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Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Crime Displacement Theory

Those who have examined whether crime prevention at one place results in total displacement of crime to other places find little evidence for such a hypothesis. Any occurrence of displacement can be highly contingent on the nature of the neighborhoods, the particular crimes, and the particular offenders. One can posit as well that even if a portion of some crimes being prevented in one crime-ridden neighborhood is displaced into ten nearby but different neighborhoods, that same amount of crime prevention will cause less overall fear and disintegration of community. One can also posit a diffusion-of-benefits effect from protection of certain places or items. For example, some evidence exists that if a potential offender knows that security devices cover one portion of a place or a portion of items in a place, he may attribute that coverage to other portions as well.

Henry Ruth and Kevin R. Reitz, The Challenge of Crime, 2003 

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