No. XXXIV (2012)

Crime in the Warsaw Praga district from the enviromental criminology perspective

Published 2012-01-01


  • crime,
  • criminology,
  • enviromental criminology perspective

How to Cite

Goldschneider, M. (2012). Crime in the Warsaw Praga district from the enviromental criminology perspective. Archives of Criminology, (XXXIV), 207–251.


The article presents research constituting an attempt at verification of theories historically originating from the Chicago School of Sociology and the ecological approach within criminology, the supporters of which focus on the criminal offence itself and on its environmental conditions. This group of theories belongs to the environmental criminology. Criminological deliberations on the crime, carried out in the spirit of the contemporary environmental trend, are based on the assumption that the occurrence of a criminal offence is determined by four necessary elements: the legal norm that is breached, the offender, the object of the crime (victim or target) as well as the time and space in which the crime is committed. The object of interest of the environmental criminology is in the first place the space and time dimension of the act, in which the remaining elements meet. The discussed research was based on the rou-tine activity theory, the rational choice perspective and the crime pattern theory. The basic theoretical assumption is that the volume of crime is influenced by the number of crime opportunities. According to the routine activity theory, a crime opportunity occurs at the moment of convergence of a likely offender and a suitable target in the absence of a capable guardian. The first hypothesis assumes that the crime opportunity is a necessary condition for occurrence of a criminal offence, including that related to violence. The second hypothesis was based on the assumption that crime opportunities are not evenly distributed in time and space. We should therefore assume that not every object (person or thing) is a suitable target in the event of a concrete criminal act. Not every environment constitutes scenery conducive to commitment of a given crime. In other words, there are areas with higher concentration of crime. The third hypothesis was related to an assumption of the crime patterns concept relating to the offenders’ daily life patterns. It says that perpetrators search for suitable targets in areas that are well-known to them – in the vicinity of their workplace, school or place of their leisure activities. The offender’s journey to crime covers relatively small distances, avoiding only the area closest to their place of residence (the so-called buffer zone). The spatial and social characteristics were examined in chosen territorial units being three districts of a large city – Warsaw. The research area covered the jurisdiction of the Dis-trict Court for the city of Warsaw Praga-Północ, i.e. the administrative boundary precincts of the following districts: Praga Północ, Białołęka and Targówek. The verification of the afore-mentioned hypotheses took place based on an analysis of court records concerning 694 offenders, convicted in 2006 in criminal procedures of acts belonging to the jurisdiction of the said court.


