environmental approaches


Chicago sociology

  • Shaw/McKay plotted the addresses of those who had committed crimes- results showed that if they divided up the city in to concentric zones each of the 5 zones identified had different levels of offenders
  • With zone 2 having the highest levels of crime- zone nearest to the city
  • Rapid social change- population of zone 2 changing regularly –  although the various social zones maintained their different levels of offenders over time there were different offenders- this meant something about the zones rather than the individuals that lived there   
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The explanation of social disorganisation

Shaw/ McKay- as each successive wave of immigrants arrived in to the city- moved in to the cheapest and least desirable zones= zone of transition  .

Over time the most successful moved on- least successful stated behind.

The places of those who moved on taken by newer immigrants- process started all over gain

Pattern of high population turn over created a state of social disorganisation- informal mechanisms of social control that hold people back from criminal behaviour week or absent.     

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Differential association

One cirt of S/MK and other members of the Chicago School of criminology - theories too vague and difficult to prove

Sutherland and Cressey introduced the concept of differential association- someone is likely to become criminal if they receive excess if definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable   to violation of law

Sutherland suggested that these definitions vary in frequency, duration, priority and intensity 

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housing polices

Morris 57 found no evidence that people in areas high of delinquency had a coherent set of values that was any different from that of main stream society

Morris suggested that a key factor in the concentration of delinquents in certain areas was liked to local council HOUSEING POLICES

e.g. in his study of Corydon, the local policy of housing  problem families together this meant these areas became almost by definition high crime areas   

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The work of Baldwin and bottoms

Compared two similar local authority housing estates separated by a Duel carriage way

Gardenia has a 300% higher number of crimes then the other Stonewall.

The difference according to him was the result of a process that he named TIPPING  

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Most estates consist of a mixture of people from different backgrounds/ with different forms of behaviour

INFORMAL social CONTROL imposed by minority  of residents limits the OFDENDING behaviour of the antisocial MINORITY

However for whatever reason e.g. local council housing polices the antisocial  minority grown in numbers- their behaviour drives away some of the law abiding families. Those who wish to enter the estate= relatives of the antisocial families

Speeds up law abiding residents leaving=estate that has tipped

Gardina had tipped Stonewell had not   

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W.G Skogen- fleshed out on this idea of tipping

He suggests that social control brakes down when for example there is a combination of physical deterioration / and an increase in social order in the form of public alcohol / drug use- leads to a situation of disorder that has 3 consequences

-          Undermines mechanisms of informal social control

-          Generates worries about neighbourhood safety

-          It causes law abiding people who can afford to move out of the area 

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social capital

Social disorganisation explains C/D by a lack of common, shared values- little evidence to support this

More recently there has been a shift back to understand the role of social values- results in a week community unable to impose social control on those who engage in offending

Wilson- adapted this version to explain high levels of offending in deprived neighbourhoods - argues that there is a high levels of social integration between people so that is not true that people are isolated, there however low levels of social control- Wilson suggests that this comes from a sense of powerlessness and a lack of integration in to wider society

People in deprived areas do interact, but not in a way that provides social controls or social positive role models for young people as the adults themselves feel isolated from the border society      

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explaining offences

Wilkstoms study of crime patterns in Stockholm- demonstrates that the types of offences vary across neighbourhoods

Crimes of violence more likely in the poorer districts- burglary more likely in the affluent areas adjacent to poorer districts

This observation shifted environmental theories towards explanations of these different patterns of offences  

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cognitive maps

PJ/PI Brantinghm 91 argue we all hold COGNTIVE maps of the towns/  cites where we all live so some parts of our local town familiar to us/ other parts much less known

According to the Brantinghams offenders more likely to commit offences were opportunities link with cognitively known areas/ conversely places that are less cognitively known less likely to be bugled

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Opportunity theory

If crimes more likely to be committed in areas that offenders know- why  within these areas some properties or people are chosen/ other are not

Clarke 95 seeks to explain this with opportunity theory

  • How attractive the target is
  • How accessible the target is  
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routine activities

Ideas of cognitive maps/opportunity were further developed by Cohen/ Felson

Concept of ROUTINE ACTIVITES- crimes more likely to occur where the day to day activates of victims/ offenders are likely to coincide and where there is little in the way of formal or informal control to prevent an offence taking place

Crimes likely to occur where there is no capable guardian

It is not just the place that is important but also TIME  

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situational crime prevention

The work of Clarke (opportunity theory) and Cohen/ Felson (routine activates)- based on the idea that most crime occurs when offenders thinks committing the crime outweigh the disadvantage of capture and punishment

According to these theorists- easier it is for a person to commit a crime and the grater chance the resulting benefit then the greater the chance of a crime being committed

Clarke and Felson have argued that that if society wishes to limit crimes it is more effective ti make the cost of committing the crime higher rather than to study the social causes of crime

Lead to the development of situational crime prevention  

  • For theft- make it more difficult to steal
  • For violence- limiting opportunities 
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the privatization of pubic space

Shearing and setnning pointed to the growth of shopping centers/ leisure complexes, which are both public- where (most) people are welcome they are also private in that they are privately owned and the owners have the power to exclude those they define as undesirable

Housing growth of gated communities- housing estates where only residents and gussets are allowed 

Shearing/Stenning argue that the owners of these  private public places- taken over the responsibility for policing them- using CCTV/ security guards/ lead to the PRIVATIZATION OF PUBILC SPACE

Police confined to the more peripheral areas of the city /to the poorer housing estates  

The exclusion of undesirable groups from these areas simply DISPLACED crime to the less affluent public spaces   

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time: night time economy

Hobbs et al call the night time economy- last 15 years huge growth in pubs/clubs as Brittan’s younger people have increasingly embraced the leisure the leisure society  involves going drinking (sometimes taking drugs) 03 210 million club admissions to the value of 2.5BN.

Investment in the night time economy growing at an annual rate of 10%

Large numbers of large people who come together with in a very narrow time band in a relatively restricted area in order to engage in the search for pleasure

Almost 3 ¼ all violent innocents during the week end occur during 9PM and 3am 

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Hobbs 03

Hobbs 03 in Manchester an average of 75000 out visiting clubs, pubs/bars on friary and Saturday evenings  

There are only 30 police officers to control them but over 1000 door staff/ bounces

Control of night time economy passed from the police to private security companies

The high rate rates of violent crimes occurring with in this frame work of time and space illustrate the elements referred by Cohen and Felson offenders, targets, and lack of guardians  

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The night time economy and the global economy

Taylor 99 added a global perspective to discuss about the nocturnal economy and crime- the development of the nocturnal economy bound up with the process of globalization  and its impact on the British economy, in particular the impact on inner cites

According to Taylor impact of the global economy Britain has been a huge manufacturing and the loss of traditional WC employment

Consequent effects have been that many traditionally industrial towns have seen a significant decline in their local economies-

This is reflected in a decline in town centers and the manufacturing districts with shops and manufacturing premises closing down- increasing people unemployed or in irregular work     

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The night time economy and the global economy

North east hit harder than the south however in all cites the leisure industry has taken over a number of the derelict buildings for clubs and bars, whilst providing a limited number of jobs in these services and in security

Taylor suggests that where the levers of unemployment have remained highest there is likely to be the highest levels of disorder and crime

In those cities where unemployment has not risen there is less crime or at least a slower growth in crime   

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