The Center for Security and Crime Science (housed in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University) is the first center in the United States devoted to Crime Science. In the 21st Century, thinking about crime has expanded in scope to move beyond domestic concerns and security has become more broadly construed as dealing with issues of public safety and social harm. Crime is now the business of private as well as public agencies, formal as well as informal entities, all seeking to address multiple levels of security concerns.
Crime Science is a departure from old ways of thinking about the problem of crime in society. Traditional criminology has concentrated on what happens after crimes are committed; that is, how we respond to a criminal act and how we define “crime”. Crime Science aims to get upstream of crime and to proactively prevent it rather than merely respond to it. Crime Science examines those crimes which occur most frequently and then develops policy options which close off the criminal opportunities. This approach can work to reduce both the inclination and the opportunity to commit crime and harm communities.
Crime Science takes the issue of crime one step further than traditional criminology. It seeks contributions from inter-related disciplines, including; psychology, geography, public health, law and urban planning. The inter-disciplinary nature of Crime Science allows the development of a coherent strategy to influence both product and building design, and to examine the social and psychological factors, which contribute to criminal activity. The result is an integrated approach to the problem of crime.