“Social Change And Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity

1526 WordsMar 27, 20177 Pages
“Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity Approach” takes a unique approach on analyzing crime rate trends by looking not at the characteristics and identities of the offenders of crime, but at circumstances and environmental factors surrounding the crime (in this case only crimes confined to predator violence that involves physical contact) that takes place. The piece analyzes several different aspects of what the authors refer to as ‘routine activities.’ By showing real data collected over a significant time span, the article argues that changes to the structural pattern of these routine activities has led to the increase in crime rates despite the general improvement of social conditions. The idea that for a crime to…show more content…
The hypothesis claims that “changes in routine activity patterns can influence crime rates by affecting the convergence in space and time of the three minimal elements of direct-contact predatory violations” and that “the absence of any one of these elements [motivated offenders, suitable targets, and the absence of suitable guardians against a violation] is sufficient to prevent the successful completion of a direct-contact predatory crime.” (1) The authors claim that controls for routine activities, therefore, are essential to maintaining order and keeping the crime rate down. They also note that and understanding of temporal and spatial relationships are key to understanding the changing crime rates. Illegal acts are events that occur in space and time and involve specific persons and/or objects. The spatio-temporal organization of everyday activities is what allows criminals to turn their criminal ideas into reality. Dispersion of activities away from the household has led to a change in the spatio-temporal relationship that increases the opportunity for crime, which in turn increases the crime rate itself. A variety of evidence and data was collected inn support of this hypothesis. To start off with, the paper defines ‘routine activities’ as activities at home, in jobs away from
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