It is better for the country to spend money while preventing crime than to face its social consequences. Crime prevention programs aim to reduce the crime level and within the origin of initiative they can be divided into local programs or programs developed at a federal level. Crime prevention can be defined as any policy which causes a decline in number of crimes to occur in the future than would have happened without that action. (Lawrence W. Sherman, 1997)
Main issue of implementation of such programs is their effectiveness that can be measured by reduction of crime rates per amount of recourses allocated to implement this program. The consequences of crime prevention actions can be measured using the number of criminal events, number of criminal offenders or the amount of harm prevented. Money spent on criminal prevention program doesn’t contain all social costs of program implementation. The wrong actions can damage the level of social trust, therefore providing more social losses than solutions to the problem.
Racial profiling as an attempt of crime prevention is an example of such inappropriate actions. Statistical information demonstrates inadequate searches of Hispanic and African–American motorists on highways acted by police in endeavour to maximise the results of drug contraband searches. (Harcourt, B. E., 2004) Operating this way police gives sense of immunity for white motorists while they are checked less. Social offence is the result of the fact that minority motorists overall have lower elasticity of offending to behaviour of law enforcement officials than white motorists, especially when it comes to drugs search and this fact causes contradictory results to the behaviour of both white and minority motorist. The connection between some categories of crime and ethnical groups is overestimated and such abuse of authority abrogates trust between community and police, which is vital for crime prevention.
The crime rate in any society depends on diverse factors – economic development of the region, demographic mechanisms, quality of criminal laws that can extend or brief the scope of criminal acts, although the biggest impact have institutional factors. Urban crime happens most frequently in adverse and disadvantaged districts with disproportional concentration of poverty, unemployment, and minority populations. (Z. Peterson 2007) The community size also affects the crime rate – resent research conducted in USA showed that rural areas are the safest with the crime rate 1,877 and the crime rate in Metropolitan Statistical Areas is 3,920. (Stephen E. Brown, 2010 p. 102) The reason is obvious – small communities are more watchful and supportive, people know each other, everyone protects his or her reputation, there are bigger chances to be recognized and it is hard to cover up anything from watchful neighbours.
Efficiency of implementation of crime prevention program depends also on economic and social conditions. For example arrest for domestic violence can prevent offence in neighbourhoods with high marriage rates and low unemployment but it increases crime level in households with low marriage rates and high unemployment. Effective crime prevention requires adequate support for the practice in related …
Posted by: Susanne Ryman