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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78611 Find in a Library
Title: Victim Experiences, Self-protection, Prevention - An Unsolicited Contribution to the Production of a Realistic View of the Internal Security Situation
Journal: Kriminologisches Journal  Volume:12  Issue:3  Dated:(1980)  Pages:179-198
Author(s): M Meyer; K Ventzke
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The failure of police efforts at crime prevention and the development of self-help groups as an alternative form of prevention are discussed.
Abstract: Police efforts may focus on altering the behavior of potential victims to keep them out of harm's way. Victims may be encouraged to alter their lifestyles, take protective measures, or entrust themselves to protection experts. Unfortunately, studies indicate that such efforts have not achieved the desired effects. Residents of big cities who stay home to avoid victimization isolate themselves and weaken informal mechanisms of social control. Furthermore, when large numbers of people avoid dangerous areas, the danger becomes even greater for those who remain. If crime is effectively stopped in one area, it is likely to move into another. Under these circumstances, the weakest citizens suffer the most. As a result of individuals' atempts to protect their lives and possessions, the protection industry has grown rapidly, to 350 businesses in 1976. None of the businesses are adequately controlled by authorities: guards are frequently poorly trained in weapons use and the security companies have no legal right to intervene. While various kinds of self-help organizations can also serve the purpose of citizen protection in extremes forms, such groups may result in lynch justice. Within businesses, however, internal control of violations of the law may avoid stigmatization processes and the need for resocialization, although abuse potential also exists. Special groups may also be formed to protect the physical facilities of businesses and factories. Such self-help groups have their advantages but cast doubt on the traditional monopoly of the state on legitimate physical force. Political self-help organizations seek to encourage self-help and principles of order through their activities. The most successful of such organizations are women's shelter houses and rape crisis centers. It is concluded that police prevention measures can never be successful and that police repressive control, the result in part of terrorist activities, may produce later problems. Notes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Germany; Lawful use of force; Personal Security/Self Protection; Police crime-prevention; Rape crisis centers; Security; Self-help programs; Shelters for Battered Women; Victimization
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