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Routine activity theory emphasizes the similarities between regular and routine behaviors for an understanding of crime patterns (Clarke & Felson, 1993). This theory highlights crime through the offender’s point of view. It is the idea that crime will be committed if the offender is motivated, has a suitable target, or a capable guardian is absent. (Paynich & Hill, 2014) As long as the motivated offender has a target or an incapable individual the crime can/will take place. The offender’s thought process determines the crime.
A motivated offender is an individual that has been persuaded by the willingness to commit wrongdoing. An example of a motivated offender could be an individual that does not have enough money to pay the bills. Therefore, his criminal actions are now motivated by the lack of money. A suitable target can be defined as someone who happens to meet the criteria of the motivated offender’s agenda (Pratt & Turanovic, 2016). The offender is more knowledgeable of the target. For example, a bank teller is planning to rob their bank due to the fact that they know the bank lacks professional security. The target is considered suitable to the offender because of knowledge, and motive. Lastly, the offender needs an incapable guardian. In a sense this person is considered incompetent, helpless, or powerless in the eyes of the motivated individual. For example, a child is seen roaming the streets late at night. The offender is more likely to overtake, or persuade, the child.
The class book mentioned that the three criteria that makes criminal activity more likely to occur are “a suitable target, a motivated offender, and the absence of capable guardians” (Paynich & Hill, 2014 p.45). The class book also noted how criminals look for things that can be moved easily and sold quickly with a higher value. When there is motivation such as juvenile delinquents proving themselves to a gang or just having too much time on their hands trouble and incidents can occur. The fact that so many people work during the day and houses are left unattended, especially during school vacations three criteria have already been put into place. The lack of guardianship such as teachers and parents is an influence due to the kids being out of school with no supervision.
Most parents also need two incomes so both would be working leaving the juveniles home alone. An article discussed the activity of some areas by talking about gathering youth and drug activity along with empty households during the day and how it can lead to higher criminal activity (Louderback & Roy, 2018). Another article discussed how being involved in criminal activity can flip the criminal into a victim using the same principles a drug dealer leaves motivation, a target, and also has lack of guardianship (Pratt & Turanovic, 2016).
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