• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why are opportunity reduction-based approaches to crime prevention attractive to policy-makers and what are the main problems associated with their theoretical bases and practical implication?

Extracts from this document...


Why are opportunity reduction-based approaches to crime prevention attractive to policy-makers and what are the main problems associated with their theoretical bases and practical implication? First this essay will explain what is meant by opportunity reduction based approaches (ORBA). It will give reasons why these approaches are attractive to policy makers and link this to a broader political context. The theoretical base will be examined in relation to social construction and also pointing out what crimes this approach doesn't address. The practical implication of ORBA are analysed such as the problem of displacement and the inequality this highlights. Then finally the uses, abuses and human rights issues regarding certain aspects of the technology associated with this method of crime prevention. ORBA are part of situational crime prevention which manipulates the environment as a method of trying to prevent crime. Situational research is divided into two measures, (1) increasing the chances of being caught and (2) reducing physical opportunities for crime (Clarke 1980). It is the latter that this essay is primarily concerned with, although the two measures do overlap. For example, installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) will reduce the opportunity for crime and increased the likely hood of being caught. Cohen and Felson (1979) ...read more.


He suggests the reason for this is because it is easier to provide a leaflet with the advice to avoid certain areas, or check the back seats of cars than it is of advising women about 'trustworthy men. Bright (1991) comments that 'while situational crime prevention, theoretically, can reduce the estimated 70% of recorded crime thought to be opportunistic, it is unable to prevent many violent crimes such as some categories of assault, domestic violence, child abuse and racially motivated crime' (quoted in Walklate p316). Of course this also links back to again to why ORBA are attractive to policy makers as it is easier to provide legislation for public areas and also public crime is visible and it makes more political sense to tackle crime which the public can see. This means that opportunity reduction based approaches are theoretically and practically limited to attempting to prevent crime in the public domain. In the practical application of ORBA's there is the issue of displacement to consider. Displacement is based on the concern that if a criminal is prevented from committing a criminal offence in one place, he simply moves on to another. In other words there is a concern that the problem hasn't really gone away. ...read more.


To summarise, this essay explained ORBA as a method of crime prevention which is attractive to policy makers because it was simple and could be targeted at certain public area's, it also put the responsibility of crime prevention onto government agencies but mostly on to the victims who invited criminals by inadequate security. Currie (1991) argues that the market society actually perpetuates crime and Young points to capitalism as the expression of upper class fear. ORBA focus of crime is on the public area, this mean it misses crime in the private sphere. The practical application of ORBA brings the unfinished, and possibly unanswerable, issue of displacement and the inequality that this highlights. Finally the issue of advancing technology brings with it the issues of human rights and abuses for which the debates can't keep up, despite this there are positives to these technologies. In conclusion, I think ORBA are a good idea primarily because they do give people a sense of security which allows people to go about their daily lives in the public domain. Although until these defenses are available to everyone and the debate surrounding them has caught up to the technologies, then they remain the property of those can afford them and are also open to abuse. There is also the worry that crime measures will go too far and then we find ourselves in a Big Brother house scenario with every move we make scrutinized. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree English Legal System section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree English Legal System essays

  1. Lon Fuller - professor of Jurisprudence at Harvard.

    an exchange which is entered into willingly and knowingly must not impose on either side costs that are excessively disproportionate to the benefits to he obtained; nor may such exchange be unduly disadvantageous to third parties or society generally." [21] Indeed, Fuller notes, this principle of fairness in exchange is bound up in the very idea of reciprocity.

  2. Critical analysis of three main defences of voluntary manslaughter for women defendants who kill ...

    A new partial defence of excessive force use of force in self-defence, or even a specifically tailored partial defence for battered women107 or even 'a new approach to provocation would be of assistance to some battered women who kill.'108 The proposed defence is a partial defence, reducing a charge of murder to manslaughter.

  1. What is the nature versus nurture debate? How is this related to causal explanations ...

    In certain cases this could mean that a person whose appearance matches the stereotype of a criminal may be innocently convicted and therefore labelled a criminal (Bull, R. and McAlpine, S. 1998). In the 1960's British criminologists believed that they had made an important breakthrough in the search for a scientific explanation for criminal behaviour.

  2. Intellectual Property –Copyright.

    Using this unlawfully obtained confidential information might be an offence under section 5 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. Robert's exclusive right to copyright in his poems expires 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which he dies.

  1. To what extent can it be argued that 'youth crime' is a social construction?

    The concept of childhood, as we understand it today did not emerge until the late nineteenth century (Valentine, Skelton and Chambers, 1999); similarly 'adolescence' is a historically invented category (3). The emergence of the concept of adolescence, which also began in the nineteenth century, could be attributed to the ability

  2. Historically, property has always been divided into two categories - real property and personal ...

    This is because some interests, whilst they may be interests in land, are not 'real' property. An example of this is shown in leaseholds. They are personal and not realty. This is because until 1500 a tenant who was ousted from 'his land' could only recover damages in an action

  1. What are the key differences between positivists and classicists approaches to crime control? Which ...

    Thomas Hobbes (1588-1678) argued that people are rational enough to come to the conclusion and realise that the situation of an individual pursuing their own interests all the time without caring whether or not they hurt anyone else, is not including themselves, in anyone's interest.

  2. In this assignment, we must assess the admissibility of various aspects of evidence in ...

    It is possible that the keys did not fit the door and this is why the robber resorted to forcing the doors. In such as case, the door would need to be examined to establish whether the keys fit the door and if they do not, whether there is any

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work