The question of how best to prevent crime is one that is frequently posed by criminologists, governments and the general public, with significant resources invested in the long and short term pursuit of crime reduction. This introductory unit provides students with a foundational critical understanding of the theory and practice of crime prevention. The unit will introduce crime prevention as an alternative to law and order and elucidate the evidence for prevention, it will outline key typologies in crime prevention, debate the promises and limitations of a community safety approach, and examine the role of police in prevention. Students who complete this unit can expect to have a strong grounding in the basics of crime prevention as a springboard for further study and in their professional practice.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Conceptually map the key theoretical underpinnings in crime prevention;  
  2. Debate key contentions in crime prevention;  
  3. Evaluate the merits of varying strategic approaches in crime prevention.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Online test (1 hour – 1000 words equivalent) 20%
Research Paper 4000 words 60%
Exercise In-class debate 20%

Required reading

Crime Prevention: Principles, Perspectives and Practices, 3rd Edition
Sutton, A., Cherney, A., and White, R, 2021,
Cambridge University Press.

Where to next?

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