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CRIM 3654 (57)


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CRIM 3654
James Sheptycki

CRIM 3654 – FALL LECTURE NOTES November 15 , 2013 Situational Crime Prevention “Witness” Video Clip - Disney is talking to you all the time and telling you how to behave, what to do, where to go - When something is everywhere, you don’t notice it - New security works under very different logic and principles o You don’t notice police officers - Disney felt they can have more control over people if they had private security, because municipal police had restrictions under federal and state law - Disney is a law in itself Situational Crime Prevention - “it was argued that situational prevention is a radical new form of crime control focused not on criminals but on criminogenic situations, with all that implies for criminological explanation. Situational prevention can also be regarded, however, as a logical outcome of the precautions that people have always taken to protect themselves from crime and seen in this light, it is little more than the systematization of a wide range of everyday, common sense practices” - 3 fundamental mistakes in modern criminology o 1) problem of explaining crime was getting confused with problem of explaining criminal o 2) problem of controlling crime was confused with problem of dealing with offender o 3) notion of specificity  We should target specific crimes on the understanding that the situational determinants of each type of crime are different  Example: burglaries – there’s a difference b/w residential thefts of electronic equipment which tended to involve professional thieves, and residential thefts of cash which tended to involve opportunistic, spur of the moment thieves  Thus, each requires different kinds of preventions - Crime is situational – each crime is different depending on its situation - This theory draws form Felson’s routine activities theory o Motivated offender o Vulnerable target o Absence of guardianship (and/or presence of facilitators) - Situational crime prevention consists of sets of interventions aimed at interfering and preventing the creation of criminogenic situations Situational Crime Prevention Principles - Increase the effort o E.g. target hardening access control, street closures, landscaping ideas seen in CPTED, control facilitators (gun control laws, for example) o Make it harder to commit an offence - Increase the Risk o E.g. formal/informal surveillance – baggage screening at an airport, surveillance by employees (Disneyland, for example), street lighting, defensible states techniques - Reduce the Rewards o E.g. target removal, denying benefits – reducing temptation - Reduce Provocations o E.g. reduce frustrations (snaking queues, to make it seem like you’re always close to the line, rather than straight lines where you can’t see the front and you get frustrated), avoid disputes, reduce emotional arousal (e.g. playing classical music in subway stations), neutralize peer pressure, anti-hazing - Remove Excuses o E.g. disinhibitors (getting rid of anything that appears to make crime reasonable), facilitation compliance (if you don’t want people to litter, make sure there are trash bins, if you don’t want people to urinate in the streets make sure there are possible public washrooms --- if you don’t want people to do something, give them the opportunity not to) – agreeing to a code of conduct (rule setting) Situational Crime Prevention in Action - Bathroom in Bars o Paint bathroom walls black – apparently black light means its way harder to find a vein, to prevent people from doing heroin - Bus Shelters o All shelters in Toronto have been transformed - previously designed to protect people waiting for a bus from the elements, but what began to happen was that spaces formed into multiple uses, mostly for the city’s homeless people to stay dry, warm, and setting up camp there. In response, Toronto’s shelters are now glass see-through, benches have metal unremovable arm rests so you can’t lie down  Idea is to make sure that people are not using these spaces to sleep  Known as “anti-homeless” shelters - New York Subway Graffiti o Used to be covered all in graffiti o By early 1980s, subway graffiti came to be understood less as a form of art, and more as a form of pollution – urban “blight”. It became seen as the criminal defacement of private property. It was increasingly attached to a climate of fear that was emerging in city’s transit systems. Thus, it was argued that the visual assault of graffiti was linked with more serious crimes of assault, robbery, murder. All together they were diminishing the quality of public transportation, which will lead to less people taking it, which will lead to more danger for those not using it. Most compelling problem is that graffiti showed hard evidence that authorities were incapable of securing the environment  Graffiti becomes a problem that needs to be solved o When police arrested these “artists”, most of these people were released quickly knowing there were more serious crimes to deal with o Thus, they tried diversion programs, telling arrested artists to clean the trains as community service  Problem with this is that this program furnished offenders with inside technical knowledge of how cars were kept, so they can tag them more easily. Plus, it was expensive to supervise o Criminal justice system can’t help us solve this o David Gun (commissioner of TTC and initiated bus shelter redesign) tries a new tactic – decides he will try SCP. “Clean Car Program” – specifically designed to reduce opportunities and motivations related to the specific crime of graffiting and tagging. Once a car entered transfer system, it would never leave the subway with graffiti on it. Appoints security to clean cars that were tagged, police assigned to ride those cars, and when cars were out of service they would sit in yards to decrease vulnerability, lighting was upgraded, cleaning personnel cleaning 24/7, and police working undercover as cleaners. Rather than riding all the clean cars all the time, they began to ride them randomly once cars began to be generally more clean. They ended up coming at “high- risk times”, giving power to immediately arrest anyone they saw tagging. Wasn’t just a police based initiative. Gun initiated a multi-agency task force called “Cast (car appearance and security task force) – identify any problems that can impede success of program, monitor progress and to encourage an active participatory role of every
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