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Theft in Price-Volatile Markets: On the Relationship between Copper Price and Copper Theft

Sidebottom, A; Belur, J; Bowers, K; Tompson, L; Johnson, SD; (2011) Theft in Price-Volatile Markets: On the Relationship between Copper Price and Copper Theft. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency , 48 (3) 396 - 418. 10.1177/0022427810393021. Green open access

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Abstract

Recently, against a backdrop of general reductions in acquisitive crime, increases have been observed in the frequency of metal theft offences. This is generally attributed to increases in metal prices in response to global demand exceeding supply. The main objective of this article was to examine the relationship between the price of copper and levels of copper theft, focusing specifically on copper cable theft from the British railway network. Results indicated a significant positive correlation between lagged increases in copper price and copper cable theft. No support was found for rival hypotheses concerning U.K. unemployment levels and the general popularity of theft as crime type. An ancillary aim was to explore offender modus operandi over time, which is discussed in terms of its implications for preventing copper cable theft. The authors finish with a discussion of theft of other commodities in price-volatile markets.

Type:Article
Title:Theft in Price-Volatile Markets: On the Relationship between Copper Price and Copper Theft
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1177/0022427810393021
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022427810393021
Language:English
Additional information:© The Author(s) 2011. This is the author's accepted version of this article.
Keywords:copper theft, metal theft, price-volatile markets, CRIME, TARGETS, GOODS
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Security and Crime Science

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