A Discussion On Routine Activities Theory

1005 words - 5 pages

In a study published in 2011, the Crime Prevention Division of the Department of Attorney General and Justice defined routine activities theory as “a crime that occurs when the an accessible target, the absence of capable guardians that could intervene, and the presence of a motivated offender come together in any given space and time” (Routine activities theory, 2011). Although this report was published in New South Wales, Australia, routine activities theory is relevant worldwide and can even be seen around Iowa State University’s campus.
Iowa State University provides a variety of services to help keep its students safe, such as a safety escort service that will pick up and drop students ...view middle of the document...

In addition, on the weekends Lincoln Way is usually crowded with people who have been consuming alcohol in CampusTown. Some students would prefer to take the red route than to risk getting into an altercation with an intoxicated person. Although it may be the fastest route, the red route also has all the components of routine activities theory.
-An Accessible Target
Due to the fact that this path leads between the Memorial Union and Friley Residence Hall, it makes sense that students would be the group of people to travel this path most often. I will take that statement one step further and generalize that most of the students walking back to Friley are underclassmen, as most upperclassmen have moved off-campus.
Underclassmen make for the perfect accessible target, as they are usually a bit more easily intimidated than their older classmates. If a perpetrator were to confront an underclassman on the dark and secluded path, chances are the underclassmen would feel they had no other choice but to give into the perpetrator’s demands.
-Absence of Capable Guardians
There are numerous options for a capable guardian, including friends, family, law enforcement, and sometimes bystanders. If a student were to be walking along the path with a group of people, they would be less at risk to be a victim of a crime. A student walking alone at night would have no one to look out for them. The path is far enough away from Lincoln Way that someone on the sidewalk wouldn’t be able to see if there was something happening. The fact that the view is also impaired due to the overgrown trees and bushes further prevents the ability any capable guardians to see what events are transpiring.
-Presence of a Motivated Offender
A motivated offender can be anyone who looks at the situation and decides the crime is worth the risk. The offender could be motivated by the idea that a student walking the path...

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