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Temporal Dimensions of Vulnerability to Crime in Economic Sectors: Theory Meets Evidence and Spawns a New Framework

NCJ Number
Risk Management Volume: 14 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2012 Pages: 93-108
Noel Klima
Date Published
April 2012
16 pages
This article examines the factors of pre-crime and post-crime vulnerability to crime in two specific economic sectors in Belgium: the transport sector and the hotel and catering industry.
This article presents the results of research into vulnerability to crime in two economic sectors in Belgium. Vulnerability to crime is an integration of diverse temporal factors. Borrowing from Zedner, the author addresses pre-crime and post-crime aspects of vulnerability, arising before and after the criminal event in an economic context. Within this temporal frame, four sub-dimensions of vulnerability to crime are identified: opportunity to commit a crime, inadequate checks and controls within the business or sector, a lack of ability to recover from a crime and lack of adaptation after a crime. Based on inductive interviews with professionals, security staff, law enforcement agents and with criminals in the transport sector and the hotel and catering industry, a study of police files, and inspired by ecologists' work on resilience, we explore vulnerability to crime as a multifaceted factor undermining the sustainability of businesses. This conceptualization of vulnerability accepts uncertainty as an inherent feature of complex systems, such as economic sectors, and so as an inherent aspect of the specific forms of crime that arise in such environments. (Published Abstract)