Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Some people are more likely to break the law than others. This likelihood or propensity to break the law is commonly known as criminality. A place with stronger criminality is predicted to have higher crime levels. However, more and more scholars are questioning this way of explaining crime. They argue that for a criminal event to take place, offenders must not only have criminality or the willingness to break the law, but also the opportunity to act on their desires. Thus, the distribution of crime across individuals and environmental spaces depends on both criminality and criminal opportunity. A number of theories have addressed the importance of criminal opportunity, including lifestyle-routine activities, environmental design, rational choice, offender search, and social control theories. These theories, collectively known as “opportunity theories,” have one thing in common: their overarching premise that offenders make decisions about crime events based on perceived opportunity. This article integrates opportunity theories into a general multilevel opportunity perspective.

Keywords: crime, criminal opportunity, opportunity theories, criminality, multilevel opportunity, rational choice, offender search, social control, lifestyle routine activities

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.