Diffusion of crime control benefits: Observations on the reverse of displacement

R. V. Clarke, D. Weisburd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This phenomenon, which can bring considerable added value to situational crime prevention measures, has been described as the complete reverse of displacement. Two processes associated with benefits diffusion are identified: (1) offender uncertainty about the extent of increased risk; and (2) exaggerated offender perception that rewards of particular crimes are no longer commensurate with the effort. These processes are labeled deterrence and discouragement, respectively. Recent research is reviewed that provides examples of both kinds of benefits diffusion. Ways of enhancing diffusion are explored, and a program of research is advocated to investigate offender perceptions of the opening and closing of criminal opportunities. The authors conclude that, just as situational crime prevention measures may have unintended costs in terms of displacement, they may also have equal unexpected benefits in terms of diffusion. 38 references, 3 notes, and 1 figure
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCrime prevention studies
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994

Publication series

NameCrime prevention studies


  • Crime causes theory
  • Crime control theory
  • Crime displacement
  • Crime prevention measures
  • Crimes of opportunity


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