The following policy memo seeks to make numerous recommendations for consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding green criminology. Crimes against the environment have far-reaching and deadly consequences. Efforts have been made by federal and international organizations trying to advocate for environmental protection, as they try to detect and also deter environmental crimes from occurring. This memo documents the very possible strategies from the Clarks model of situational crime-prevention techniques in the field of environmental crime. Over the years there have been great debates and studies that generate results on the environmental threats in the world today and the consequences that are associated with the threats. Situational crime prevention seems to be quite an effective form of prevention. The theory also works best when combined with the rising awareness on the environmental crimes and what parade themselves as other forms of threats on the environment. The four types of measures that seem ideal for the prevention of environmental crimes include: aggravation of access, increasing the risk of the offender, reducing the potential for damage (also termed as the reduction of the perpetrators’ profit) and the prevention of excuses that someone did not understand or have an idea that the actions, or the operations they are conducting are prohibited, illegal and most importantly harmful, to the environment (Lynch et al., 2018, p. 180). The aspects of the situational crime-prevention theory can therefore be used to respond to the environmental threats and environmental destructions being witnessed today. The theory can be used in the criminal justice system to formulate crime-preventive measures with regard to environmental threats. The measures are actually influential and to a greater extent they may be used as a critical starting point for further research and the designing and the rolling out of programs, possible solutions and recommendations on responding to environmental crimes and threats on the environment.

Technological advancement is a force that we cannot resist that has also led to the development of the science docket. Industrial revolution was the beginning of the progress and the developments humankind was to witness. The age today has been flocked with other developments, such as use of robots, the use of heavy machinery as well as electronics and the internet that has made the advancement to go viral and global as well. However, pollution has also come out strongly as a consequence of the human development and advancements. Pollution and the biggest and most dangerous giant that is waste is clearly the end product of the advancement and the development and has a negative effect on the environment and has also threated the life of man as well as the animals and the plants and even worse it has led to climate change which threatens life even more.

The witnessed consequences have included natural calamities and disasters as well as environmental pollution and hence there is need for the preventive measures to be put in place. Pollution has been known to lead to degradation of every kind such as destroying soils, plant and animal lives and even making the lives of people difficult. Heckenberg (2009) emphasized that environmental harm can be defined as a practice that involves omission acts that are both legal and illegal, when the definition of harm is given, there is a great emphasis on the societal values and priorities. The violations against the environment also occur due to irresponsible human behavior and hence for the sake of health and the normal occurrence of life there is need for more stringent measures to be put in place in order to ensure the environmental crimes are dealt with in the right way, that is they are prevented from occurring. The illegal actions which are a consequence of irresponsible human behavior can lead to global as well as national insecurity.

Environmental crimes cut across borders and hence it is important to use the crime prevention theories to solve the challenges. Deterring of environmentally harmful activities is linked to criminology because it is criminology that understood that human beings cannot be on the same page as nature as they are known for destroying nature. Currently, the EPA has an Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics & Training whose special agents, forensic specialists, and legal support staff conduct investigative activities on crimes such as illegally storing hazardous waste without a permit, releasing clouds of toxic gas into the atmosphere, unlawful use of a restricted use pesticide, unlawful dumping and discharging of toxic effluent to a body of water of the United States, tampering with a drinking water supply, unlawful taking of bald eagles, unlawful taking of migratory birds, illegal export of hazardous waste, Money laundering relating to environmental criminal activities and many others (“Criminal investigations,” 2020).

Situational crime-preventive aspects of the response to the environmental threats represent useful ideas and methods to improve the current situation. Both the crime prevention theory and the routine activities theory are important for the development of crime-control policy and of situational crime prevention in the field of environmental criminality. Transferring situational crime prevention techniques to crimes against the environment involves the basic situational crime prevention principles (Clarke and Eck 2006): reduce the commission of crime by designing models that eliminate the crime opportunities (e.g. redesigning enforcement strategies to cut off industry-specific criminal opportunities; improvement of enforcement effectiveness with the emerging knowledge of the offender’s characteristics and with the increase of technical training etc.). It is certainly true that strengthening the guardianship of the environment also depends on the relationship of regulator and regulate. As will be shown, situational crime-prevention does not contain the ambition of eliminating the so called root causes of (environmental) crime, but is addressing to solving of these issues very pragmatically and with concrete actions. The contribution presents the use of five above mentioned theories of situational crime-prevention as possible measures of preventing and reducing environmental threats. Situational crime-prevention has, in combination with rising of people’s awareness on crime and other forms of threats, proves to be quite an effective form of prevention.

Situational crime-prevention in the field of environmental crimes.

Crimes against the environment are far-reaching, dangerous and complex crimes that destroy the environment and consequently affect our society and world. T These crimes may directly affect our health today as well as hurt future generations. Therefore, efforts to detect and deter environmental crimes have to be effective and culminate in prosecution to the fullest extent permitted. To achieve this, measurable data, records, information, case studies and surveys, and useful suggestions formed on the basis of obtained results are important. When talking about harms against the environment, the term environmental crime is broadly used. Environmental crime refers to every temporary or permanent legally defined deviant act or resigned activity, which causes an artificial change, worsening, burdening, degeneration or destruction of (human) environment or breaking its natural changes (Wortley & Tilley, 2014, p. 5164). The perpetrator of environmental crime could be anyone, or every one of us (corporations, companies, groups, individuals, etc.). Their common characteristics are the victims, because by harming of the environment (plants, animals, and natural elements) they harm people as well. Dealing with issues of environmental criminality, within the social sciences, green criminology has best responded to the phenomena of environmental crime.

The situational crime prevention measures to be employed in the prevention of environmental crimes include the aspects of the strategy including; increasing the efforts, reducing provocations as well as eliminating excuses.


Criminal investigations. (2020, August 24). US EPA., R. V. (1980). Situational crime prevention: Theory and practice. Brit. J. Criminology, 20, 136.

Huisman, W., & Van Erp, J. (2013). Opportunities for environmental crime: A test of situational crime prevention theory. British Journal of Criminology, 53(6), 1178-1200.

Linden, R. (2007). Situational crime prevention: Its role in comprehensive prevention initiatives. IPC Review, 1, 139-159.

Lynch, M. J., Stretesky, P. B., & Long, M. A. (2018). Situational crime prevention and the ecological regulation of green crime: A review and discussion. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 679(1), 178-196., R., & Tilley, N. (2014). Theories for situational and environmental crime prevention. Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 5164-5173.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *