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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98167 Find in a Library
Title: Role of Bystanders in Crime Control
Journal: Journal of Social Issues  Volume:40  Issue:1  Dated:(1984)  Pages:9-26
Author(s): R L Shortland; L I Goodstein
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 18
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and explain the role bystanders play in crime control.
Abstract: We describe the range of bystanders' reactions to crime including nonintervention, indirect intervention, direct intervention, and spontaneous vigilantism, and cite illustrations of each from mass media accounts. Using evidence from social psychological research, we discuss conditions under which each type of reaction would be expected to occur. Evidence is then presented that the mere presence of bystanders capable of surveillance may inhibit the commission of crime. a cyclical model is then discussed in which fear of crime reduces the number of bystanders available for surveillance, decreasing the risks of crime and potentially increasing its occurrence. This model suggests that under certain circumstances crime causes crime implies that an important factor in the social control of crime is the relative balance between the offender's fear of surveillance and the bystander's fear of crime. (Publisher abstract)
Index Term(s): Reactions to crime; Witness intervention in crime; Witnesses
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