Criminal Victimization and Rational Theories

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Word count : 1700 Criminal victimization and rational theories The classical approach to explain crime has always revolved around examining the personal motivations of offenders for committing crime. However, in the recent past decades researchers have focused not only on offender incentive, but also on the lifestyles and activities of those at risk of being victimized. The following article explores different risk determinants, rational choice and social control theories in an attempt to establish both victim and offender's crime circumstances. Cohen, Kluegel and Land present the opportunity model of predatory victimization perspective as a basic explanatory model for criminal victimization. In order to comprehend why race, age and income have the potential to affect criminal victimization, the authors portray five main risk factors which are: exposure, guardianship, proximity to potential offenders, attractiveness of targets and definitional properties of specific crimes. Exposure is presented as the palpable accessibility of victims to plausible offenders, such as activities and lifestyles that may favour victimization. Further, frequent contact between victim and potential offender increases the opportunity for the offender to commit an aggression against property. Proximity to crime represents how close the victim residence is to potential offenders, particularly to high crime areas. Therefore, houses located in conflicting areas have an increased risk of being victimized. Guardianship refers to the ability of potential victims to protect themselves from crime, whether by direct or indirect contact. Target suitability as stated by routine activities involves an absence of proper guardianship. Target attractiveness of potential targets includes accessibility, visibility and value. Cohen, Kluegel and Land

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