Putting process into routine activity theory: variations in the control of crime opportunities

Schaefer, Lacey and Mazerolle, Lorraine (2017) Putting process into routine activity theory: variations in the control of crime opportunities. Security Journal, 30 1: 266-289. doi:10.1057/sj.2015.39


Author Schaefer, Lacey
Mazerolle, Lorraine
Title Putting process into routine activity theory: variations in the control of crime opportunities
Journal name Security Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0955-1662
1743-4645
Publication date 2017-01-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1057/sj.2015.39
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 30
Issue 1
Start page 266
End page 289
Total pages 24
Place of publication London, Hants United Kingdom
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract This article extends the basic tenets of routine activity theory by explicating three unique mechanisms that influence crime prevention actions: relationality, relativity and responsibility. We assess how macro variations in crime opportunities influence the social processes associated with readiness for three crime control actions: offender handling, target guarding and place managing. We explore the utility of these theoretical advancements using multilevel survey data from the Australian Community Capacity Study that includes 4390 residents across 148 suburbs in the Greater City of Brisbane. Incorporating individual measures of perceptions of routine activity dynamics and community-level measures of social structure, we use multilevel mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression to explain variations in the three different crime control actions. We find moderate support that some social processes are more strongly paired with some types of crime control actions than others: relationality most strongly predicts offender handling, relativity is most significantly associated with target guarding, and responsibility is most influential for place managing. We argue that the routine activities of crime can be better understood by delineating the social processes of crime prevention, and that these should be modeled on a continuum and considered in context of community variations in social structures.
Keyword Routine activity theory
Crime prevention
Crime control
Opportunity theory
Guardianship
Place management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
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