Crime Prevention

What is Crime Prevention?

The ultimate goal of crime prevention is to reduce the risk of being a victim. In order to accomplish this effectively, it is important to remove opportunities for a criminal to take advantage of you or your property. You are attempting to prevent either victimization or criminalization by presenting an unattractive target to the criminal. This effort at removing opportunities is often referred to as target hardening. Target hardening can be as complex as installing a high-tech alarm system or taking a self-defense course to something as simple as locking your door.

The concept of the crime prevention triangle states

for a crime to occur  three elements of the triangle must exist:

Criminals have the “DESIRE”

Do not give them the “ABILITY” or  “OPPORTUNITY”


By eliminating any one of these elements a crime cannot occur.

Let’s look closer at each of these elements.

DESIRE The desire of a criminal to commit a crime.
We as citizens can not affect or remove a criminal’s desire to commit a crime. If someone really wants to commit a crime they will.

ABILITY The criminal’s ability to commit a crime.
We can not affect the ability of a criminal to commit a crime. They will find a way. They can be thousands of miles away, use telephones, and even physical impairment will stop some from committing crimes.

OPPORTUNITY The criminal’s opportunity to commit crimes.
It is at this point that we can take the appropriate action to prevent crime. By removing the criminal’s opportunity for crime to occur through education, we have broken the “Crime Prevention Triangle” cycle.

Successful crime prevention efforts will promote a safer community by enhancing the perception of safety and the attitudes and behaviors that help people feel safe. A number of topics are covered on the various sites on the Crime Prevention homepage. Please take a few minutes to check them out.