The Criminal Event Perspective: Utilizing Multiple Theoretical Tracks to Understand Crime

Rob B. Tillyer, Simon Fraser University

Traditionally, criminology has relied on individual theories of the offender, victim, or society to explain crime. Despite their instructive power, these theories have struggled to adequately reduce the number or severity of criminal events. The Criminal Event Perspective investigates crime allowing a multi-theoretical approach and is based upon the theoretical principles of Environmental Criminology. The Criminal Event Perspective highlights various factors that are necessary for criminal activity to occur and allows analysis of the crime or crimes from diverse perspectives. As the Criminal Event Perspective is rooted in Environmental Criminology, place and situation are identified as key features of a crime, and there is an appeal for research on transportation systems and their impact on crime. Unfortunately, very few studies have documented the relationship between transit systems and crime; however, the few studies conducted have indicated a relationship between the commission of an offence and the proximity to mass transit stations. By using the Criminal Event Perspective, transit systems and criminal activity can be studied from multiple approaches to gain a more holistic understanding of this relationship.

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Updated 05/20/2006