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Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention

3. Crime Prevention

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In this lecture, we think about crime prevention, focusing in particular on: (i) Brantingham and Faust’s (1976) primary crime prevention, which is reducing opportunities for crime without response to the individuals who commit it; (ii) examples of primary crime prevention, such as adding alarms and locks to property (target hardening), improving street lighting, having defensible spaces, installing CCTV and zero tolerance policies on crime; (iii) the purposes of CCTV being to reduce the likelihood of crime occurring and to identify offenders after the fact, as well as alerting police to ongoing incidents; (iv) the strengths and weaknesses of installing CCTV in certain locations; (v) examples of defensible spaces and their effectiveness at reducing criminal activity; (vi) the effectiveness of zero tolerance policies in particular areas.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores crime investigation and prevention. In the first lecture, we think about evidence collection and how an interview differs from an interrogation. In the second lecture, we think about the cognitive interview by working through each of its stages, as well as the five additional considerations put forward in the enhanced cognitive interview. In the third lecture, we think about primary crime prevention, including target hardening, improving street lighting, the use of defensible spaces, the installation of CCTV and the implementation of zero tolerance policies on crime. Next, we think about Kelling and Wilson’s 1982 ‘broken windows theory’ and Zimbardo’s 1969 study using abandoned cars to assess the impact on crime levels. In the fifth lecture, we think about dietary treatments to reduce crime, including nutritional supplements. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about the impact that hormones can have on criminal behaviour, as well as some of the hormone treatments that have been implemented for sexual offenders.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

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APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, April 07). Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention - Crime Prevention [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention – Crime Prevention." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Apr 2022,

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