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Over the past 50 years an increasingly-influential school of criminology has argued that finding “the causes of crime” or “solutions to the problem of crime” is not possible. The best we can do, they argue, is manage and limit the extent of crime.

Situational Crime Prevention, in this respect, involves a range of strategies based broadly around the idea that many forms of crime – particularly street crime – can be effectively managed through the control of physical space.

In Britain, Painter and Farrington’s seminal Stoke-on-Trent street-lighting study has been an influential demonstration of the way continuities and changes in the built environment can influence many types of criminal street behaviour and this film draws on exclusive interview data with Painter to both outline the study and explain its implications for our understanding of the management of crime.

This short film is designed to integrate into crime and deviance lessons by providing a simple empirical example of how situational crime prevention can be applied to our understanding of the theory and practice of crime control.

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