Crime Victimization, Essay Example

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Essay

In considering what avenues I may take to better avoid becoming a victim of crime, I tend to focus on one word: awareness.  This, I believe, is a primary factor in how any individual should seek to be safe from any type of crime, and it is the most reliable because the nature of crime itself is so varied and erratic.  I cannot know if anyone is planning to assault me, invade my home, or access my private information online, as I cannot know what resources such a person may have at their disposal.  What I can control is where I go and how I conduct myself, and in a way not promoting vulnerability.  On a non-violent level, this translates to ensuring that my Internet activities are secure, as well as my being on the alert for new criminal techniques in this arena.  In daily life, it means having an understanding of an environment before I enter into it.  Out with friends for an evening, for example, I may be less inclined to consider the safety issues of our moving through a vast parking lot.  Alone, this takes on a different meaning, and I weigh the variables of the space, from access to other people to the lighting provided, before doing so.

What is termed environmental criminology supports this strategy, and it is a study of crime dating back to “map crime” of the 19th century.  Essentially, it is widely held that patterns of space and timing impact directly on the motivations of offenders.  Crimes that are not entirely spontaneous, as most are not, are committed because the offender calculates the potentials of the environment in question, which provides a sense of a likelihood of being apprehended or resisted (Lackey, Levan, 2011,  p. 7).   My strategy, then, is to do precisely the same thing.  Offenders generally seek unoccupied and desolate environments, so I take the precaution of avoiding them, or ensuring that I am with others.  As frenetic, crowded spaces allow for a different type of crime, I am then more consciously aware of the immediate space around me.  I believe that this type of proactive thinking not only lessens the likelihood of being victimized, it also creates an impression of awareness offenders perceive.  Beyond this general behavior, I will also employ minor strategies to discourage assault; if, for example, I am unexpectedly alone and feeling vulnerable in a public place, I will “enact” a cell phone conversation loudly, in which I happen to be describing my location.  Here, again, I am displaying what I think is the best protection an ordinary citizen can possess, which is a sense of my location and possible vulnerability.

References

Lackey, David A., & Levan, Kristine.  (2011).  Crime Prevention.  Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

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