Skip to content
May 11, 2018 / C H Thompson

Locality and crime revision notes – with evaluative points

Right realist theories

Rational choice theory by Cornish and Clarke

  • This focuses on the decision making of the potential offender; that individuals have free will.
  • This theory argues that the offenders are acting rationally by weighing up the benefits and the risks when they see an opportunity for crime, before choosing to commit the offence. Rights realists argue that the costs of crime are currently low, which is why crime rates have increased


  • (+) This theory supports the zone of transition.
  • (-) However this theory doesn’t talk about the causes of crime.

Routine activity theory

Felson and Clarke’s theory suggests that crime occurs as part of everyday routines when there are three conditions present enabling crime.

    • There is a suitable target for the potential offender
    • There is no capable guardian to protect the target
    • There is a potential offender present


(-) This theory doesn’t apply to crimes such as vandalism and violence, it only applies to crimes that are to do with money.

Labelling/interactionist theory

Policing styles:

  • This is the locality of deviance through selective policing.
  • Deviance occurs through the self-fulfilling prophecy -> if the police stop and search people in one are more often, those in that area are more likely to live up to their label and go and commit crime.
  • Moral panic created by the media can also have an impact of the crime levels of an area


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: