Routine-Activities Theory [Criminology] Law and Legal Definition

Routine activities theory is a theory of criminology that for a crime to occur, three elements must be present:

(1) a person motivated to commit the offense,

(2) a vulnerable victim who is available, and

(3) insufficient protection to prevent the crime.

Therefore, if a target is not protected enough, and if the reward is worth it, crime will happen. This theory was developed by Marcus Felson and Lawrence E. Cohen. This theory focuses on the characteristics of crime rather than the characteristics of the offender.