Crime Places in Crime Theory

Crime and Place: Crime Prevention Studies, 4 (pp. 1-33)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper

33 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2015

See all articles by John Eck

John Eck

University of Cincinnati

David L. Weisburd

Hebrew University of Jerusalem; George Mason University - The Department of Criminology, Law & Society; Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 12, 2015

Abstract

Criminologists and crime prevention practitioners are increasingly aware of the importance of places of crime. A place is a very small area, usually a street corner, address, building, or street segment. A focus on crime places contrasts with a focus on neighborhoods. Neighborhood theories usually highlight the development of offenders. while place level explanations emphasize crime events. Three perspectives suggest the importance of places for understanding crime: rational choice; routine activity theory; and crime pattern theory. Though these perspectives are mutually supportive, routine activity theory and crime pattern theory provide different explanations for crime occurring at different places. Five areas of research help us understand the importance of places: crime concentration about particular facilities (e.g., bars); the high concentration of crime at some addresses and the absence of crime at others; the preventive effects of various place features; the mobility of offenders; and studies of how offenders select targets. Concern has been expressed that efforts to prevent crime at specific locations will only move it to other, unprotected locations. Recent research suggests that these fears may be exaggerated, and that under some circumstances the opposite effect occurs: instead of crime displacing, the benefits of the prevention efforts diffuse to unprotected locations. This paper concludes with a review of the 14 original articles in this volume.

Keywords: criminology, crime, neighborhood, offenders, crime displacing, prevention

Suggested Citation

Eck, John and Weisburd, David L., Crime Places in Crime Theory (July 12, 2015). Crime and Place: Crime Prevention Studies, 4 (pp. 1-33); Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2629856

John Eck

University of Cincinnati ( email )

Cincinnati, OH 45221-0389
United States

David L. Weisburd (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

George Mason University - The Department of Criminology, Law & Society ( email )

4400 University Drive
MS 4F4
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

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