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NCJ Number: 202012 Find in a Library
Title: Opportunity Is In the Eye of the Beholder: The Role of Publicity in Crime Prevention
Journal: Criminology & Public Policy  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:497-523
Author(s): Shane D. Johnson; Kate J. Bowers
Editor(s): Todd R. Clear
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 27
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the way in which the publicity of crime prevention activity may enhance crime prevention efforts by increasing offenders’ perceptions of risks involved in perpetrating crimes.
Abstract: Prior evidence suggests that publicity might be influential factor in enhancing crime prevention efforts. However, no systematic analysis to determine whether this is the case has been done. This paper examines evidence concerning the role of publicity in crime prevention and hypothesizes that a likely mechanism for publicity effect would be that it deters offenders from committing offenses by increasing their perceptions of the risks involved. Information on crime rates and a wide range of other data, including cost effectiveness information and the use of publicity, were collected for 21 burglary reduction schemes situated in the north of England. The following pattern of results was revealed: (1) in terms of overall scheme effectiveness, of the intervention types implemented, location-specific situational crime prevention and stakeholding interventions appeared to be most highly associated with effective burglary reduction; (2) publicity was the most significant predictor of decreases in the burglary rate in comparison to the other variables; and (3) there was statistically significant evidence of an anticipatory benefit across the 21 projects, meaning the burglary rate decreased before the official start date of the schemes. The paper shows that publicity is an effective crime prevention tool and that many different types of publicity have been associated with burglary reduction schemes. Further research is recommended to investigate the role of publicity in crime prevention and determine whether the effects described extend to other types of crime and to other locations. References
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): Burglary; Crime specific countermeasures; Media coverage; Media support; Pretrial publicity
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