Situational Crime Prevention: Classifying Techniques Using "Good Enough" Theory

Martha J. Smith, Ronald V. Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

22 Scopus citations


This article discusses situational crime prevention (SCP), which tries to limit the harm that is caused by crime events. This is usually done by changing the more immediate causes of crimes and looking into the situational components of crime events. The discussion is more concerned with the more theoretical aspects of SCP, and does not present an overview of this area of crime-prevention practice. The first section takes a look at the general features of the rational choice perspective (RCP), the routine activity approach (RAA), and the crime pattern theory (CPT). It then introduces the classification systems of prevention measures that were developed by Richard Wortley and Ron Clarke and his colleagues. It also identifies some of the key theoretical concepts of the three major theories that have influenced SCP. This article ends with a section on whether the supporting theoretical aspects of SCP can be considered as "good enough" theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Crime Prevention
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940783
ISBN (Print)9780195398823
StatePublished - Mar 12 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Causes of crimes
  • Classification systems of prevention measures
  • Crime pattern theory
  • Crime-prevention practice
  • Good enough theory
  • Rational choice perspective
  • Routine activity approach
  • Situational components
  • Situational crime prevention


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