n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - A conceptual exploration of fundamental crime prevention

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The field of crime prevention is full of confusion, characterised by many different actors, approaches, and ideological beliefs. Great differences are to be found, not only on the practical level but also on the scientific level. At both the level of theory and the level of practice, different classifications are often used. At both levels there is no definition available concerning what one understands by 'prevention'. Prevention as a concept possesses something of an elastic quality that enables it to cover a broad range of theoretical premises and practical interventions (Gilling 1997:9). Prevention has developed especially from the sphere of the practical. Attempts to systematise on the conceptual or theoretical level follow practical developments. The theoretical lack of clarity thus reflects crime-prevention practice, a practice interwoven with often very different political and policy objectives.

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