Prevention is better than cure. This phrase makes similar sense in the case of crime. Therefore, the primary goal of any criminal justice system is prevention of crime. Prevention of crime is to check the crimina!’s desire to commit crime and to eliminate the opportunity for commission of crime.
(2) Definition Of Prevention Of Crime
(i) Anticipation, Recognition & Appraisal
Crime prevention can be defined as anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk and initiation of action to remove or reduce it.
(ii) Attempt To Reduce & Deter
Crime prevention can be defined as an attempt to reduce and deter crime and criminals.
(iii) Measures To Reduce Or Inhibit
Crime prevention can be defined as adoption of measures that are intended to reduce or inhibit criminal activity.
(iv) Strategies & Measures
Crime prevention can be defined as strategies and measures that seek to reduce the risk of crimes occurring.
(3) Long-Term Measures For Prevention Of Crime
- (i) Long-term measures are time consuming measures to reduce crime opportunity in future:
- (ii) Social development
- (iii) Legal development
- (iv) Economic development
- (v) Community or locally-based crime prevention
- (vi) Situational crime prevention
- (vii) Reintegration programmes
(i) Social Development
There can be prevention of crime through social development. Social development includes social, educational and training programmers:
- (a) Social programmes
- (b) Educational programmes
- (c) Training programmes
(a) Social Programmes
Unemployment and poverty are causes of commission of crime. Employment can reduce unemployment and poverty in the society, and, therefore, can be effective in minimizing the commission of crime too. And it is through social programmes that better and appropriate opportunities of employment can be created.
(b) Educational Programmes
Education can play an important role in reducing opportunities for crime:
- (b-i) Appropriate education opportunities
- (b-ii) Proper education
- (b-iii) Family education
- (b-iv) Qualitative education
(b-i) Appropriate Education Opportunities
Appropriate education opportunities can keep the people away from crime.
(b-ii) Proper Education
Proper education can create hatred among the people against crime.
(b-iii) Family Education
Family education improves the family skills and trains the parents to keep their children away from criminal activities.
(iv) Qualitative Education
Qualitative education prepares the individual to serve the Society and not to indulge himself in crimes.
(c) Training Programmes
Training programmes can also be helpful in reducing commission of crime.
(ii) Legal Development
Injustice is a major cause of crime. Legal development can help to remove this cause. Legal development includes better legislation, and establishment of independent judiciary and effective law enforcement agencies.
(iii) Economic Development
Economic gap among different classes of society, poverty and unemployment are causes of crime. Economic development can reduce the economic gap, poverty and unemployment, and, consequently, there will be reduction of commission of crime.
(iv) Community Or Locally-Based Crime Prevention
This type of prevention targets the areas where the risks of becoming involved in crime are high. Such areas, in fact, include social, economic, political and cultural deprivation, and this type of prevention is to reduce this deprivation.
(v) Situational Crime Prevention
Situational crime prevention includes measures to reduce the opportunities for people to commit crime.
(vi) Reintegration Programmes
These programmes are adopted to prepare the offenders for their positive return to the society. These programmes provide the offender job skills, training, education, alternative lifestyle and role model and good support and housing in the community for his reintegration in the society
(4) Short-Term Measures For Prevention Of Crime
Followings are short-term measures for prevention of crime:
- (i) Police & law enforcement agencies
- (ii) Regular patrolling
- (iii) Deterrent penal laws
- (iv) Supervision of criminals & suspects
- (v) Check on media
- (vi) Check on movement of criminals
- (vii) Surprise visits of public places
- (viii) Lights in streets, roads & public places
(i) Police & Law Enforcement Agencies
Police and law enforcement agencies must be properly equipped to check the commission of crime.
(ii) Regular Patrolling
There must be regular patrolling of police in the residential areas.
(iii) Deterrent Penal Laws
Penal laws of deterrent nature must be made and enforced.
(iv) Supervision Of Criminal & Suspects
The criminals and the suspects must be kept under supervision.
(v) Check On Media
There must be check on media. Media must not be allowed to present programs of violence and criminal activities.
(vi) Check On Movement Of Criminals
The criminals must not be permitted to move freely in the society.
(vii) Surprise Visits Of Public Places
The police must make sudden and surprise visits of public places.
(viii) Lights In Streets, Roads & Public Places
Proper lights must be installed in streets, roads and public places.
It can be finally stated that Sir Henry Fielding is the father of concept of crime prevention. He presented the core principles for crime prevention. Crime prevention operates at three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. The most effective crime prevention happens at the primary level where opportunities of crime are reduced in the environment.