Criminal Psychology-Topic 5 (Wilson & Kelling (Aim: To see whether…
Criminal Psychology-Topic 5
Crime prevention refers to a wide range of actions and behaviours that are designed to reduce the likelihood of crime by making a crime more difficult for a criminal or making it less worth while.
Features of neighbourhoods
1. Newman's theory of defensible space:
Defensible space operates by
subdividing large portions of public spaces and assigning them to individuals to use and control as their own private areas.
The criminal is isolated,and severely restricted. If an intruder can sense a watchful community, he feels less secure committing his crime.
2. Broken windows:Wilson & Kelling (1982):
The theory assumes that the landscape "communicates" to people. A broken window transmits to criminals the message that a community displays a lack of informal social control and so is unable or unwilling to defend itself against a criminal invasion. It symbolises the communities defencelessness and vulnerability and represents the lack of cohesiveness of the people within. Neighbourhoods with a strong sense of cohesion fix broken windows giving themselves control over their space.
4 KEY FACTORS:
1) Zone of Territorial influence-
the idea that ones home is sacred- the attitude of maintaining perceived boundaries. There should be markers to show that the area is private rather than public e.g. fences.
2) Opportunities for surveillance-
the physical layout of the building should mean that intruders can be easily spotted e.g. entrances can be overlooked and people can be seen.
high rise buildings are similar and lack individuality or personalisation. Individuality should be emphasised as it suggests privacy/ownership n linked to zone of territoriality
this refers to the surroundings of the building or the setting; buildings set in open spaces often attract vandalism more.
3. Zero Tolerance policy:
A type of policing that involves dealing with all kinds of crime rather than just serious offences.
Based on 3 core principles:
-Address all types of criminal acts
in order to prevent escalation to more serious crimes
-Police officers should be confident
to tackle even the lowest level crimes and antisocial behaviour.
Low level crime can be tackled with low-intensity, humane methods
by officers to create an environment that is then inhospitable to more serious crime.
Was pioneered by
William Bratton in New York in 1990
. Focused on apprehending offenders for minor offences. Referred to the policy as
. In 1992 arrests for serious crimes in NY went down by
Hpool- by Ray Mallon in 1994, focused on addressing crime in juveniles. Led to a reduction of 27% in overall crime rate car theft fell by 56%.
Early experimental research by Zimbardo (1969):
Group 1: car w/o license plates parked in Bronx, group 2: same but in Palo Alto, California. Found that in group 1 car was vandalised quickly. However in group 2, car was untouched for more than one week until Zimbardo stepped in n smashed the car, then within few hours car was vandalised. Concluded all residential areas are vulnerable to criminal invasions where there is a breakdown of community controls.
Wilson & Kelling
To see whether police foot patrols and community policing reduce crime in a US state
They focussed on a programme conducted in the US state of
in approximately 28 cities one of which was
This programme involved putting more officers on foot patrol on the street.
, there was
no decrease in crime rates
HOWEVER, there were some positive consequences:
-Residents in the areas where foot patrols had been
felt more secure
-tended to believe that crime had been reduced and felt safer. -officers on foot, although at first disliked foot patrols, were found to have a higher morale and a more positive attitude towards citizens.
Foot patrols knew the regulars and part of their job was to make sure that 'disreputable' people (drunks etc) knew their place and would follow informal rules. Residents felt more able to report disorder as they felt something would be done about it.
We should not underestimate the impact of fear of disorder in the community. If a window in a building is broken n not repaired that soon all the other windows will be broken as an unprepared window signals that no one cares so breaking the rest means nothing. The perceived level of crime increases and residents respond by keeping off the streets, n possibly moving out of the area.
Implications for the role of the police:
Police need to identify neighbourhoods that are not yet too crime-ridden and then take actions to increase a sense of public order such as carrying out more foot patrols, enforcing informal rules n dealing with minor crimes. W&K acknowledge the tension between preventing broken windows and the demand for concentrating police resources on high crime areas. They maintain that police must keep order as well as fight crime.
The relationship between low-level and serious crime can be understood using the broken windows metaphor. Public order should be created and maintained collaboratively by police n community.
Application: Crime Prevention
Broken windows theory:
Fix broken windows and litter pick so damage doesn't continue. Refer to Wilson and Kelling regarding foot patrols and community policing. Consider the introduction of Police Community Support Officers to deal with minor crimes.
PSCO's are uniformed staff who's role is to support the work of the police officers within the community. Their role is to assist the police in certain areas. Particularly work to reassure the public and to tackle the social menace of anti-social behaviour.
: targeting low level crime (refer to info above about PCSO's n broken windows)
Increasing risk of detection: Using CCTV
Brown reported on the success of CCTV in town centres in the UK in reducing antisocial and criminal behaviour. Collected FOR 3 UK cities-Birmingham, Newcastle and Kings Lynn.
in Newcastle and
. CCTV seems to be effective in reducing antisocial behaviour and crime where large groups of people congregate.
Increasing risk of detection: Neighbourhood Watch Programme
This programme brings ordinary members of the community together to increase surveillance, reporting and deterrence of local crime. A volunteer resident coordinator leases between the police and community, they receive information and equipment to help prevent crime and encourage vigilance suck as window stickers and signs to publicise the scheme.
Other strategies to prevent crime:
such as fixing immobilisers on cars
makes it difficult for criminals to get into places to commit crimes, i.e. swipe cards for access
strategies to make the crime less worth it e.g ink filled security tags
to encourage people not to drop little, bins should be provided.