  1. Bałandynowicz A., Przestępczość kobiet w środowisku miejskim, „Prokuratura i Prawo” 2002, nr 10, s. 7-32.
  2. Błachut J., Gaberele A., Krajewski K., Kryminologia, Arche, Gdańsk 2001.
  3. Brantingham P.J., Brantingham P.L. (red.), Environmental criminology, SAGE Publications, Beverly Hills 1981.
  4. Bułat K., Czarniak P., Gorzelak A., Grabowski K., Iwański M., Jakubek P., Jodłowski J., Małek M., Młodawska-Mąsior S., Papierz A., Stożek M., Kryminologia. Repetytorium, Wolters Kluwer Polska, Warszawa 2007.
  5. Clarke R.V., Felson M., Routine Activity and Rational Choice, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick 1993.
  6. Cloward R.A., Illegitimate Means, Anomie, and Deviant Behavior, „American Sociological Review” 1959, t. 24.
  7. Cohen L.W., Felson M., Social Change and crime rate trends. A routine activity approach, „American Sociological Review” 1979, t. 44, nr 4, s. 588-608.
  8. Cornish D., The Procedural analysis of Offending and its Relevance for Situational Prevention [w:] R.V. Clarke, (red.), Crime Prevention Studies, vol. 3, Criminal Justice Press, Criminal Justice Press, Monsey 1994.
  9. Cornish D.B., Clarke R.V., The rational choice perspective [w:] R. Wortley, L. Mazerolle (red.), Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis, Willan Publishing, Cullompton 2008.
  10. Czarnecki B., Siemiński W., Kształtowanie bezpiecznej przestrzeni publicznej, Difin, Warszawa 2004.
  11. Eck J.E., Crime Hot Spots. Where They Are, Why We Have Them, and How to Map Them [w:] J.E. Eck, S. Chainey, J.G. Cameron, M. Leitner, R.E. Wilson (red.), Mapping Crime. Understanding Hot Spots, US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Waszyngton 2005.
  12. Felson M., Clarke R.V., Opportunity Makes the Thief, “Police Research Series”, Paper 98. Policing and Reducing Crime Unit, Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, Home Office, Londyn 1998.
  13. Felson M., Cohen L.E., Modeling Crime Rate Trends - A Criminal Opportunity Perspective, „Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency” 1981, t. 18, nr 1.
  14. Felson M., Technology, business, and crime [w:] M. Felson, R.V. Clarke (red.), Business and Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice Press, Monsey 1997.
  15. Finestone H., Narcotics and Criminality, „Law and Contemporary Problems” 1957, t. 22, nr 1, s. 69-85.
  16. Gibbons D.C., Observations on the Study of Crime Causation, „American Journal of Sociology” 1971, t. 77, nr 2, s. 262-278.
  17. Gilligan J., Wstyd i przemoc, Media Rodzina, Poznań 2001.
  18. Goldschneider M., Geografia przestępczości. Uwagi na temat przestrzennych analiz przestępczości przy wykorzystaniu technik cyfrowych, „Archiwum Kryminologii” 2010, t. XXXII, s. 23-43,
  19. Hirschi T., Gottfredson M., Age In the Explanation of Crime, „American Journal of Sociology” 1983, t. 89, nr 3, s. 552-584.
  20. Katz J., Seductions of crime. Moral and sensual attractions of doing evil, Basic Books, Nowy Jork 1988.
  21. Kitchin R., Blades M., The cognition of geographic space, I.B.Tauris, London 2002.
  22. Kolb L., Drug addiction. A medical problem, Waszyngton 1962.
  23. Kossowska A., Krawczyk J., Rozmiary i dynamika przestępczości w Polsce ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem przestępstwa włamania [w:] H. Kołakowska-Przełomiec, Przestępstwa kradzieży z włamaniem. Studium kryminologiczne, „Typografika”, Warszawa 1996.
  24. Kossowska A., Przestępczość na terenie Warszawy. Analiza ekologiczna, „Archiwum Kryminologii” 1976, t. VII, s. 141-263,
  25. Kossowska A., Środowiskowo-przestrzenne uwarunkowania przestępczości. Wybrane zagadnienia współczesnej ekologii przestępczości, „Archiwum Kryminologii” 1993, t. XIX, s. 7-16,
  26. Marek A. (red.), System prawa karnego. Zagadnienia ogólne, Wydawnictwo C.H. Beck. Instytut Nauk Prawnych PAN, Warszawa 2010.
  27. Rossmo D.K., Geographic profiling, CRC Press, 1999.
  28. Sherman L., Gartin P., Buerger M., Hot spots and predatory crime. Routine activities and the criminology of place, „Criminology” 1989, t. 27, nr 1, s. 27-56.
  29. Siemaszko A. (red.), Geografia występku i strachu. Polskie badanie przestępczości ‘07’, Instytut Wymiaru Sprawiedliwości, Warszawa 2008.
  30. Siemaszko A., Gruszczyńska B., Marczewski M., Atlas przestępczości w Polsce 4, Instytut Wymiaru Sprawiedliwości, Oficyna Naukowa, Warszawa 2009.
  31. Smart C., Women, crime and criminology. A feminist critique, Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London 1976.
  32. Sutherland E.H., Cressey D.R., Criminology, Lippincott, Nowy Jork 1978.
  33. Sutherland E.H., Cressey D.R., Luckenbill D.F., Principles of criminology, General Hall, New York 1992.
  34. Wiles P., Costello A., ‘The Road to nowhere’. The evidence for travelling criminals, Home Office, Londyn 2000.
  35. Wortley R., Mazerolle L. (red.), Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis, Willan Publishing, Cullompton 2008.