The Offenders’ Perspective on Prevention: Guarding Against Victimization and Law Enforcement
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Law-abiding citizens are concerned with deterring and preventing crime. One strategy to accomplish this goal is to increase the costs and reduce the benefits that particular situations present to offenders. This form of crime control is known as situational crime prevention. Like law-abiding persons, offenders must concern themselves with being victimized. Differently, however, offenders must also worry about being detected and punished by formal agents. Thus, situational prevention from the offenders’ perspective is relatively complex, encompassing efforts to block not only opportunities for victimization but also for law enforcement. Building on the work of Clarke, the present study uses qualitative data from drug dealers to illustrate how and why offenders use situational strategies and techniques to evade their adversaries. The article concludes by discussing implications for future work.