Analyze Cohen and Felson’s routine activities theory. Is this theory able to fully explain all types of crime? Why or why not?
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No. A criminal’s personality and socialization are less important in Routine Activity Theory than the situation in which he finds himself. As with rational choice and deterrence theories, routine activity approaches assume a rational and hence deterrent person while ignoring emotional, psychological, social and developmental components of their lives. Many studies have shown their usefulness in reducing crime. However, situational crime prevention (Routine Activity Theory) must address the offence shifting critique, which states that crime does not decrease but rather shifts to new dimensions such as time, space, manner, etc. Critics further point out that by focusing primarily on current conditions, the focus ignores the underlying structural reasons of crime.
Not at all. According to Routine Activity Theory, crime is considered a situational event, and it is less dependent on an offender’s personality and socialization than it is on the situation in which the offender finds himself. Rather than attempting to prevent future crime by rehabilitating, discouraging, or segregating the perpetrator, this type of criminal policy concentrates on lowering the contextual and situational opportunities for crime to occur. Routine Activity approaches share the same flaws as the rational choice and deterrence theories in that they presume a rational and, therefore, deterrent person while neglecting to account for emotional, psychological, social, and developmental aspects of the person’s life. Numerous studies have demonstrated their effectiveness in lowering crime rates. Situational crime prevention (Routine Activity Theory), on the other hand, needs to contend with the critique of offence shifting, according to which crime does not reduce but rather transfers to different dimensions such as time, space, method, and others. Furthermore, critics point out that by focusing solely on situational circumstances, the underlying fundamental causes of crime are left unaffected by the focus.