Crime prevention is not a new idea. Indeed, for as long as people have been victimized there have been attempts to protect oneself and one’s family. The term “crime prevention,” however, has only recently come to signify a set of ideas for combating crime. Many people suggest that crime prevention today is
new and unique, particularly in terms of citizen participation. In reality, many recent activities classifi ed as crime prevention can be seen throughout history. “New” crime prevention ideas and techniques are often little more than reincarnations of past practices or extensions of basic approaches in the (distant) past. It is only in the relatively recent past that the general citizenry has not been the primary line of defense against crime and victimization. This chapter will accomplish several things. First, it presents a brief discussion of crime prevention throughout history. Second, a defi nition for crime prevention will be presented. Third, the chapter presents the general crime prevention model that serves to organize the remainder of the text.