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Reinventing Prevention: Why Did 'Crime Prevention' Develop So Late?

British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 437-454, 2007

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/82

39 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2009  

Pat O'Malley

The University of Sydney Law School

Steven Hutchinson

Carleton University

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

While crime prevention is taken to exemplify governance in the 'risk society', it may represent a retarded example of risk-based urban security. Crime prevention was unaffected by risk-based prevention characteristic of much 19th century government of this domain. The development of risk-based fire prevention, by contrast, was substantially in place at the turn of the 20th century, promoted by the convergence of insurance and other interests in securing property. Rather than seeing crime prevention as exemplifying the move toward the 'risk society' thesis, it may be better understood as a case where neo-liberal governance and insurance technologies transformed a domain of governance that had been unusually resistant to risk-based approaches.

Keywords: risk, crime prevention, security, fire, insurance

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K3

Suggested Citation

O'Malley, Pat and Hutchinson, Steven, Reinventing Prevention: Why Did 'Crime Prevention' Develop So Late? (2007). British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 437-454, 2007; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/82. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1471712

Pat O'Malley (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Steven Hutchinson

Carleton University ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

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