Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis

By Richard Wortley and Lorraine Mazerolle, eds; Reviewed by Jack F. Dowling, CPP, PSP

***** Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis. By Richard Wortley and Lorraine Mazerolle, editors; published by Willan Publishing, (Web); 294 pages; $37.50.
Every security administrator must consider crime risk when developing a security program. Knowledge of the environmental factors that contribute to and affect criminality is the foundation of protection strategies and tactics. Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis provides all the information needed to establish that foundation and implement site and enterprise security efforts.
Reading like a “who’s who” in modern international criminology, the 24 contributors to this text are recognized experts from countries around the world, including the United States, England, and Australia. Their collective experience and research is woven throughout this book to present a comprehensive and logical study of crime and the environment.
The text addresses the history of environmental criminology, including crime prevention through environmental design and the crime-patterns theory, which presents a set of eight rules that demonstrate the dynamic nature of both criminal and victim. One rule, for example, indicates the necessity of the victim and offender meeting at a time and place for the crime to occur. The next section explains crime mapping as a method identifying “hot spots,” or where crimes cluster. It includes a discussion of geographic information systems and geocoding which computerizes crime data that was previously depicted by pin maps.
Finally the contributors explain the practical application of environmental criminology, with examples including the “broken windows” theory of crime prevention used in New York City during the 1990s when policing focused on quality-of-life crimes to reduce the overall crime rate.
Each chapter ends with a summary and a detailed list by author of resources for information contained in the chapter. The book is indexed by subject and topic in the concluding pages for quick location of information.
This book is an excellent compilation of crime theories related to the environment and their practical application to real-world crime-prevention efforts. The reader does not need to be well versed in criminology research as the text fully explains the theories in plain language. In addition to the obvious use of this as a textbook in any criminal justice curriculum, anyone involved in crime prevention programming either in a police department, corporate setting, or private security agency could benefit from the information furnished. Other professionals employed in urban planning would also profit from this text.

Reviewer: Jack F. Dowling, CPP, PSP, is president of JD Security Consultants, LLC, in Downingtown, Pennsylania. He teaches in the criminal justice administration program at the University of Phoenix and is a member of the ASIS Commercial Real Estate Council. Previously, Dowling served on ASIS’s Facilities Physical Security Measures Guideline Committee.



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