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Crime Place and Pollution: Expanding Crime Reduction Options Through a Regulatory Approach

NCJ Number
Criminology & Public Policy Volume: 11 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2012 Pages: 281-316
John E. Eck; Emily B. Eck
Date Published
May 2012
36 pages
This article examines the use of offender-centric police policies for fighting crime.
This article examines the success of current crime reduction strategies that focus primarily on offenders, and offers a different approach to fighting crime that includes engaging owners of crime places in crime prevention efforts. The article begins with a discussion of criminal justice research that indicates that 1.) crime reduction gains can be made by paying attention to crime opportunities; 2) places create opportunities for crime or crime barriers, depending on the actions taken by the place managers; and 3) places with crime concentrations can be made safer when place managers change their practices. This is followed by a discussion on the idea that considers places and crime opportunities as a form of pollution, in that just as power plants can emit pollution into the surrounding community, so too can places of crime cause crime to spread into the surrounding neighborhoods. By adapting this form of thinking, the authors contend that regulatory policies designed to control pollution can also be used to fight crime. The authors present a set of environmental policy instruments that can be directly applied to crime places. The costs and benefits of using this approach for crime reduction are discussed, along with policy implications for local governments and policymakers. Table and references