***** Crime Prevention: Theory and Practice. By Stephen Schneider; published by Taylor & Francis Group/CRC Press www.taylorandfrancis.com (Web); 389 pages; $69.95.
Recent years have seen a number of new texts addressing the complex topic of crime prevention theory. They include Nick Tilley’s Crime Prevention Key Readings in Criminology, edited by Tim Newburn, and now Crime Prevention: Theory and Practice by Stephen Schneider.
In his book, Schneider explains social criminological issues including the role of government and police in crime prevention, community crime prevention, crime prevention through social development, and problem-oriented policing.
There is a discussion of the environmental crime control theories including situational crime prevention and crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). Yet the author gives them short shrift, using material that is a decade or more old. There is no discussion of second-generation CPTED or of the 25 situational crime prevention techniques. The author uses the older, 16-category framework.
This book could certainly be used as a student text, as each chapter is laid out with learning objectives, “important terms,” “discussion questions and exercises,” and “further reading.” To the author’s credit, he provides a tremendous amount of material and should be applauded for putting a large amount of work into the book. In the last two chapters, he also provides in detail an overview on how to implement and evaluate a crime-prevention project.
As in many crime-prevention texts, the author provides no detail of the role that security practitioners can play. He does a disservice to the entire industry by minimizing the contributions of millions of practitioners around the world. This seems part of a larger trend within the academic world to ignore the security industry’s contributions to crime prevention, and instead focus the bulk of their attentions on the criminal justice field and other formal state mechanisms. It is unfortunate that the intended audience of students will be provided such an incomplete picture.
Unless the reader is interested in rudimentary and dated theory, there is little value in this text for the security professional.
Reviewer: Glen Kitteringham, CPP, is an environmental criminologist and president of Kitteringham Security Group Inc. He holds a master’s degree in Security and Crime Risk Management. He is a member of the ASIS International Commercial Real Estate Council and is ASIS regional vice president for Canada.