Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the strengths and weaknesses of environmental criminology. Environmental criminology’s strengths include the shift in the focus from criminals to conventional people, thus enriching understanding of crime events and their prevention; challenging the view that some sort of “evil” condition generated the evil of crime; rejecting the root causes approach to crime, instead showing the benefits of a situational perspective; and rejecting the “nothing works” professional ideology of criminology in favor of practical solutions to reducing crime. The weaknesses of environmental criminology include neglecting the study of “motivated offenders,” treating them as a given in the crime event; reliance on the concept of “informal social control,” which is often ill-defined and its components left unspecified; and neglecting the role of inequality in the broader social environment.
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