RCT and Crime
Burglary denotes the illegal entry or breaking into any structure (whether house or business) for the purposes of carrying out any crime therein (usually larceny/theft). In this crime, a criminal does not have to break physically into the structure as he/she could simply get in through an unlocked door. Contrary to robbery, which entails the application of force or fight to gain another individual’s property, there is normally no victim nearby in the course of a burglary. Routine activities theory is significant in the explanation of burglary, its occurrence and prevention. At the heart of routine activities theory is the notion that burglary can just happen when three components of a situation are present, which encompass possible offenders, appropriate targets, and incompetent, reluctant or missing guardians (Zahm, 2007). Where the three situational components merge in place and time, there is a high possibility of crime happening. On the contrary, the absence of any of the three components could be adequate to discourage the crime from taking place.
Under routine activities theory, research has established some general groups of aspects that increase the risk of crime, which include social activities, alcoholism, substance use, and economic position. Moreover, through the recognition of time, place, and under which situations a crime is more probable of happening, researchers have developed better comprehension of the manner in which crime takes place in patterned approaches (Clarke, n. d.). Therefore, routine activities theory gives room for well-versed attempts to prevent criminal activities. With the application of ideas, values, and results from routine activities theory studies, criminologists could establish the manner in which people in different settings could respond to defend their property from burglary.
In line with routine activities theory, competent guardianship has the possibility of preventing burglary irrespective of there being a potential offender, and a chosen appropriate target. Competent guardianship denotes an expansive notion that could be understood in an array of ways. Routine activities theory affirms that the presence of competent guardians could prevent the occurrence of a burglary (Sutton, 1994). Formal kinds of competent guardians, like the police force and other kinds of law enforcement, represent a well-ordered type of protection from burglary. The majority of possible offenders, in spite of being stimulated to carry out burglary, would be reluctant to engage in it with the presence of a police officer.
Competent guardianship could also entail informal guardians like the civilians. For instances, the residents in a given area could provide protection from burglary (Grabosky, 1992). Common citizens offer more enhanced guardianship within the community when judged against the police officers since there are fewer police officers policing the community than the number of present citizens. In this regard, it is more probable that residents will offer guardianship in the prevention of burglary. Even an alien on the street could act as a possible guardian in the prevention of burglary, possibly by just passing through a given place at a given time. A different form of guardianship could be through application of tangible objects and ambient features. The presence of a security camera (even a faulty one) or just an indication of a house burglary alarm could be enough to prevent an offender from engaging in burglary. Finally, walls surrounding a community or a fence surrounding a house could physically hamper the occurrence of a burglary. Thus, one should intuitively think about the best possible means of inhibiting an offender.
Clarke, R. V. (n. d.). The theory of crime prevention through environmental design. Retrieved from http://www3.cutr.usf.edu/security/documents%5CCPTED%5CTheory%20of%20CPTED.pdf
Grabosky, P. N. (1992). Law enforcement and the citizen: Non-governmental participants in crime prevention and control. Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, 2(4), 249-271.
Sutton, A. (1994). Crime Prevention: Promise or Threat? Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 27(1), 5-20.
Zahm, D. (2007). Using Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Retrieved from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e0807391.pdf