is lacking, the motivated offender has a greater
chance of committing a crime on his/her suitable target. Situational crime
prevention relates to routine activities theory since crime can be prevented if
there is better guardianship, less suitable targets, and less motivated offenders.
Situational crime prevention would try and have every place where crime can
occur be guarded so the offender does not seize the opportunity. Situational
crime prevention would also make sure no target is suitable for crime and
better educate or prevent the creation of motivated offenders. Situational
crime prevention uses the factors of routine activities theory to better learn about
why crime happens, so it can discover what needs to be instilled within society
to prevent crime.

When I was at my boyfriend’s
apartment this weekend, we decided to do homework out on the patio. We would
casually watch our surroundings and see what the other apartment residents were
doing. A yellow car drove up right in front of my boyfriend’s apartment since it
is on the side of the parking lot. We saw a lady get out and proceed to deliver
flowers to a neighboring apartment unit. However, she left her car on while she
delivered the flowers. She was probably away from her car for about three
minutes. Her car could have easily been stolen from
someone who was motivated to steal a car since it lacked her guardianship and
already had the doors unlocked and keys in the ignition (suitable target). Situational
crime prevention could have been applied by her turning her car off, taking the
keys with her, and locking her doors. Although she was only gone for a few
minutes, someone could have easily seized that opportunity to steal her car
since the offender would only need to open the door and put the car in reverse.
The lady made stealing her car very easy. Situational crime prevention would
suggest taking the keys with her and locking the doors so there is a reduced
opportunity to steal the car.

            My
boyfriend’s apartment complex requires residents or visitors to enter through a
gate. Residents have a pass and visitors must search through a call box to call
who they are visiting. This technique prevents non-residents and others who
have no business going to the apartment complex from entering the premises. Although
it is a good idea, the gate closes very slowly, and a motivated offender could
easily enter if they followed a car in. The apartment complex also has a security
guard that rides around the complex looking for suspicious activity. This crime
prevention technique is supposed to deter offenders from committing crime. The security
guard is supposed to prevent any theft, suspicious activity, and/or disturbances
from occurring within the complex.