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Understanding and preventing crime in Malawi: an opportunity perspective

Sidebottom, AL; (2013) Understanding and preventing crime in Malawi: an opportunity perspective. Doctoral thesis (PhD), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Numerous studies demonstrate that crime is highly concentrated. The risk of criminal victimization is unequally distributed across available targets – be they people, products or places. Determining the extent to which crime concentrates and the correlates of victimization is a popular research area with implications for theory and crime prevention. Presently, such research is largely confined to Western industrialised settings attributed to a lack of suitable data in many developing countries. This thesis is concerned with the concentration and correlates of crime in Malawi. It uses a predominately environmental criminology framework to explore whether crime opportunity theories, amongst others, can make sense of the victimization patterns observed in the hitherto unexplored context of Malawi. The thesis is victim-oriented, saying little about the motivation of offenders and focussing instead on the attributes and activities of crime targets. This is achieved through secondary analysis of data from the Malawi Integrated Household Survey 2004/05, a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey containing questions comparable to crime victim surveys. The thesis is comprised of five case studies on livestock theft, residential burglary and physical assault. Despite the radically different circumstances, the findings suggest broad though not unanimous support for crime opportunity theories in the Malawian context. The findings also help draw attention to the plight of several population groups associated with higher risks of victimization, most notably the chronically ill. The implications of the research for reducing vulnerability, in particular the feasibility of applying situational crime prevention in resource-limited settings such as Malawi are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: PhD
Title: Understanding and preventing crime in Malawi: an opportunity perspective
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Crime concentration, Environmental criminology, Malawi
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1388179
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