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Reflections on risk, anti-social behaviour and vulnerable/repeat victims

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2013
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Journal number5
Volume53
Number of pages19
Pages805-823
Early online date14/05/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article theorizes the adoption of risk assessment practices to inform criminal justice responses to ‘vulnerable’ and repeat victims of anti-social behaviour. Evidence suggests that some police forces have become highly risk-averse which has had consequences for the way in which minor incivilities have come to be viewed as perpetually requiring a formal police response. However, the development of victim risk assessment has also been very effective in enabling agencies to determine ‘high-risk’ victims with clarity and speed. It is argued that, rather than viewing risk in hegemonic terms, more attention ought to be given to conceptualizing risk in terms of the new opportunities it presents not simply for refining and improving the delivery of services, but also for the ways in which risk enables victims to develop new parameters of victimhood, and to subvert the traditional dominance of politics/policy in acting as primary definers on understanding(s) and accepted knowledge(s) of victimization and vulnerability.