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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78663 Find in a Library
Title: Victims' Role in Crime Prevention (From Essays on the Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice, P 219-234, 1977, by Robert M Rich - See NCJ-78656)
Author(s): M S Knudten; R D Knudten
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of America
Lanham, MD 20706
Sale Source: University Press of America
Marketing Director
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings are reported from a study that examined the extent to which persons who have either been victimized or witnessed a crime have taken precautions against possible future victimization.
Abstract: The data were gathered from three samples: (1) 1,746 victims contacting the criminal justice system, (2) 1,215 witnesses contacting the criminal justice system, and (3) a community sample of 1,597 victims reinterviewed by the U.S. Bureau of Census. Findings show that victims were twice as likely as nonvictims to take at least one precaution against future victimization. The most prevalent responses were to procure weapons, get insurance or increase insurance, increase use of locks, watch for suspicious persons or circumstances, request better police service, and move from their neighborhoods. Females were more likely than males to take precautions, particularly to engage in avoidance techniques; males, on the other hand, were more likely to take a self-defense course and to be certain they have insurance. There is no evidence that those who perceive their chances of victimization as high take specific precautions to a greater extent; there is also no evidence that reporters of crime more than nonreporters and the elderly are especially likely to protect themselves from crime. Such precautions as avoidance techniques that involve limiting activities in the community by staying in the house and the procuring of weapons threaten a healthy and safe community. Public officials should be aware of such citizen actions and take steps to offer effective crime prevention alternatives that will make such actions appear less necessary for citizens. Tabular data and three references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Citizen crime precautions; Crime prevention measures; Victim reactions to crime; Witnesses
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