The major conceptual models of crime prevention are the ..
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Theoretically, it is often argued that it would be difficult to imagine that all crime reduction would lead to displacement. There will be situations where, by denying offenders an easy target, they merely give up on a finding a ‘replacement’, and there are many examples of where the evidence indicates that this is the case. To illustrate using a thought experiment, Nick Tilley asks whether crime would increase if all existing security measures were removed. The logical answer is yes, and the logical corollary is that by adding such measures the reverse must be true. The degree to which displacement is likely depends on a number of factors. This includes how invested an offender is in committing a crime, the degree to which the extra effort of finding and exploiting an alternative is worthwhile (it might not be for petty theft for example) and the degree to which offenders know of other potential situations that they can manipulate. To illustrate, in interviews with burglars, Bennett and Wright (1984) found that when prevented from committing an offence, less than half of the offenders (43 % in their sample) reported that they would seek out alternative opportunities. In fact, some reported that being thwarted in their efforts was perceived as signalling bad luck, which actively encouraged them to desist from engaging in crime at all that day.
The two prevention techniques, situational and ..
Several new reviews that employ systematic search criteria and meta-analytic (and other) techniques have been undertaken in the last few years, and these have concentrated on two broad types of intervention; situational crime prevention and geographically focused policing initiatives. Guerette and Bowers () reported results from a systematic review of displacement and diffusion associated with situational interventions. In this case, findings from 102 primary evaluations were considered. A summary of the findings reported by the original study authors suggested that potential displacement was identified in 26 % of the cases where it was measured, and, interestingly, that a diffusion of benefit was found in a similar number of the tests (27 %). These findings were supported by a quantitative analysis conducted using data for the 13 studies for which relevant data were available. The measure of effect size used was the weighted displacement quotient (Bowers and Johnson ), which is a single metric that quantifies the size of changes observed in a nearby catchment area relative to those observed in the associated treatment area (and a suitable control area). This suggested that, when displacement did occur, it was only partial, and a diffusion of benefit was a slightly more likely outcome. An updated systematic review of displacement associated with SCP interventions was conducted by Johnson et al. (). In this study, the authors computed effect sizes similar to those used in a typical Campbell Collaboration review (see the discussion of odds ratios below), and very similar results emerged; that is, a diffusion of benefit was just as likely to be observed as spatial displacement.