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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: May 2021

35 - The Opportunity Approach to Compliance

from Part V - Capacity and Opportunity


Abstract: The opportunity approach to compliance focuses on understanding how rule-breaking behaviour takes place and then tries to reduce the factors that enable rule breaking. This chapter reviews two core criminological theories within the opportunity approach: routine activity theory and situational crime prevention. The chapter assesses empirical evidence as to whether policies based on these theories can reduce rule-violating behaviour. Moreover, it discusses the extent to which the opportunity approach can result in displacement and adaptation effects. And, finally, it explores potential downsides to the opportunity approach such as victim blaming and reductions in autonomy and freedom of choice.