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Climate Change and Crime

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2011 Pages: 149-162
Ken Pease; Graham Farrell
Date Published
June 2011
14 pages
This article examines the carbon costing of crime.
Conflict has a carbon footprint. Crime is a subtype of conflict. Citizen on citizen predation by force or fraud, and responses to it, have carbon costs. The paper reviews relevant literatures and notes the absence of recognition of the nexus between crime and carbon-profligate lifestyles. The writers contend that looking at crime and disorder through a carbon costing 'lens' would profoundly influence social and criminal justice policy. The precise quantification of the carbon costs of crime is beyond the scope of this paper. The preliminary estimates contained herein suggest that the direct carbon costs of crime are substantial and the consequential costs more so, to the point where it is difficult to envisage a high crime society being a low carbon society. Recognition of this would lead to a major shift in policy favoring primary crime prevention through the design, implementation and maintenance of products and services less prone to crime. The costs of crime, both fiscal and carbon, would be a matter for regret rather than action were it not for the demonstrable success of schemes to design out crime, for example from residential environments. These are briefly discussed. The scope for further improvement in designing out crime seems considerable, and an intensive program of research to explore avenues for advance is advocated. (Published Abstract)