Social Crime Prevention Techniques

eginning from the year 1980, prevention of crime has shifted from being of trivial intellectual interest to become a major concern of governments (Bajpai, 2003, p.11). The trend that can be clearly seen is that the U.K government is making efforts to promote the policies that contribute towards the realization of the safety of the community as well as crime reduction and not essentially launching crackdown on crime type approach (Bajpai, 2003, p.11). Looking at the history of the U.Ks crime prevention, a clear picture is seen of shifting agenda of main concerns on this subject (OMalley & Hutchinson, 2007). Both the situational and social crime prevention techniques have been applied in the whole range of the crime reduction and prevention initiatives that were carried out by law enforcement agencies. This paper is going to look at how both situational and social crime prevention techniques are used within the U.K and also at how different agencies within the community safety partnerships have helped to facilitate such projects.

(SCP) Technique

The SCP is typically defined as involving the management, design or manipulation of the immediate environment (Hough, et al, 1980, p.1). This results from a thinking pattern and taking action about the crime problem which is different from the traditional responses of criminal justice. It focuses on the offense rather than on the offender. It is based on the notion that the opportunities that promote committing crimes are built in the immediate environment within which crimes take place. The measures or techniques used in situational crime prevention are intended to pass across a message to the potential criminals that the efforts needed to carry out crime and the associated dangers have been magnified, and also that the benefits which can be realized by engaging in crime have diminished to a significant level. Situational crime prevention undertakes the application of greatly specific techniques in the opportunity reduction for offending behavior (Bajpai, 2003, p.20). In the U.K. various such managerial, as well as technological measures, have indicated promising results. These measures performance was revealed in a number of evaluation researches that were conducted in the United Kingdom. Clarke (1997) has engaged in developing a 16-techniques model for the opportunity lessening which is being employed in all places with suitable modifications. These include; target hardening, defecting offenders, entry and exit screening, and formal surveillance among other measures.

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One of the best examples of measures related to SCP that has been used in the United Kingdom is CCTV. It is estimated that, in the U.K., there are more than four million cameras. Beginning from the mid-1990s, the U.K government has engaged in investing a large amount of money in the local schemes which are operated by the local authorities as well as crime prevention partnership and there is widespread utilization of CCTV in public places such as the shopping centers, hospitals and schools among other places. Having such wide usage, a conclusion can be drawn that CCTV is an effective measure for preventing crime.

Those who support the use of CCTV present an argument that these cameras serve as a warning, while its ability to facilitate storing of images and to track perpetrators of crime in real-time means that it also assists in crime detection, and gathering evidence for court cases (Gilling, n.d, p.21). The supporters also present an argument that in an era where there is a lack of security, it plays a reassurance role, enabling people to have a complete feeling of safety in their . Certainly, the role played by CCTV is of great significance to a level that it is increasingly being considered as very essential for public facilities as well as residential space.

The evidence for the clear success of the CCTV is very easy to come across. It is pointed out that , and the resultant catch, make up a significant proportion of the infotainment diet that currently occupies television programming schedules (Gilling, n.d, p.21), while the news broadcasts have clearly given an illustration of the CCTV virtues in piecing together the movements of suspects in high profile cases as the 7 July London bombings (Gilling, n.d, p.21). Research also exists which has given an indication of, for instance, a remarkable decrease in the levels of crime as a result of bringing in the implementation of the CCTV schemes in certain areas (Welsh & Farrington, 2002).

Social Crime Prevention

This is a label that covers a wide range of interventions and ideas that are geared towards preventing criminality. It is referred to as social since its focus is on people and not on situations and on the motivating or disposing of factors for people to commit criminal activities. While prevention of crime as a distinctive policy area external to the criminal justice system has shifted to the front, it would be fair to say that compared to situational approach, the social approach has played much more of a back-seat role (Gilling, n.d, p.24). However, a large number of the interventions for social crime prevention have been there for a while, as either components of social policy, instead of criminal justice policy, or for the reason that they have resonated with criminology orthodoxies that have moved in and out of political fashion (Gilling, n.d, p.24). However, according to Gilling (2007), among the people who have engaged in promoting community safety, social crime prevention has gone through a smaller revival.

It is pointed out that there is the interpreting of social crime prevention as undertaking reinforcement of social bonds as well as social controls; this implies making it possible for the social units to have self-regulation in a more effective way (The growth of crime prevention,n.d). This contributes directly to the idea of that has as well been promoted in the years that have just passed (The growth of crime prevention,n.d). The programs for crime prevention which are community-based have made attempts to involve several agencies in the U.K and they have also been trying to utilize both the situational as well as social techniques in promoting crime prevention, reducing fear and ensuring the safety of the community

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