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CRIM 101 (459)

SY Chen

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CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

Criminal event theory Examine precursors (before), transactions (during), and aftermaths of criminal events Examines settings in which criminal events take place Is it new? NOT new Interwoven with routine, activities theory, lifestyle exposure theory, environmental crim All focus on “routine activities,” “motivated offenders,” “criminal opportunity/suitable targets,” “guardianship,” and “situational crime prevention” Crimes as social events Involve people interacting with each other (ex. Offenders, victims, bystanders, witnesses, and criminal justice personnel) Referred to as events/episodes because “they have beginnings, middle, and end” The “typical” offenders Most are young males (75%+) age 15~24, lower socioeconomic status, unemployed (or temporarily) 15~24 age group - 14% of pop. In 2005 - 45% of violent crime reports - 32% of property crime Excuses, excuses Excuse-based explanation (denial of responsibility) Offenders may agree act was wrong, but denies doing it Justification Offenders accepts responsibilities, but claims act was justified Offenders say victims deserves it/”everyone else does it, so why shouldn’t I?” Feelings of guilt Aka “techniques of neutralization” Offenders DO experience feelings of guilt; find it necessary to rationalize/justify their behaviour Victim characteristics Individuals victimized - Young males, 15~24 years of age, ethnic minorities, poor - 65+ years least likely to be victimized - Little diff between genders in terms of overall risk of victimization Victim awareness Don’t acknowledge/know they’re victimized May now define what happened to them was crime Especially if crime committed by friend, acquaintance, family Bystanders and witnesses May prevent a crime by presence Offenders may be reluctant to commit crime in front of bystanders/possible interveners Prevent crime escalating – breaking up a fight, call police May also escalate crime - Encourage fight - Encourage someone to vandalize property - Participate in group that witnesses and encourages sexual assault The police Have direct influence – whether act is regarded crime or not May let someone off with warning if from “good family,” if “street kid” and doing same thing = arrest If engaged in proactive policing (more patrols + actively searches out crimes  see more crime If engaged in reactive policing (respond to reported crimes)  see fewer crimes Reporting crimes Many crimes don’t come to police’s attention Victims decide not to report Unreported crime is about 66% of all crimes committed Likely to report serious crimes or if perpetrators is stranger Victims sometimes involved in criminal activities don’t draw attention of police to own activities The dark figure of reporting Once reported, crime goes through process of assessment, classification, and recording Police decision-making influenced by variety of factors: - Relationship (if any) between offender and victim - Policing style of individual officer - Characteristics of suspect - Preferences of complaint Kansas City experiment 1972~1973 Tested proactive, reactive, control responsibilities to police visibility Surveyed 15 beats – 5 proactive, 5 reactive 40%(+) police offenders’ time is unlimited Lowest crime rate reported in reactive beats No increase/decrease in arrest rates between 3 groups No increase in citizens’ perceptions of crime risks Order maintenance crackdown Assumption that aggressive order maintenance will reduce serious crime Wilson + Kelling’s Broken Windows theory – social disorder leads to more serious crime if not attended to Hot spots – areas that produce large #s of crime reports or requests for police services Arrests + citations for public intoxication, public urination, playing loud music “Crime is not evenly distributed across time and space” Do crackdowns work? Limited/negligibl
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