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COM15: Developing Research And Analytical Skills

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  • Course Code: COM15
  • University: Griffith University
  • Country: Australia


This assignment is a written critical analysis of one scholarly article. You must select this article from those provided in the Readings and Topic List folder (left hand side menu or below). If you have followed and completed the weekly tasks, by Week 6 you will have a good idea of the topic you are interested in and the article you will use as your subject. The assessment task requires that you apply the critical thinking skills presented in the first two modules of the course to your subject article, using two independently located scholarly articles as sources of evidence to analyse and evaluate the subject article's key arguments.




Crime prevention is an emerging concept that is applied by several security agencies to reduce crime rate in the society. It is an approach that focuses on preventing the crime rather than dealing with the consequences after it has happened. (Crime, 2008) A lot of attention is therefore given to crime prevention rather than detecting the criminals and punishing them. It evaluates the conditions and circumstances that may allow different types of crime. After understanding such circumstances, different methods are initiated to change the environment with aim of minimizing the crimes. The developed strategies are aimed at specific types of crime; the process will also involve the management and creation of a good environment that is not favorable to crime by either making it risky, less rewarding or more difficult. (Wortley and Townsley, 2016)The safety strategies used help to protect the public and property through making criminals feel insecure hence they will be unwilling to commit crime.

This paper aims to critically evaluate and analyze different mechanisms and views of crime prevention as they are suggested in the “Communities, Crime Prevention and the Politics of Articulation: A Reply to Kit Carson.” In the contemporary political world, pressure is increasingly mounting locally and at the national level. Police are doing everything possible to prevent crime but there is need for the community to get involved in formulating the best strategies to prevent crime. There is need for the public and the politicians to be educated on the new approaches of preventing crime because they have a role to play for the idea to succeed(Watts, 2016).

Radical Communitarians, Crime Prevention and Community Safety

The authors argue there is need to reject the outdated communalism seduction. Some of the most recent moral communitarians    are relatively linked   with social capital theory.  It suggests new mechanisms of involving a diverse range of people including politicians in safety of the community. The move facilitates the opening of moral challenges and potbelly progressive political challenges in relation to future crime prevention.  (Tittle, 2010)Though majority of the politicians have embraced the idea of prioritizing community safety and crime prevention, it continues to be a major challenge due to lack of cooperation among the security stakeholders in the communities.    The idea should be to empower the young people through considering the as an essential part of the community and giving them the opportunities to do something constructive in order to stay away from crime. The argument on the way forward with the many youths already involved in crime continues. Many people think it is good to facilitate programs that will enhance healing and restoration of those involved in criminal activities. On the other hand some also strongly believe on administering justice through punishing criminals but trying to minimize fresh people getting to crime (Sutton, A., 2000). While these opinions are legit and logical, all mechanism possible should be applied to reduce crime rate in the community.    It is important to acknowledge that the community should be very radical in regard to crime. Although there are possible problems with being radical, it is essential to keep in mind the community politics, practices and ways to curve crime rate.

On the Capaciousness of the Concept of Community

Living in the modern days it is hard to accept that communities’ moral standards are quite degraded. The authors of the article feel that the meaning of “community” is ambiguous. However, they hold that this should not be a scapegoat to avoid the explicit definition of “community.” They rather believe there is a good reason to seek and understand the clear meaning of the word in order to make the right choices. In regard to the current debate on crime prevention and community, an alternative discourse to political movement of moral authoritarianism to communities that regard the importance of belonging and cohesion. However, one should bear in mind the effects of diversity and value pluralism n the modern society. The modern world has a diverse variety of communities therefore using a one dimensional community representation will neglect many others.  A more diversified mechanism should be sought to prevent crime is there a very few reasons why such outdated methods should be done. Radical communitarian model should encourage specific value and principles sure as mutualism, compassion and care and they should not be aimed at instrumental gains(Rogowski, 2014). Although promoting such values among individuals it is important to note that culture and religion play a big role molding a person’s behavior.  In this case it is vital to defend communities because they are potential domains especially where economic rationality is prevailing. The politicians often determine the development of the communities’ through policy making.  Though the impact that politics may have on crime prevention may be a little bit assumed, it good to consider politic mechanisms for great success in involving the communities. The justice systems can record a significant success in crime prevention through politicians because some of the critical issues such as allocation of resources by the government as well as the disadvantages of various programs can be adequately addressed (Hughes, G., 2004).


