Deterrence theory weighs the cost and benefits
If the benefits exceed the costs, crime will be more evident
The certainty must be increased by putting more attention to police departments, enforcement,
Deterrence theory is a theory based on punishment
Rational choice theory is also known as opportunity theory
Crimes benefit the offender, as a result of this, we need to focus on offender decision making
Benefits aren’t solely limited to financial gain, it can also include prestige,power, defiance,
domination, excitement, etc.
Rational choice theorists are interested in opportunity, by opportunity they mean circumstances,
aspects of situations, physical settings, that lend themselves to crime.
Attractiveness: there may be one form of property more appealing than an another form of crime
Concealable-Physical object that are concealable are at a greater value
Removable- objects that can be removed
Available- objects that are readily accessible
V- Valuable, can be sold for a greater sum of money
E- Enjoyable, certain factors that make property enjoyable
D-disposable, objects that can be easily disposed of
Changes of crime can be involved with smaller sized objects with greater value.
Human targets are more attractive for individuals such as people walking alone late at night with
no light; this creates an opportunity because of the vulnerability of the individual.
Attractiveness is greatly involved with costs and benefits
Surveillance also plays a role
Rational choice theorists argue that we need to think specifically when we analyze crime. The
motivation to commit crimes varies for example from robbery to sexual assault. Things such as monetary gain & power. Motivations for the same crime can vary. Individuals may steals cars for
excitement vs inviduals who want to sell the car for parts. Excitement vs monetary gain.
The process of rational thinking -Why did people commit crime, also to understand individuals
Why do individuals exit crime can also be looked at through rational choice theory
Benefits of Rational Choice theory
The constant change of crime. Motives can change from offence to offence. There are many
There is no such thing as a firm distinction of a criminal and non-criminal in rational choice
Crime is viewed as normal, not pathological.
Exam questions based on situation where we have to link theory or vice versa
Situational Crime prevention- represents an assortment of different techniques and strategies
designed to see the opportunities for crime and the rewards for offending.
Crime prevention through environmental crime: the physical, built environment, to reduce the
opportunity of crime. Less interested in targets, and more with developments of housing, condo
developments to cut down crime, such as having limited entry and exits points. Also, houses
facing each other, to have that informal surveillance.
Target Hardening: if there is a question of attractiveness of targets, where some targets are
more attractive as victims, this technique is used. Steering locks on a steering wheel is an
example of target handling.
Formal surveillance: red light cameras, police patrol, security guards, informant hotlines, burglar
Removing Inducements: Parking Camaro off street,
Target removal: Removal of car radio
Ways to prevent burglary: make it seem like you’re at home& alarm force is a company that can
listen into the home
Limitations: Offender decision making, trying to determine the attractiveness of
There are many situations where people don’t think of the cost or benefits. Emotions can
potentially play a role in crime.
Money is 60% of the reasons why people engage in robbery. Influence of friends can also be a
reason. Over 50% said they did absolutely no planning whatsoever, meaning they were
impulsive and done at the spur of the moment. Over 60% said before the robbery, they didn’t
think about getting caught, not thinking about the risks.
There aren’t clear obvious motivations that drive individuals to commit crime.
Crime displacement: The movement of crime from one area, locale, to another, such that crime
overall isn’t being reduced, it’s just being moved, shifted, or displaced to one specific area to
another. This has to do with the limitations. Kind of like a balloon, where u squeeze one end of a
balloon, and one section gets bigger, but air space stays the same.
3. Their theory is consisted of containing the practical business of controlling crime
Policy and Prevention is important, but to prioritize that over knowledge of crime is a serious
4. More focus of the activities of the victim than the offender. Blaming the victim. Don’t leave
things unattended. Sexual assault: the focus on the victim where they did things to encourage
the assault. Focusing on the victim is a problem.
Cultural and political significance
Our society has a widespread belief of viewing crime in this perspective. Our society pays more
attention to individual, so it is the individual’s responsibility to take precaution when it comes to
2. These are relatively quick and inexpensive. Focusing on security in the sense of a politician
would say to increase it
1. Moving from the individual as our unit of analysis to society.
Society plays a critical role in human behaviour.
The idea of society affecting individual behaviour came across the late 1800s early 1900s.
1890- the progressive era (where society was being to be taken seriously)
Emile Durkheim, 1897, bo