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Preventing repeat victimization: a systematic review

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posted on 23.10.2014 by Louise Nicholas, Graham Farrell, David P. Farrington, Shane D. Johnson
In any given year, most crimes occur against targets that have already been victimized. The crime prevention strategy deriving from this knowledge is that targeting repeat victimization provides a means of allocating crime prevention resources in an efficient and informed manner. This report presents the findings of a systematic review of 31 studies that evaluate efforts to prevent repeat victimization. Most of the evaluations focus on preventing residential burglary, but commercial burglary, domestic violence, and sexual victimization are also covered. The main conclusion is that the evidence shows that repeat victimization can be prevented and crime can be reduced. Over all the evaluations, crimes decreased by one-sixth in the prevention condition compared with the control condition. The decreases were greatest (up to one-fifth) for programmes that were designed to prevent repeat burglaries (residential and commercial). There were fewer evaluations of programmes designed to prevent repeat sexual victimization, but these did not seem to be effective in general. There are indications about what factors increase the success of prevention efforts. Appropriately tailored and implemented situational crime prevention measures, such as target hardening and neighbourhood watch, appear to be the most effective. Advice to victims, and education of victims, are less effective. They are often not prevention measures themselves and do not necessarily lead to the adoption of such measures. The effectiveness of these crime prevention measures increased as the degree of implementation increased. There were many problems of implementation, including poor tailoring of interventions to crime problems, difficulty of recruiting, training and retaining staff, breakdown in communications, data problems, and resistance to tactics by potential recipients or implementers.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


GROVE, L.E. ... et al, 2012. Preventing repeat victimization: a systematic review. Stockholm Sweden: Brottsförebyggande rådet/The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.


Brottsförebyggande rådet/The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (© Brottsförebyggande rådet)


VoR (Version of Record)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This book/report was prepared for The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention








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