Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cook, Philip J.: Supply and Demand of Criminal Opportunities
Bradford W. Reyns
It has been suggested by Philip J. Cook and others that the creation and elimination of criminal opportunities may operate in a fashion similar to the supply and demand of goods in an economic market. According to the economic model, supply and demand determines the price and quantity of goods in the market by finding a balance or equilibrium between the two. In a similar relationship, criminal opportunities may find a comparable equilibrium by balancing the forces of crime prevention with perceived target vulnerability. That is, potential victims take more precautions to protect themselves or their property when they perceive their risk of victimization to be high, and fewer when their perceived risk is lower. On the other hand, potential offenders are more likely to prey on more vulnerable targets, and less likely to target those which have more protections in place. This perspective on criminal opportunities has implications for ...