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CRIM 101 - Lecture #2

4 Pages

Course Code
CRIM 101
Adrienne Peters

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WEEK 2: Criminal Event Theory September 13, 2012 Criminal Event Theory  Crimes “social events” o Involving offenders, victims, bystanders, witnesses, the police and other participants in the criminal justice system  Examines the precursors, transactions and aftermaths  Examines the settings Is It New?  No  Interwoven with routine activities theory, lifestyle exposure theory, and environmental criminology  Focus on: o Routine activities o Motivated offenders o Criminal opportunities/suitable targets o Guardianship and situational crime prevention Crimes As Social Events  Crimes should be viewed as social events  Involve people interacting w/ each other  Referred to as events because they have a beginning and an end “Typical” Offender  Young males (more than 75% in some offence categories) o Aged 15-24 o Lower socioeconomic status, minority groups, unemployed  12-17 age group represented only 8% of population while accounting for ~33% of all crime Excuses  Based on explanation (denial of responsibility)  Offender may agree the act was wrong, but say that they are not responsible o Emotional problems for drug use Justification  Offender accepts responsibility, but claims the act was justified  Offender says the victim deserved it or “was asking for it”, or that “everyone else does it, so why shouldn’t I?” Guilt  Known as “techniques of neutralization”  Offenders do experience feelings of guilt, and find it necessary to rationalize/justify their behavior Victim Characteristics  Young, single males, 15-24 years of age, poor, and/or from ethnic minorities  People 65+ least likely to be victimized  Relatively little difference b/w genders in terms of overall risk of personal victimization Victim Awareness  Victims don’t realize or acknowledge they’ve been victimized  May not define what happened to them as a crime  Especially true if crime committed by a friend acquaintance or family member Bystanders & Witnesses  May deter or prevent crime by their presence  Offenders may be reluctant to commit a crime in front of witnesses or possible interveners  Prevent crime from escalating, by breaking up a fight, or by calling the police May also facilitate crime:  Encouraging fight or to vandalize property  Participating in a group that witnesses and encourages a sexual assault The Police  Have direct influence on whether or not an act come to be regarded as a crime  May let someone off with warning if they come from a “good family”, yet arrest someone who does exactly the same thing because he/she is a “street kid”  Proactive Policing- actively searching for specific crimes  Reactive policing- respond to calls; at request of public Reporting Crimes  Many crimes don’t come to attention of police  Victims decide to report  Unreported/unknown amount of crime is estimated to be over half of all crimes committed The dark figure of recording  Once crime is reported to police, it goes through process of assessment, classification and recording  Police decision-making influenced by, relationships (between off
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