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Criminality of Place: Crime Generators and Crime Attractors

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 3 Issue: 3 Dated: (1995) Pages: 1-26
P Brantingham; P Brantingham
Date Published
26 pages
Concepts and methods for identifying and understanding crime hot spots are examined and illustrated using data from Cambridge, England, with emphasis on the idea that some crime is opportunistic and other crime involves a more active search by offenders for targets.
Thus, some urban hot spots are crime generators, providing many opportunities for crime, while others are crime attractors, in which offenders seek out victims in a planned and deliberate way. The scope for prevention that does not cause geographical crime displacement is greater in the former case than in the latter case. Other urban sites are crime-neutral; still others are fear generators. Crime generators are particular areas to which large numbers of people are attracted for reasons unrelated to any particular level of criminal motivation they might have or to any particular crime they might commit. Examples include shopping and entertainment areas. Crime attractors are particular places or neighborhoods to which strongly motivated offenders are attracted due to the known opportunities for particular types of crime. Examples might include bar districts, prostitution areas, and drug markets. Crime-neutral areas tend to experience occasional crimes by local insiders. Fear of crime is greater with higher perceived vulnerability, more isolation from known people, and less control or what is happening or might happen. Nodes, paths, edges, and land uses are crucial concepts in the analysis of these issues. Figures, table, and 81 references