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Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention

3. Crime Prevention

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In this third module, 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.


This course, by Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University), explores crime investigation and prevention. In the first module, we think about evidence collection and how an interview differs from an interrogation. In the second module, 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 module, 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 module, we think about dietary treatments to reduce crime, including nutritional supplements. In the sixth and final module, 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.


Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor at Buckinghamshire New University. He specialises in both forensic and criminal psychology, as well as parapsychology (the study of mental phenomena which are inexplicable by conventional psychology). Professor O’Keeffe’s background is in investigative psychology and now teaches across a range of forensic and criminal psychology courses. He has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

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

MLA style

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

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