According to Garland there is a significant change in the culture surrounding crime and security. This development is visible in both the governmental sector and the semi-governmental sector and ‘pushes policy away from retribution, deterrence and reform towards a concern with prevention, harm-reduction and risk-management’. In other words; it focuses on creating fewer security weaknesses.
This culture started to rise in the last decades, due to public demands for stronger measures of protection. Agencies started to put more effort on protecting the public, acting upon the public’s fear. New infrastructures started to arise, the reactive strategies of the past were replaced by more proactive versions. Therefore, the value based approach of the past is replaced by a more amoral and technical approach. Garland describes this as follows; ‘Instead of rejecting crime as socially unjust or unacceptable, this new culture only seeks to repair social and economic relations that give rise to crime’. By addressing more attention to the social system and institutions, instead of on particular human beings (and their attitudes), efforts are being made to redesign situations to lessen the opportunities for crime.
Nevertheless, this new approach (or culture) comes with a cost. By reshaping the response to crime and security issues, there is also more chance of the hardening of social division in society. Furthermore, it may also lead to a tendency towards authoritarianism and the decline of tolerance in society.