Social crime prevention methods focus more on influencing the fundamental socio-economic causes of crime instead of the physical environment (Grant, 2014, p. 3). The Kings Cross shootings that received a lot of media coverage from print media to online media would have been barred using social crime prevention methods like community and developmental crime prevention. The public, angry with the police for how they handled the kids, responded to the incident in several ways but little was said about what could have been done differently or how such a crime could have been prevented (Ralston & Tovey, 2012, n.p). Such an incident, much like other juvenile misdemeanors, could have been prevented had the community been exposed to an appropriate and effective crime prevention strategy.
To begin with, developmental crime prevention, which has become common in Australia, would have been effective in intervening early in the 14-year-old driver’s life since he had been known to the police since he was eight years old. The early intervention of the 14-year-old boy’s life would aim at addressing the risk factors while enhancing protective factors that affect his likelihood to engage in crime in the future. The risk factors can be grouped as individual and family factors, educational framework, societal, and cultural factors (Aic.gov.au, 2015, n.p). Therefore, an early intervention into the 14-year-old delinquent would have identified the likely risk factor in the child’s life and addressed it. Linda Burney, the Deputy Opposition Leader, who happens to be Aboriginal, claimed that the main question in the whole matter was how a 14-year-old boy came to drive a car at four in the morning accompanied by five other people (Davies, Ralston & Tovey, 2012, n.p). This gives a clear indication of the absence of parental guidance and input of the society in raising the boy. Furthermore, Linda pointed out that social problems such as poverty and destitution were a likely cause together with the lack of, or the nature of the parental and societal responsibility.
The crime could have also been prevented using community development methods, which involve the modification of the physical and societal setting of communities to impact the actions of the people living there (Shoham, Knepper & Kett, 2010, p. 526). The risk of getting involved or becoming a victim of crime in the communities experiencing higher levels of social segregation or less cohesion is high. The five people that were involved in the crime ranged from the age of 13 years to 24 years thereby representing the youth of the area especially the aboriginal people. This indicates that the community had not done much to empower the youth and educate them about crime (Gridneff, 2012, n.p).
Besides, while issuing her statement, Linda Burney noted that she was concerned about the future of the younger Aboriginal individuals who had been detached from either the school system or their culture. From Linda’s statement, it seems that the community of Redfern had also not done much in helping the youth stay away from crime by promoting crime prevention initiatives for the youth. Moreover, twenty extra police officers had been deployed at Kings Cross when the crime occurred in anticipation of an outbreak of biker-gang violence. This as well indicates that crime in the area is high, showing that the community and the government had not done much to deal with potential wrongdoers (Gridneff, 2012, n.p).
The communities of Redfern and Kings Cross should thus enact a Youth Crime Prevention Policy Forum that is aimed at improving the participation of the youth in the crime prevention initiatives and enhancing the coordination of the youth programs (Halstead, 1991, p.74). Moreover, the two communities can design and implement plans to address the youth safety challenges such the presence of biker gangs that usually recruit members. According to Gabor (1994, p. 22), places, where crimes occur, are important and are owned by people or organizations that make decisions concerning the social and physical setting of that particular place. The police department at Kings Cross is in charge of the area and so should take charge and do away with the biker gangs to prevent crime in the area. Additionally, the community of Kings Cross, where the crime happened, should take the initiative of preventing crime in the area by reducing temptation. According to Eck & Guerette (2012, p. 358), in some city streets, it is considered unwise to leave cars parked, as they are attractive to joyriders. The car that the five juvenile delinquents were driving was allegedly stolen according to the police reports, and so the community has to step in to prevent crime by reducing temptation.
In conclusion, social prevention methods are effective in preventing crime in areas where the youth have detached from school and their culture. Social prevention methods intervene early and address the risk factors that would lead a person to commit a crime and as well helps the community to mobilize and create an integrated crime prevention strategy that would be used to prevent crime. Additionally, the social crime prevention methods help to solidify and unify communities while empowering the estranged youth, thus promoting social cohesion.