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NCJ Number: 219283 Find in a Library
Title: Reinventing Prevention: Why Did Crime Prevention Develop So Late?
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:3  Dated:May 2007  Pages:373-389
Author(s): Pat O'Malley; Steven Hutchinson
Date Published: May 2007
Page Count: 17
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article analyzes the emergence of risk-based crime prevention and governance in both the United Kingdom and the United States at the turn of the 20th century.
Abstract: The main argument is that the current proliferation of crime prevention programming cannot accurately be viewed as a movement toward a risk-based society, but should more accurately be viewed as a case in which neoliberal governance and insurance industries transformed an area of governance--the police--that had previously been unusually resistant to risk-based approaches. In making this argument, the author shows how police and fire agencies in the 19th century worked primarily in concert and, in most cases, were actually the same agency. Fire services during the 19th century were quick to adopt risk-based approaches, mainly due to the influence of insurance and other interests in securing property. Yet, the authors illustrate the ways in which police activity were drawn away from organized preventative activities, even though risk-based governance had been setup through the work of fire agencies. This movement away from prevention at the same time fire agencies were moving toward prevention was in some ways political. Police agencies point out that while it was easy to show their productivity in the number of arrests and similar statistics, it was difficult to quantify the number of crimes prevented. The lack of police preventative activities in the United Kingdom and the United States was also influenced by masculine perceptions of what it meant to be a police officer--valiantly swooping in to protect victims and arrest perpetrators. There is no such glory in the prevention of crime; no overt hero. Crime prevention, then, incorporated nonrisk practices which were set in place organizationally. Absent other entities promulgating crime prevention, such as occurred with insurance agencies clamoring for fire prevention work, risk-based crime prevention did not take hold. Now, in the late 20th century, risk-based prevention is being reinvented under the influence of a neoliberal governance structure. Footnotes, references
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning; United Kingdom (UK); United States of America
Index Term(s): Fire departments; Foreign crime prevention; Risk management
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