This technique is laid upon two theories. The routine activity theory and rational choice approach. The routine activity theory is an environmental criminology theory which states that for a predatory crime to occur there are three elements which must be present including a suitable target, lack of a guardian to prevent the target, and the likelihood of having a motivated offender at that time. Hence a crime will be committed if the above conditions are at par. If there is a guardian to prevent the target, the likelihood of the crime being committed will be lower. Keeping criminals at bay will also lower the probability of a crime happening. Hence this technique seeks to address the above aspects of a crime to lower the probability of a crime happening. On the other hand the rational choice theory forms the foundation for the situation crime prevention technique. It explains that criminals are motivated to commit a crime since they are sure that they are going to benefit from the crime. Hence it shows that offenders take a lot of cost-benefit analysis of what they are going to commit before going on to commit a crime. To make this choice the offenders make a lot of analysis. They analyze their target well to seen which one will offer more benefits; the security situation of the target in terms the presence of a guardian, and so many other analytical questions. This approach view crime as process in which there are many decisions that are made on the side of the offender before committing a crime.
Situation crime prevention is an approach that uses preventive measure to deter crimes. It lays it foundation on the fact that crimes are committed when there is an opportunity to do so. It is based on research pattern that have been carried out which shows that crimes are much likely to be committed in certain places where there are no control measure to deter crime. Researches have also shown that thefts occur in particular places or hot spots and also some people are more likely to experience criminal activities than others. Situation crime prevention uses three main elements including a theoretical frame work, a devised methodological plan for tackling some specific problems and also utilizes framed opportunity-reducing techniques. This methodology is based on research to change practice approach. (Crawford, 1998)
This technique has been found superior to other techniques due to its effectiveness in many instances. It has been found effective in reducing the opportunities available for criminals to commit a crime. It is understood that if criminals know that they are going to face more force than they have in the course of their criminal activities; there is likelihood that they will not commit that crime. With reduced opportunities to commit a crime the police force is left with ample time to devise new strategies of combating emerging criminal tactics. This technique has been found superior to other because instead of using force to deter crimes, it embarks on changing criminals ideas of the probability of getting away with a particular crime. It portrays the crime fighting mechanism as superior and efficient in pursuing the criminals. This technique also makes it appear hard and risky for criminals to engage in crime activities. It changes their minds from seeing crime as a lucrative activity to one that is hard and risky. It also portrays crime as less rewarding to engage in. It helps