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Crime displacement: what we know, what we don't know, and what it means for crime reduction

Johnson, SD; Guerette, RT; Bowers, K; (2014) Crime displacement: what we know, what we don't know, and what it means for crime reduction. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CRIMINOLOGY , 10 (4) 549 - 571. 10.1007/s11292-014-9209-4. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives If offending were simply displaced following (often spatially) focused crime reduction initiatives, the continued expenditure of resources on this approach to crime reduction would be pointless. The aims of this article were to: critically appraise the current body of displacement research; identify gaps in understanding; articulate an agenda for future research; and to consider the implications of the accumulated findings for practitioners, evaluators, and policy makers. Methods First, we review existing criminological theory regarding crime displacement and the alternative perspective—that crime prevention activity might generate a diffusion of crime control benefits. Second, we review the empirical research, focusing in particular on the findings of existing systematic reviews. Third, we consider the types of displacement that might occur and the methodological approaches employed to study them. Results Theoretical and empirical research suggests that displacement is far from inevitable and that a diffusion of crime control benefit is at least as likely. However, some forms of displacement have not been adequately studied. Conclusion Existing research suggests that successful crime reduction interventions often have a positive impact on crime that extends beyond the direct recipients of a particular project. However, current understanding of crime displacement and how benefits might diffuse remains incomplete. Consequently, to inform an agenda for future research, we derive a typology of methodological issues associated with studying displacement, along with suggestions as to how they might be addressed

Type: Article
Title: Crime displacement: what we know, what we don't know, and what it means for crime reduction
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11292-014-9209-4
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11292-014-9209-4
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.
Keywords: Crime displacement, Situational crime prevention, Crime reduction, Diffusion of benefits, Problem-oriented policing, Crime patterns, Focused policing
UCL classification: UCL
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/1434106
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