Purpose - Corruption is a significant financial crime which is estimated by the World Economic Forum to cost about 5 per cent of global GDP or $2.6 trillion dollars. Explanations of corruption, like explanations of crime, tend to focus on the individuals who commit corruption and the wider conditions which give rise to corrupt behaviour. Approaches designed to reduce corruption usually propose stiffer sanctions, institutional reforms and the passing of new laws. The purpose of this paper is to outline a complementary perspective with which to consider corruption. Design/methodology/approach - Grounded in situational crime prevention and related criminological theory, the paper argues that opportunities in the immediate environment play a causal role in generating corruption. It proposes that corruption can be minimised by removing or reducing opportunities which are conducive to corrupt behaviour. In total, five cases are chosen as illustrative examples of how situational crime prevention might usefully be applied to corruption, focussing on the Type, Activities, Sectors and Places (TASP) that comprise corruption events. Findings - A framework is developed for the empirical study of corruption in local settings. Originality/value - The paper explores how situational crime prevention can usefully inform the analysis and prevention of corruption.