Ronald V. Clarke and Patricia Mayhew are winners of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology for 2015. The prize will be given in Stockholm next June 9. In announcing the honor, Stockholm University said their work “has helped re-shape crime prevention strategies world-wide to focus on changing the characteristics of the situations in which crimes repeatedly occur.” Working together in the 1970s in the United Kingdom, the winners published studies that demonstrated the importance of physical and spatial design in preventing crime. A 1976 paper, Crime as Opportunity, “was a major breakthrough in the conceptual framework for crime prevention,” the university said. “Instead of focusing on the social and psychological factors motivating criminals to offend, it showed how the physical characteristics of crime targets could lead to more direct means of preventing crime.”
Papers by the winners helped inspire the rapid growth of industrial and police applications of “situational crime prevention.” Its widespread application has been credited with a large part of the North Atlantic crime drop, including reductions in burglary, auto theft, and even violent robberies of mobile telephones. Clarke is University Professor and former Dean at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. He is also a visiting professor at University College, London. Mayhew is a criminological consultant in the UK and a former civil servant in the UK's Home Office. She has also worked at the National Institute of Justice in Washington and at the Australian Institute of Criminology in Canberra.