In Defence of Pluralism and Communities

Recently a lot of emphasis is given to plural communities. Every community has its own political, social and moral challenges that have exclusive effects on them. In the modern days, being a member of a certain community is quite complex and multidimensional due to the intermarriages and interaction of people from different communities as well as social classes.  Notable, experiences within a certain tradition, culture or institutions determine the behavior of an individual. The argument of radical communitarians in the current modernity has put some limits on being in the social world. The pluralities of the communal can be discussed in a good premise that is sociologically and realistically founded to address various issues affecting people such as crime control. It is ideal in countries where there is no one oppressive uniformity or substantive culture.  Although people are made where they are brought up, it is morally wrong to neglect people because of their denominations, religion, race, color or tribe. It is easy to control crime in an area with communities cutting across all religions, denominations and social economic class(Ferrell and Hayward, 2017). These kind of strong communities become part of the civic future predicated on conflict and opposition in an agonistic politics. People tend to bond more through engaging over time and therefore the government should facilitate the growth of such communities. Although some individuals think it is not possible to witness transformative politics at the grassroots or local levels, it is essential to note that the state plays a critical role in harnessing and enabling local processes by communities to have a belonging. The state government should be careful not to replace itself with the communities, but it should empower them as supplementary institutions to help in the prevention of crime (Hughes, G2004). In other words, a community where many core values of life are at stake,   clear agonistic politics would be ideal. Many strategies have been formulated to assist the government in crime control and prevention. Among them is criminology which is more flexible for respect, mutuality and tolerance.  Although there are very many mechanisms of enhancing crime control and prevention, there are many challenges facing the sector. For instance, there are quite complex instabilities in community governance of crime(Stenson, 2008). It is difficult for the government to decide the right people in the community to help them manage and prevent crime. The place defined communities and the communities defined by identity have different kind of challenges.  Gordon in the article notes that   in a community regeneration project in Britain, the idea of community empowerment and sustainability   continue to struggle since enough attention is not given to the already existing entities.  The stake holders should tirelessly continue to train and develop their expertise on the best and modern way to manage and prevent crime in the community. The government should also formulate some mechanism of deciding the legitimate community representatives who can be used in facilitating the community crime management.

In conclusion preventing crime rather than punishing people for the crime is an idea that is gradually developing in many parts of the world. A lot has been done to improve how criminals are handled not only by the police and other security agencies but by the entire community. Lack of enough resources continues to the major challenge to the full execution of the idea. Other challenges may include the culture background of people, religious believes, level of education and the policies used by the judicial systems to administer justice. Crime control and prevention should not be left to the police and government. It is a social responsibility where everybody regardless of his/her denomination, religion, race, level of education as well a social-economic class must play their role properly.



Crime, H. O. C. P. U. N. O. O. D. A. (2008) Crime Prevention in Southern Africa and the Caribbean Regions, Handbook on crime prevention; United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime.

Ferrell, J. and Hayward, K. (2017) ‘Cultural criminology continued’, in Alternative Criminologies. doi: 10.4324/9781315158662.

Hughes, G., 2004. Communities, crime prevention and the politics of articulation: a reply to Kit Carson. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 37(3), pp.431-442.

Rogowski, S. (2014) ‘Radical/Critical Social Work with Young Offenders: Challenges and Possibilities’, Journal of Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1080/02650533.2013.828280.

Stenson, K. (2008) ‘Governing the Local: Sovereignty, Social Governance and Community Safety’, Social Work & Society.

Sutton, A., 2000. Crime prevention: A viable alternative to the justice system?. Crime and the Criminal Justice System in Australia, pp.316-31.

Tittle, C. R. (2010) ‘Theoretical Criminology’, Theoretical Criminology. doi: 10.1177/1362480608093307.

Watts, R. (2016) ‘Criminology and Crimes of the State’, in States of Violence and the Civilising Process. doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-49941-7.

Wortley, R. and Townsley, M. (2016) Environmental criminology and crime analysis: Second edition, Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis: Second Edition. doi: 10.4324/9781315709826.


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