How Offender Decision-making Can Inform Policing: A Focus on the Perceived Certainty of Apprehension

  • Chae M. JaynesEmail author
  • Thomas A. Loughran
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


Empirical evidence suggests that the perceived certainty of apprehension is a far more effective deterrent than the severity of sanctioning. In concordance with this, many policing strategies have focused on increasing the certainty of apprehension as a key tactic in crime reduction. This chapter describes how recent advances in criminological understanding of perceived certainty are thought to influence offender decision-making. We then illustrate how these findings may inform policing and suggest potential avenues for collaborations between researchers and practitioners to further enhance understanding of offender decision-making and guide evidence-based policing.


Deterrence Certainty Perception updating Tipping points Ambiguity 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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