Research and write an essay answering the required question. Your essay should include at least 500-750 words, 2 to 3 pages (not including cover page and reference page), double-spaced, with a font size of 10 to 12 pt. Refer to the Grading RubricPDF(opens in a new tab) for essay grading standards. Submit your essay by clicking on the link below.
Identify a situation or scenario in which crime occurs. Applying what you have learned in this lesson, discuss how the crime can or cannot be mitigated. Utilize examples or case studies that demonstrate the concepts. Conduct your own research, and use at least four citations and references in APA format.
Offenders make choices based on their perceptions of opportunities. Understanding how offenders see things is important to preventing crime because almost all crime prevention involves changing offenders’ perceptions of crime opportunities. Some prevention programs work directly on offenders’ perceptions, as when police inform offenders that they are being closely watched. But most prevention schemes work through one or more intermediate steps, as in property marking schemes, for example, where residents apply window stickers showing participation. Changes in the environment change offender perceptions. These perceptions influence offenders’ behaviors that, in turn, alter crime patterns.
In many cases, the preventive measures deter offenders from further criminal activity. They can also have the positive unintended effects of: (1) reducing crime beyond the focus of the measures, which is known as diffusion of benefits; and (2) reducing crime before they have actually been implemented, known as anticipatory benefits. However, preventive measures do not always achieve the desired effects, sometimes because offenders are quite unaware of the interventions in place. For example, offenders may continue to offend in the face of covert enforcement because they might not perceive that their risks of being caught have increased. In other cases, offenders may adjust negatively to the preventive measures. These negative adjustments include displacement and long-term adaptation.
Displacement occurs when offenders change their behavior to thwart preventive actions. Displacement is the opposite of diffusion of benefits. Displacement is a possible threat, but it is far from inevitable. Reviews show that many situational prevention programs show little or no evidence of displacement, and when displacement is found, it seldom fully offsets the prevention benefits.
There are six types of crime displacement:
Temporal-committing the intended crime at a different time
Tactical-committing the intended crime in a different way
Target-committing the intended crime type on a different target
Spatial-committing the intended crime type to the same target in a different place
Functional-committing a different type of crime
Perpetrator-where a crime opportunity is so compelling that the offense will continue to be committed by a succession of different offenders filling the ‘opportunity’ vacuum.
Adaptation refers to a longer term process whereby the offender population as a whole discovers new crime vulnerabilities after preventive measures have been in place for a while. Paul Ekblom, Ken Pease, and other researchers often use the analogy of an arms race between preventers and offenders when discussing this process. So, in time, we can expect many crimes that have been reduced by preventive measures to reappear as criminals discover new ways to commit them. Adaptation may occur as the original offenders slowly discover new methods, or it may occur as new offenders take advantage of changing opportunities.
A good example of adaptation is credit card fraud. Another more recent example of adaptation involves bike locks. Bike thieves discovered that they could defeat a widely used and effective lock by using a common and cheap ballpoint pen. But not all preventive measures are so vulnerable to criminal ingenuity. For example, Neal Shover has argued that technology has brought a lasting respite from safecracking, which is now very rare though it was once quite common.