Faculty of Law

Elder Abuse and Situational Crime Prevention, in Conversation with Dr Jeremy Prichard

From the ‘Stories of our Law School’ Pod-Cast Series. By Grace Williams.

My first encounter with Dr Jeremy Prichard was through an online unit delivered by the University of Tasmania titled ‘Ethics and Social Responsibility.’ Even though that lecture was a year ago, his topic material instantly grabbed my attention and has interested me ever since. That topic was ‘situational crime prevention.’ In the podcast below, Jeremy explains situational crime prevention as work that empirically proves that otherwise law-abiding people are at a greater risk of criminal decision making if they have frequent opportunity to commit a crime.

Jeremy Prichard is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law at the Law School. His core disciplines are law, criminology and psychology. Jeremy believes that as crime increases in complexity: ‘…there is an increasing need for trans-disciplinary research. This is characterised by ongoing learning between different academic disciplines and non-academic experts.’ Jeremy is passionate about the disciplines of psychology and law and enjoys using information from both fields to aid his research. Before joining UTAS in 2007 Jeremy worked in policy formation in Queensland in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Jeremy has had an interesting career, having previously worked in pure research institutes, and has been called upon to contribute both to drug research and to intelligence projects on corruption.

In our conversation, Jeremy applied the strategies of situational crime prevention to the example of elder abuse. He briefly outlined the challenges of dealing with this complex problem.

When people perceive that there is no risk of detection of a crime, when there is a reward, and when there is an excuse for criminal behaviour, previously law abiding-people are more likely to commit a crime.

Looking at elder abuse from the prism of situation crime prevention highlights major challenges for prevention of this crime. Elder abuse is a crime that is easy to commit with low detection levels. The risk of physical and sexual violence posed to the elderly in our society is an issue that must be addressed. This podcast highlights the difficulties of addressing this issue.

To listen to our conversation:

Published on: 17 Jul 2017 3:58pm