stranger violence | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminology

Stranger violence in the criminology context refers to acts of violence committed by individuals against people they do not know.

Stranger violence is a type of violent crime that occurs when an individual commits an act of violence against someone they do not have a prior relationship with. This can include crimes such as assault, robbery, and homicide. The perpetrator may have no personal motive or vendetta against the victim and may choose them simply because they are a convenient target.

Research has shown that stranger violence is less common than violence committed by acquaintances or family members. However, it often receives a higher level of attention from law enforcement and the media, as it is seen as a particularly heinous and unpredictable type of crime. Stranger violence can create fear and anxiety within communities and can lead to increased demands for policing and other forms of public safety.

In criminology, the study of stranger violence can help researchers and law enforcement officials to understand the patterns and motivations behind these types of crimes. It can also inform the development of policies and interventions aimed at preventing or reducing the incidence of stranger violence. This may include measures such as increased community policing, educational campaigns, and targeted interventions aimed at high-risk individuals.

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Last Modified: 03/14/2023


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